The self-titled debut from Toronto’s METZ was easily one of the most exciting things to come out of 2012, as it was a rare beast of an album. It was loud, relentlessly vicious and felt like an unstoppable freight train of energy, aggression, and passion. In no uncertain terms, it was a breath of fresh air for both hardcore and indie; an album that knew exactly what it was and didn’t pander to anyone.
When a band explodes onto the scene out of nowhere and receives critical praise from every angle, it sometimes appears as it the band is an overnight success story. METZ is a lot of things, but an overnight success is not one of them. Relocating from Ottawa, the now Toronto-based hardcore trio, which includes Alex Edkins, Hayden Menzies and Chris Slorach, has been playing together for roughly five years.
While the band feels like they have had a constant upwards trajectory for the past few years, according to singer/ guitarist Alex Edkins, that trajectory has seen a sharp increase since the release of their first LP last October.
“Since the record came out, we have basically been going full tilt. The reaction has been more than we ever could have hoped for,” says Edkins with a humbled, yet excited voice. “We just did two months over in Europe, and the fact the people over there are really excited about the band and the record and came to our shows is a really amazing feeling, and a surprise to be honest.”
The band is on a week break after playing six shows in 3 days at SXSW when BeatRoute reaches them, and then they are back on the road essentially until the end of August, when the band is taking a short break so Edkins can get married.
Having such a quick and sudden take off has been a dream for the band, but it also means putting a lot of aspects of their personal life on hold, including their jobs and careers. The band had no intentions of quitting their jobs, as leading up to the record release they were taking everything slow. “The day just came where we said to ourselves ‘OK, we are going to have to do this with 95% of our time,’ so it’s been very exciting, but it has taken some getting used to,” Edkins explains.
While the band has enjoyed their recent boost in touring, they are also quite fond of their newfound home in Toronto. The city has seen a boom in noise/ hardcore band over the past years years, including bands such as Greys, Column of Heaven, Endless Blockade, and of course, Fucked Up. Edkins, however, stops short of identifying a “scene” in Toronto.
“We are proud to be from Toronto and I think there is amazing music coming from here. But as far as some tangible scene, it’s kind of hard to put your finger on. A lot of musicians in Toronto are friends, and they’re very supportive of each other… but if some people are hearing a a unified sound or something like that, I think that is probably coincidence.”
A little known fact, METZ made the record independently without the backing of any label and while the band was getting ready to release it themselves, Sub-Pop heard the record, loved it, and offered to release the album.
Despite now being signed and having music be their full time job, Edkins doesn’t feel the way they make music and approach playing live has changed at all.
“We are playing bigger venues now. Not as many basements, though we do still love to do that whenever we can.”
Catch Metz when the trio plays the Biltmore Cabaret on May 3.
By Joshua EricksonBC, British Columbia