The road to success can often be long and arduous. Singer Emily Haines linked with guitarist James Shaw in '95. The two bounced from Toronto to New York; then it was off to Montreal, London and Los Angeles. Along the way they picked up drummer Joules Scott-Key. Bassist Josh Winstead signed on in '02.
Finally, Metric earned a recording deal and the group hit the studio. "Grow Up And Blow Away" was finished but Metric's label couldn't work up the enthusiasm to release it. So Metric moved on and released "Old World Underground, Where Are You" with "Dead Disco" in '03. They then hit the road supporting another retro-oriented group, Hot Hot Heat.
Metric appeared as themselves in the '04 independent French film, Clean. The soundtrack featured songs by the group, Haines (solo) Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois and Tricky.
"Live It Out," Metric's sophomore album, arrived in '06. A handful of singles did particularly well in their native land - Canada - where the album went double platinum (200,000 copies sold). In the U..K., the songs "Monster Hospital", "Poster Of A Girl" and "Hand$hake$" were featured in the Hollyoaks T.V. series. Bolstered by this success, Last Gang Records issued the previous shelved "Grow Up And Blow Away" the following year.
Extensive touring, which included road testing new material, resulted in an '08 concert DVD, Live At Metropolis, which was filmed at a Montreal club. There was also an EP issued through iTunes containing the songs "The Police And The Private", "Too Little Too Late" and "Patriarch On A Vespa."
Written by the band in Seattle and Argentine (Haines went there) and recorded in Toronto, Metric's '09 album "Fantasies" earned the group MySpace Music's Triumph of the Year. The set, released on the group's label, Metric Music International, peaked at #1 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart and contained the hit "Help I'm Alive." "All over the industry we found people who actually listen to music and who, even at this time of doubt, are willing to take a risk on a song like 'Help I'm Alive'," said Haines in a MySpace interview.
In addition to the MySpace honor, Metric won Group of the Year and Alternative Album of the Year at the '10 Juno Awards. Also, the Twilight Saga: Eclipse soundtrack was released featuring Metric's song "Eclipse (All Yours)."
"Synthetica," Metric's fifth studio effort, went to #1 on the U.S. Alternative Albums chart - #12 on the Billboard 200.
"(The album) is about staying home and wanting to crawl out of your skin from the lack of external stimulation... about forcing yourself to confront what you see in the mirror when you finally stand still long enough to catch a reflection... about being able to identify the original in a long line of reproductions," said Haines. "It's about what is real versus what is artificial."
Metric also reteamed with composer Howard Shore on the score for the film-drama Cosmopolis. They'd previously worked with Shore on the "Twilight Saga: Eclipse" soundtrack.
The group then unfurled their documentary chronicling the making of "Synthetica" on YouTube. Then the set picked up the Alternative Album of the Year honor at the '13 Juno Awards.
After touring with Imagine Dragons, Metric went back to the studio to record "Pagans In Vegas," a '15 release.
2003 Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?
2005 Live It Out
2007 Grow Up And Blow Away
2015 Pagans In Vegas
Like several bands, Metric uses the '80s as a touchstone.
Several of their songs ("Gimme Sympathy," "Stadium Love" and "Dead Disco") could have been '80s Wave classics. Of course, for that to happen, Metric would have had to innovate rather than reinvent (much easier).