Metric's Emily Haines reveals what's in her playlist and gives us sage advice about friendship
If a band is in the game for longevity, there isn’t anything more vital for it to perfect than consistency. While mid-2009 saw Metric jolt through pop charts with its album Fantasies — propelled by the radio dominating tracks “Help I’m Alive” and “Sick Muse” — its earlier works (and the two most recent albums, Synthetica and Pagans in Vegas) are invariable in execution. Likewise, the synth-rock veterans maintain a powerful presence on stage with their magnetic sets.
Frontwoman Emily Haines dug deep in her collection to build a playlist for Denver fans before the band performs at The Fillmore Auditorium on Feb 16 with Joywave. She also spoke with us about her musical go-tos and what kind of advice she'd like to give the younger generations.
We're excited to have you back in Denver! How's life treating you right now?
I'm feeling good. Appreciating everything simple. Appreciating that my bed is my own, and that I am not flying down the highway in the middle of the night, or going through airport security in my socks while someone screams 'LIQUIDS AND GELS!' or getting dressed for a show in a men's locker room I've filled with roses. Appreciating making my own food, and having friends swing by my house, and drinking out of an actual cup. It's amazing how much life on the road makes being home a pleasure. Until of course the itch to play comes back, and then I can't get out the door fast enough.
Are there any bizarre hobbies / interests amongst the band?
Each of us are very different, and I think that's reflected in the books that are lying around on the tour bus. Joshua practices Aikido, so there might be a book about that, and there might be some hefty owner's manual for a modular synth in Jimmy's bunk, and Joules might be in the back lounge reading Alan Watts, and I might be in the front lounge reading a self-help book called 'F*ck Feelings' for example.
What is some advice you've gotten from other artists you've toured with?
We were playing a festival with Sonic Youth, and when we were talking with Thurston Moore backstage about the experience. He said, 'Yeah, this one's a just plug in, plug out,' which really captured the feeling of the day. It stuck with us and we used the phrase as the title of an acoustic EP we released later that year.
Who are some artists you find yourself listening to the most on the road?
Generally I listen to artists who make completely different music from me, which I think is reflected in my playlist as well. I'm always looking for that 'something' — that feeling only music can bring, and the genre is irrelevant. Sometimes I just stumble onto something by chance in my travels, like The Growlers in New Orleans or Benji Hughes in NY or Magic Trick (I can't remember where). In airports, it's Tim Hecker all the time. He's making a new record this year and I'm pumped.
If you could tell each person under the age of 25 one thing, what would it be and why?
Value your friendships above all else. Without them, everything you accomplish down the line will be weirdly boring and feel hollow.
1. Anna Morley – “Not Letting Go”
2. David Bowie – “Girl Loves Me”
3. Suuns – “Minor Work”
4. Dark Horses – “Live on Hunger”
5. The Holydrug Couple – “Atlantic Postcard”
6. Moon Duo - “Sleepwalker”
7. Blur – “My Terracotta Heart”
8. Kendra Morris – “Concrete Waves”
9. The Black Angels – “Young Men Dead”
10. Fink – “Warm Shadow”
11. Goat – “Talk to God”
12. The Growlers - “Good Advice”
13. Dum Dum Girls – “Cult of Love”
14. Allah-Las – “Tell Me ( What's On Your Mind)”
15. New Jackson - “Made It Mine”
Cover Photo: Alysse Gafkjen