Metz are loud. They’re a noisy-post-hardcore-grunge group that consists of three Canadians from Toronto. Their painstakingly particular yet equally anarchic self-titled debut album was released by the infamous Sub-Pop last year and in addition to raving reviews also earned them a nod from Polaris Music Prize. We caught up with bass player Chris Slorach the morning after the one-year anniversary of said record.
Happy anniversary of your first album and congratulations on its success. How are you guys feeling a year later?
Yeah, thanks. Yesterday marked the year we first got it in our hands and it’s been quite a year. I’ve certainly seen a lot more of the world in the last year, been to some crazy places, but we’ve been home now for a couple of weeks so we’ve just been focusing on writing new material. None of us can really keep jobs right now as we’re always on the road, so we’ve just been treating the band as if it was our 9-5. Putting in a full days work of writing new material. We’re all really excited about the direction and the way things are coming together and it feels like a great progression from the last record.
So, should we be expecting some new material at Airwaves?
I think if we have time, yeah. It obviously all depends on how we’re feeling but also on things like set lengths and such. Sometimes we only get to play 30 minutes so we’ve got to give people what they want, but maybe we’ll squeeze in some new material at Airwaves.
Have you started thinking about when you’re going back into the studio then?
As of right now, I’d say I don’t know, but I think we’re keen to start the demo process early next year, and provided that all goes to plan, we’re hoping to get back into tracking in February-March, but it all really depends on the songs. We’d like to have all the material written and ready to go early in the new year, but the reality of that must be considered relatively unlikely.
Your debut album got nominated for the Polaris Music Prize, but not only were you nominated, you also played the actual event. Have you guys played many galas before?
I’d say that was probably the first gala we’ve played, and most likely the last one. But we obviously had a great time and we were in really good company with artists like Godspeed You Black Emperor (who won the award this year) and Colin Stetson also nominated. Also, just having your record celebrated and recognized in any way is quite an honour as we’re really proud of what we’ve done.
Were you happy with the results?
Yeah, I think GYBE are a band with a lot of artistic merit, but I honestly would have loved to see Colin Stetson walk away with it. I don’t think there is, or has ever really been anyone, who does what he does and whenever I listen to him he just sends me into a trance.
The Airwaves line-up this year features something like 10-12 Canadian artists, some of which you’ll probably know such as No Joy, Fucked Up, Mac DeMarco, Moon King and Cousins…
We know every single one of the ones you just reeled off. In fact we’ve toured quite a lot with both Fucked Up and No Joy.
How do you feel about this fairly recent global acknowledgement of Canadian music? Has Canadian music always been this eclectic and interesting and have the rest of us just not been paying attention, or is this all a relatively new development?
I’ve lived here my whole life and I’ve never been starved of good music. I feel that this city in particular has always bred a lot of fantastic music. I don’t now why people have only been noticing over the last few years, maybe Toronto just hasn’t been in focus for a while, but there’s certainly never been shortage of interesting talent here. Maybe the music is becoming more globally acceptable, or maybe Canada is just finally being acknowledged as a place where culture can actually exist and people are realizing that we don’t just all live in igloos up here. But in all honesty, we’ve just been in the eye of the hurricane so whatever people are hearing or talking about outside of Toronto is sort of unknown to us. We just sort of live in it.
What about scenes? Artists seem to be doing very varied things over there, so are there any tangible scenes over there?
I think there are definitely scenes, but they all intermingle and people inspire each other. I really do feel that people feel like the gloves are off in Toronto in regards to what you can do with your music. I think people just assumed for a long time that maybe they weren’t really going to get out of here so they just did what they wanted with their music. You know, it gets really cold here in the winter, you end up locking yourself indoors and just making music for the sake of it, just because you enjoy it. That’s certainly what we did, and I think the same applies to a lot of music that comes out of Canada. It’s a breeding ground for creativity.
I think the same applies to a lot of things that happen in Iceland.
Yeah, I feel like there might be is some kinship here.
Looking forward to coming over for Airwaves to explore?
Yeah, we’ve got two gigs over there, so we’ll have a couple of days to hang out. I’ve heard so much about the festival so I’m just looking forward to hanging out and drinking some beers with locals. But lucky for us it’s pretty cheap to get back there so I think the plan is to use this trip to dip our toes in the water and hopefully come back later, either individually or as a band. Who knows.
Anything in particular you’re looking forward to seeing?
Well I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the No Joy girls as I haven’t seen them in a long time, but in all honesty I haven’t really had a proper look at what’s going on at the festival as every time I do that I end up missing everything. I normally like to see the bands that we’re playing with, and that’s kind of the best part about touring is seeing all this music that you otherwise wouldn’t know.