By Ben Doy
The St. Jerome's Laneway Festival is returning to Auckland in 2016, once again taking place at the fantastic Silo Park in Wynyard Quarter. Among the fantastic acts appearing at the festival is the Toronto 3-piece METZ.
I caught up with the band's vocalist / guitarist Alex Edkins and fired through a few questions ahead of their return to NZ!
You guys constantly seem to be on the road (or if not in the studio). Have you managed to have any down time in the last couple of years?
A little bit. To be honest, we don't really like down time. We are happiest when we are either making new music or on tour. Obviously, we love being home with our families and taking it easy, but I think we get fidgety pretty quickly and are always anxious for the next thing.
How's the current music scene in Toronto?
Toronto has a great music scene. I think its one of the best in the world. Current favs are Dilly Dally, Weaves, Jennifer Castle.
Your self-titled debut was shortlisted for the 2013 Polaris Prize. Did this come as a surprise?
Of course. We've never expected any kind of accolades for what we do. We are just blindly reaching around in the dark making our music. We try not to let other peoples opinions influence what we do. I've always had an issue with giving scores or grades to music. It doesn't make sense to me. Music or film or literature is not the same as an algebra exam.
How different was it making your latest album II compared to your debut release?
It was familiar and still very different. We worked with the same people and used some of the same studios but we wrote the album in a very different way and different head space. I ended up doing a lot of writing and demoing by myself at home before working on it with the guys. Thats probably the biggest difference. It allowed for more focus on melody and song structure. On the first album, vocals were more of an after thought and I think it is pretty obvious. "II" is darker in mood, lyrical content, and production.
How long did the recording process for II take?
It was very sporadic. We had just finished roughly 2 years of touring and we were really excited to make new music. But, we were also totally burnt out. We had to give ourselves time apart and just live normal lives for a little bit. We worked in fragments and I think it probably all happened within 6 months but certainly wasn't constant work. We gave it time to breathe.
You're heading here for St. Jerome's Laneway next year, a festival which never fails to deliver. You must be looking forward to the tour?
YES! We've heard so many amazing things about Laneway and we are crazy excited!
For people at the festival that have never seen Metz perform before, what can they expect from your show?
Two guys with guitars jumping around like animals and one other guy smashing the hell out of his drums. We like to have fun and just turn off our minds for an hour. Its the one part of the day that we can forget everything that brings you down and just have a blast.
Who are you looking forward to checking out at Laneway?
Everyone! Mostly stuff I haven't heard yet.
It's been a couple of years since you last performed in New Zealand. What do you remember about those shows?
I remember awesome shows, awesome country side and beaches and getting a Flying Nun t-shirt!
Following the Laneway tour, what is the plan for METZ in 2016?
More touring and more time in the studio. We've got a lot of small projects on the go and will start writing a new LP after that.
St. Jerome's Laneway Festival 2016
Monday February 1st (Auckland Anniversary Day): Silo Park, Auckland
Baynk - Battles - Beach House - CHVRCHES - DIIV - East India Youth - FIDLAR - Flume - GoldLink - Grimes - Groeni - Health - Hermitude -High Dependency Unit - Hudson Mohawke - Leisure - Lontalius - METZ -Nadia Reid - Oscar Key Sung - Purity Ring - QT - REIN - Scuba Diva -Shamir - Silicon - Sophie - The All Seeing Hand - The Internet -Thundercat - Tobias Jesso Jr. - Vince Staples - Violent Soho
Tickets via Ticketek