Canadian rockers Metric return to 9:30 Club

Ask any college student how they feel after spring break and the answer would probably be refreshed. Maybe a little hungover, but refreshed nonetheless. Whether it is the traditional pilgrimage to some uproarious student-infested beach or something a little more low-key, times are spent traveling to new places and exploring new things. Most importantly, there is a break from the rigors of academic life, a time to clear the head and get some well-deserved rest. Yet, at the end of the day it just feels comfortable to get back into the normal swing of things.

The Toronto-based art rock band Metric has been on their own spring break of sorts. More than 18 months after its last show in the US, the band is more than eager to kick off their fall tour, which comes to 9:30 Club Thursday. This break, however, was not spent sitting on the couch eating stale boxes of cookies. The band, led by indie rock heavyweight Emily Haines (most notable for being a collaborating member of the Broken Social Scene), has been venturing into various side projects but is back on tour to unveil material for their fourth studio album. Haines just finished with her widely acclaimed solo project, while bassist Josh Winstead and drummer Joules Scott-Key are winding down with their brilliant side band, Bang Lime.

In an interview with The Hatchet, Winstead viewed the various side projects as something to “help establish that what (they) are doing with Metric is right, because when you don’t have another way to express yourself you can get frustrated with something you enjoy, like Metric.”

Despite being busy with their perspective projects, Metric decided to release their previously shelved 2001 album “Grow Up and Blow Away” this summer. With its release came an avalanche of popularity and a steady footing in the college radio top ten charts. The decision to release the previously shuttered album was “a way to give back to the fans who had supported us for a long time,” Winstead said. The album had been available online for a few years, but fans had been asking for a proper version for ages. With their record label recently acquiring the rights to the album, band members said they felt releasing an official version of the recording was a necessary thing to do.

With hype still flooding in from “Grow Up and Blow Away,” the band is going into the studio in late October to record their most anticipated album yet. In contrast to their other albums, the writing process has truly been a group venture.

“Nobody had any music coming into the process, so we all sat down and started writing music together,” said Winstead. The band will be taking a happier approach to the as-of-yet unnamed album and will look to fuse their gritty rock sound with the electronic pop that they are so famous for. To sum it up, Winstead said simply that they “are really making songs more danceable.”

So bring your dancing shoes to 9:30 Club Thursday, because Metric is using this tour as a sneak peek at what will be released early next year.

“The only reason we are doing this tour is to be able to play new songs,” Winstead said. The band is taking a more “back to basics” approach this time around and will play only smaller clubs, a huge departure from last year when the band opened for the Rolling Stones at Madison Square Garden.

So how does a band go from playing massive arenas to intimate clubs? Winstead modestly complimented his band by saying, “One thing I really like about (Metric) is that we are really good in both situations. Sometimes people have a hard time going back and forth, but I think we do a pretty good job.”

Metric will be playing at 9:30 Club Thursday at 7:30 pm with the band Crystal Castles. Tickets are on sale now for $20 through Tickets.com.

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