Metric to play at the Fillmore Detroit on Sept. 7Written by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
If you send a text message and someone receives it, does that mean you shared something?
“People have so many different digital ways of becoming friends and communicating,” said Jimmy Shaw. “I’ve had the experience of being away from home for months and sort of have relationships develop in a certain way because you text someone all the time, but then you see them face to face and nothing’s developed at all.
“And that’s sort of like a weird futuristic example to me how it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to tell what’s actually happening, whether things are actually transpiring in front of you or they aren’t.”
The Metric guitarist was talking about the theme on the Canadian quartet’s new disc, “Synthetica.”
“It was sort of this recurring idea that the world is getting increasingly more complicated and things are becoming more and more difficult to discern: What’s real and what’s fake, what’s organic and what’s synthetic, what is the original and what’s the reproduction?
“There’s just so much happening now. There’s so much industrial output; there’s so much technology; there are so many different mediums of all sorts of different things that it becomes very difficult to actually sort of see what the truth is,” he said during a call from his Toronto home.
On “Dreams So Real,” Emily Haines sings, “I’ll shut up and carry on/ The scream becomes a yawn.” The title track finds the front woman declaring her individuality: “We’re all the time confined to fit the mold/ But I won’t ever let them make a loser of my soul.”
The synth-pop rockers had the chance to work with legend Lou Reed, who lends his voice to “The Wanderlust.”
“[Reed’s] one of the reasons I make music in the first place; he’s one of the original voices of rock ’n’ roll,” Shaw said. “When he came into the studio, the first minute he was in the live room and I was in the control room behind the sound desk and he starts singing. I just lit up with this glow of ‘I can’t believe that voice is singing on my song,’ it’s insane.
“And then I was just beaming the entire time and then I realized, as the producer, I was going to have to say something to him when the song is over. I was going to have to go on talk-back mic and tell Lou Reed what to do, which is a highly daunting experience. So I just went on and said, ‘That was great, do it again.’ ”
“Synthetica” looks to repeat the success of the band’s 2009 CD, “Fantasies,” which featured the hits “Help, I’m Alive” and “Gimme Sympathy.” In 2010, Metric won group of the year and alternative album of the year at the Juno Awards.
“Metric’s been around for a little while, and we’d never really seen that rapid of growth before; the growth was really quick that happened in 2010. It had taken us five years to double venue size before that. It kind of happened in six months, which was amazing,” Shaw said. “I think it was time for us to have that happen. We were all grateful and surprised that it did.”
Metric — Shaw, Haines, bassist Joshua Winstead and drummer Joules Scott-Key — will play the Fillmore Detroit at 7 p.m. Sept. 8. Tickets are $32 and $39.
Shaw realized it was special when he met Haines at a Toronto bar.
“I knew it in like 10 seconds. It was a very powerful moment,” he recalled. “I just knew this was someone who was going to be in my life for a really long time.”