Next Tuesday, April 14th, the Emily Haines-fronted Canadian rock quartet Metric will release their fourth album, Fantasies. Half of the band — Haines and guitarist Jimmy Shaw — recently stopped by the Rolling Stone offices to perform "Gimme Sympathy" and "Twilight Galaxy" acoustic — check out those performances above and after the jump, plus listen to the new record in its entirety while reading our three-and-a-half-star Fantasies review.
Dropping the lyric "Who would you rather be, the Beatles or the Rolling Stones?" in "Gimme Sympathy" has pretty much ensured that every interview Metric does for Fantasies will include a question about that dilemma. Fortunately, the band actually opened for the Stones at New York's Madison Square Garden and have a little personal experience to draw on. "Their backstage catering was so impressive, and they had a juicer that blew our minds having been of the 'bottle of Jameson and four PowerBars' school of touring up until that point," Haines says. "It completely changed our lives when we realized we could have a rider that helped us instead of making us sick and unhappy." Shaw recalls, "When the Stones walked in I remarked at how unbelievably small they all are. And when we opened for the Beatles at Shea Stadium it was a totally different experience. The rider was small and they were tall."
As far as the lyric goes, "We've been asked many times where we stand on the issue," Haines explains, "and Jimmy says 'neither — one of them is dead, and one of them is corporate.' "
Metric took a decidedly DIY approach to the release of Fantasies, opting to self-release the LP in the States. During their brief break from touring and recording, "A lot of what I was attending to was revamping our set-up in terms of the music industry and making decisions about how we wanted to go forward," Haines says. "We decided to put together this worldwide label rather than feeling like employees of someone else's label. We don't think our fans should have to deal with a lot of bullshit if they want to get to our music. I feel the music business is thriving for musicians and fans, and I'm really excited."
"When you play 300 days a year you start to feel a bit like a machine," Shaw adds. "The reason we took a long time was we needed to live life a little bit so we actually had something to say. That did make its way into the music. We ended up naming the album Fantasies because it's about dreaming in a way. You don't always dream the most beautiful things. Sometimes you have horrible dreams — they can be abstract, scary, surreal and beautiful and inspiring. We recharged enough to come back and dream."