We caught up with Toronto punks Metz just after they crossed the border of their Canadian homeland down toward New York where they play Wednesday night at Music Hall of Williamsburg. They had just been pulled over, which they say happens a lot when they border hop. So far they haven’t had any major Fiona Apple-esque run-ins with the law; the stops are just more of an inconvenience.
Metz are the complete inversion of the post-Arcade Fire Canadian music glut– they just play loud and with a notable absence of harps. On their self-titled debut it sounds like drummer Hayden Menzies is giving the drum kit a prison style beat down. But the record never rabbit-holes too deep into it’s own noise that it becomes alienating; for example they won’t have any problem sharing a bill with Sub Pop label-mate King Tuff tonight. The following is our conversation with lead singer Alex Edkins; you’ll have to dub in his Canadian accent yourself.
You guys are from Toronto. What’s the music scene like up there right now, is there a punk thing going on?
I can’t say that there’s a punk movement there or anything. But there is a lot of everything going on. All different stuff: hip-hop, electronic, and loud stuff.
Three great Toronto bands right now?
I’m really into Dusted, Teen Anger, and Absolutely Free.
You guys have been a band for four and a half years, but this year’s Metz was your first proper full-length. Why the wait?
It’s been partly us living normal lives. Working normal jobs. But at the same time it makes a lot of sense that this is the record we’re going to tour behind. One that we’re really proud of.
Are you guys working on a new record now?
We have some new songs we’re working on. We’ll have some time off from tour in January when we can write. We don’t really write on the road.
Yeah nobody wants to listen to songs about driving on a tour van. But do you guys have any crazy road stories?
When we were in Paris our drummer Hayden got his cell snatched by some street rats after a show. He chased them down and grabbed it back. He was on a Skype call when they stole it and the call was still connected when he got it back.
Anything you guys looking forward to in NYC?
I’m always just sort of in awe of this city, just walking around it. It’s a shame because between radio and gigs sometimes we don’t have much time to spare until soundcheck.
Sub Pop put out your record. That’s such a storied label to be working with.
We couldn’t be happier with how it’s all gone. We all grew up listening to Sub Pop artists, still listen to them, they’re still totally relevant.
Any particular favorite Sub Pop bands?
Mudhoney. Big Mudhoney fan.