In our latest interview, AMBY picked up the phone to give Toronto punk-rockers METZ a call. Enjoy our exclusive interview below with the band’s frontman Alex Edkins as we discuss their new album METZ II, kinetic concerts, their DIY mentality, album titles, and records we need to crank to eleven.
AMBY: Hey Alex, thanks for speaking with us! With all of the touring you have been doing lately, where does our interview find you today?
METZ: We’re in Toronto! It’s kind of rare to be home, but we leave soon for a tour.
AMBY: I know that you were all just in Greece. Did you enjoy your time over there?
METZ: Yea, it was amazing! We have been there once before but this time it was better. We had time to go see some of the temples and touristy stuff. The shows were great too, of course.
AMBY: Glad to hear that. You’ll head back to the UK and Europe soon so are there any specific cities you look forward to returning to the most?
METZ: I try not to pick favourites since I think they all have their reasons for us to look forward to going back. London’s always amazing to us! Barcelona is incredible, and Germany, and France are great. We’ve been lucky we’ve been able to go to so many places and meet a lot of warm music fans. It’s always been a good experience.
AMBY: As you just listed, you’re playing cities pretty much all over the place. Have you ever experienced culture shock or experienced something different that you think you’ll never forget from a tour?
METZ: I think it’s just the little things; more or less the people are all the same in the big scheme of things. It’s really just small intricacies that are different and those are the things you notice.
AMBY: We’ve covered the band many times before live and the energy you’re able to give off is immense! Where do you think this kinetic liveliness comes from?
METZ: Some of it is from just genuine excitement for all three of us. We’re always excited to play our music for people so I think that comes out and shines through. Also just from the background of the music we write and grew up listening to, I think they are kind of the same. You can’t play music like this and have it translate properly without giving it basically everything you got and putting everything into these songs. They mean a lot to us, we put a lot of work into them, so the last thing we want to do is sell them short while we’re onstage. We just kind of let it rip.
AMBY: Speaking of insane energy, I of course have to bring up your sophomore record II. Like your debut, the album was a self-produced effort by the band and an engineer. How important to you is it to embrace that DIY mentality?
METZ: It’s important that we have ownership of what we’re doing; I think that’s what it comes down to. We have a lot of help from people. We have a great label and we have a booking agent, but other than that we more or less control every aspect of our band in and out. Our production, songwriting, playing, and everything like that. I think it is important to us because we want to be in full control and at the end of the day know that that is what we made, jut the three of us. So that is what it comes down to.
AMBY: Being that your first record was self-titled (I) and your second is called II, do you plan on calling the next record III?
METZ: I’m not going to give anything away.
AMBY and METZ: [laughs]
AMBY: Oh fine.
METZ: I’m going to keep people guessing. We haven’t thought that far ahead yet.
AMBY: It’s safe to say that this new record is definitely a loud one — it’s heavier, angrier in spots, but still manages to capture some great melodies. It’s one of those albums that I feel’s appreciated more when played louder. Are there any records out there that you love, but can only hear when blasting them?
METZ: Yea, lots! Things like Drive Like Jehu or even Check Your Head by the Beastie Boys. It’s got to be loud, that’s when it sounds the best.
AMBY: There’s a very tight community of Toronto bands at the moment. Being part of that, which other Toronto groups would you recommend our readers at home listen to?
METZ: I think everyone should listen to New Fries, Weaves, Absolutely Free. There’s Adonis Adonis. There’s just a ton of great bands, too many to think of actually.
AMBY: As you mentioned before, you’ve been playing tons of venues over the past couple of months. What are some of your favourite venues in Toronto?
METZ: We got our start playing at the basement at Parts and Labour, and that’s a small little crappy room that we totally embraced and had so many great shows there. Other than that we really enjoy playing Lee’s Palace, we’ve done a couple of release shows there. It has a great stage and I think it’s probably the best place in town for watching a show, so that’s always good. I love seeing bands there!
AMBY: As a band you’ve accomplished so much and you are really paving the way for a lot of groups who want to embrace punk music. With that said, what would you say is the best part of being in this and being part of METZ?
METZ: It’s really just about having the privilege of doing what you’ve always wanted to do. It’s something we really don’t take for granted. It’s wild to be able to say we get to travel and play our music that make and especially when that music is so kind of unpopular, I guess you could say. It’s not pandering to really any kind of trend. That’s the best part about it, to feel like you’re able to live out your dream.
Thank you METZ, for giving us your answers!
Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout