“Synthetica is about insomnia, fucking up, fashion, all the devices and gadgets attached to our brains, getting wasted, watching people die in other countries, watching people die in your own country, dancing your ass off, questioning the cops, poetic justice, standing up for yourself, sex, the apocalypse, doing some stupid shit and totally regretting it but then telling everyone it made you stronger, leaving town as a solution to unsolvable problems, owning your actions, and owning your time.” -Emily Haines
In the early 2000’s when Rock Was Back and every band in the world seemed to be looking for a wormhole to a 1970’s garage, METRIC frontwoman Emily Haines was hauling around — gasp! — an analog synthesizer as the band worked their way up in New York City’s clubs. In the late 2000’s, when many bands were being strangled by the industry's power structure, Metric undid all their business entanglements and started their own company, Metric Music International (MMI) with the help of independent managers Mathieu Drouin and Françoise de Grandpré.
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Today, they're unencumbered and directly plugged into their listeners' hearts. With single “Help I’m Alive”, they became the first band in history to have their first ever Top 20 hit at U.S. commercial radio without the backing of a traditional label (a feat they repeated with “Gold Guns Girls”). They’ve sold out arenas and headlined festivals. They’ve had a hand in scoring films for everyone from Edgar Wright to David Cronenberg, and they wrote the theme song for the Twilight Saga: Eclipse soundtrack with composer Howard Shore. They've even performed their song "Gimme Sympathy" at a private event for the Queen of England. For a band that had always been told they were Doing It Wrong, the Toronto-based quartet have grown into a fresh model for making it work.
If 2009's Fantasies was about escaping the familiar and exploring the world, Synthetica is about finding the courage to stay home and deal with your own reflection in the mirror. "It’s about facing what you know is true," Haines says. The band — Haines, Shaw, bassist Joshua Winstead and drummer Joules Scott Key — started work on the album literally the day after their final Fantasies show at the Art Basel modern art festival in Miami at the end of November 2010. But the real breakthrough came when pieces of vintage gear began fortuitously falling into their laps. Guitarist-producer Jimmy Shaw puts it this way, “Synthetica is the sonic culmination of everything we have done. We’ve always had a sound in our heads that we hoped to realize. We finally heard it coming out of the speakers this time. It's futuristic and synthesized and yet organic.”
Since their last album, Metric has picked up JUNO Awards for "Alternative Album of the Year" and "Band of the Year," contributed the lead single to the Scott Pilgrim vs The World soundtrack, and landed on the Academy Awards' short list for Twilight's "All Yours," which they co-wrote with composer Howard Shore. They have since partnered up with Howard Shore on another project: The score to David Cronenberg’s latest film Cosmopolis was composed by Shore and performed by Metric.