By Robyn Morrison
Canadian three-piece METZ have several things to be excited about: they’ve just released their new album, ‘METZ II’, they’ve dropped an equally awesome video for ‘The Swimmer’ and they’ve been out on the road touring relentlessly.
Main man, Alex Edkins kicks us into the chat by explaining the band has been rehearsing for their album release shows. “We’ve also been in the studio working on a couple of new songs, which will hopefully be released in some kind of format later this year.”
A band’s sophomore album is sometimes a challenging one. Will it live up to the expectation of the fans? Will it take the band to the next level? There’s always that urge to compare it to a band’s debut. “In a lot of ways, I think it just grows upon the first one,” explains Edkins. “I definitely think it’s got a bit of a warmer production in style. I definitely think you could say it’s got more of a loose, more ragged feel compared to the first one, which was quite rigid.
“Hopefully also, we improved as players, musicians and songwriters. That’s everyone’s goal. I think that comes across in quite a few of the songs as well.”
Several early reviews of the album described ‘METZ II’ as raw, belligerent and powerful. Edkins expresses his reaction towards these descriptions. “It’s funny, we never set out to make with those kind of descriptors. We just tried to do what comes naturally and not think about it very much. We wanted it to be very honest and natural album. We didn’t discuss what our next move was. It was nothing like that. I think those words work and I think it’s a representation of where all three of us are musically and where our heads are at, lyrically.”
Speaking about the challenges of writing that much anticipated second album, Edkins says it was nice to be home to be able to write. “After being on the road for so long, we were genuinely very excited to be working on new music. It was a pretty fun experience. We worked with most of the same people as the first album and the studios were familiar, so it was comfortable. It was a matter of not rushing things and making sure that the songs were where they should be.
“This time around, the biggest difference was, I did a lot of writing alone at home and created demos and brought them in for the other guys to hear and we would basically go about our own routine of fleshing the songs out and cranking the amps out and really getting that live feel together. I think that’s probably the biggest change.”
According to Edkins, he believes the cohesiveness of the album was always in the back of his mind. “After every song that’s written, you’re making a sequence for the album constantly and seeing where things fit together. That’s part of the rationale for what makes it and what doesn’t make it.
“The first idea for a sequence didn’t make it for the longest time. The last song on the album was going to be the first, at least in my mind. It’s funny how after a mix and some major decisions like that can change the entire feel and vibe of the record. You never really know until the bitter end.”
The band has been performing much of the new album live and Edkins says it’s fitting in seamlessly with the older material. “We’re happy with how it’s fitting in and the crowd reaction has been positive.”
‘MEZT II’ is out now via Sub Pop/Inertia Music.