By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
Over the past two decades or so, the term "indie rock" has been so abused it no longer stands for a way of being; we now use it to describe a particular sound or genre more than anything. But Metric, a Canadian synth-pop band that's carved a niche out of an amalgam of punk rock, disco and electronica, is independent in the true sense of the word.
After three full-length albums, the band—frontwoman Emily Haines, guitarist and theremin player James Shaw, bassist Josh Winstead, and drummer Joules Scott-Key—opted to ditch the idea of a record label altogether (the band released its first album on Everloving and its second and third on Last Gang). And while it was one thing for Radiohead, a band that's been rocking arenas for years, to go rogue, for a rising band like Metric to do the same was a larger gamble—especially considering it was being courted by big labels that may well have been able to impart Radiohead-level fame.
"It was really just a matter of what the options really are for a band like Metric in 2009 in the modern state of music," Haines says. "We met with the heads of all the major labels and looked at what they had on offer for us, [but] unfortunately those companies are still behaving as though it's 1986."
So the band decided to self-release Fantasies this past April. In just four and a half months, it's already doing better commercially than any of Metric's previous releases. Of course, with a solid product like this, the music sells itself.