Metric Wouldn't Exist as We Know Them Without Interpol

Emily Haines and Jimmy Shaw's friendship with Sam Fogarino led to Joules Scott-Key and Joshua Winstead joining the band

Photo: Justin Broadbent

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Aug 25, 2022

We already knew that Metric are primed to bring the house down at Toronto's Budweiser Stage with Interpol, Spoon and Bartees Strange tomorrow night (August 26), but the hometown indie heroes' connection with Interpol apparently runs a lot deeper than the shared bill (or math-adjacent — let's pretend there are no cops involved, okay? — band names). In fact, if it weren't for the New York rock outfit, Metric wouldn't exist as we know them.

A new interview with Indie88 sees Emily Haines and Jimmy Shaw tell the story of how their fortuitous friendship with Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino led to bandmates Joules Scott-Key and Joshua Winstead joining the band. "We call ourselves the double duo," Shaw laughed before launching into the tale with host Lana Gay.

In a pre-Metric universe, Haines and Shaw met in Toronto in 1997 and began performing as a duo called Mainstream. The pair ran into some bad luck after moving to New York City early on in their career.

"Our hopes were crushed," Haines said, explaining how Mainstream had gotten an amazing offer from a manager in England in 2000. Aside from a publishing deal, it turned out to be mostly empty promises, especially the coveted record deal with Blur's label, Food Records. After the label's funding fell through, Mainstream's album Grow Up and Blow Away was shelved, so the duo were only able to distribute their own music the old-fashioned way: on burned CDs.

They brought some of those discs to clothing store Beacon's Closet in Brooklyn, where Fogarino was selling records at the time.

"I think he probably heard it at some point, and his wife became kind of a fan and played it for her best friend," Shaw recalled. Said best friend happened to be dating Scott-Key, who met the newly-christened Metric at a bar in Brooklyn after seeing them play what Shaw describes as a "very frustrating show" at an underground club. Bassist Winstead also came through Scott-Key, having moved to New York together from Texas after years of collaborating.

The more you know!

Watch the interview clip below.

To celebrate the release of their new album Formentera, we had Metric rank their 5 best songs.

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