Metric is a Canadian rock band founded in 1998 in Toronto. They have also at various times been based in Montreal, London, New York City and Los Angeles. The band consists of Emily Haines (lead vocals, synthesizers, guitar, tambourine, harmonica, piano), James Shaw (guitar, synthesizers, theremin, backing vocals), Joshua Winstead (bass, synthesizers, backing vocals) and Joules Scott-Key (drums, percussion).
The band started in 1998 as a duo formed by Haines and Shaw. Initially, the duo’s name was Mainstream. After releasing an EP titled Mainstream EP, they changed the band’s name to Metric, after a sound that was programmed by Shaw on his keyboard in 1998. In 2001, Winstead and Scott-Key joined them.
Haines and Shaw also perform with the band Broken Social Scene. In 1996, Haines has released the album Cut in Half and Also Double. Under Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton moniker, she released in 2006 the studio album Knives Don’t Have Your Back, followed in 2007 by the EP What Is Free to a Good Home?. Emily Haines has been a guest on albums by artists like Stars, KC Accidental, The Stills, Jason Collett, The Crystal Method and Tiësto. Shaw issued the studio album Life on the Clock in 1997. Scott-Key and Winstead have their own side project, Bang Lime.
Metric released five studio albums so far: Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? (2003), Live It Out (2005), Grow Up and Blow Away (2007), Fantasies (2009), and Synthetica (2012).
Their discography also includes one soundtrack album: Cosmopolis (2012); seven EPs: Mainstream EP (1998), Static Anonymity EP (2001), Live at Metropolis EP (2007), Plug In Plug Out (2009), Spotify Acoustic EP (2010), Spotify Covers EP (2010), iTunes Session (2011); one live DVD: Live at Metropolis (2008); plus a string of singles.
Their first official studio album, Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?, was released in September 2, 2003. It was followed by Live It Out, released on October 4, 2005. The album was nominated for the 2006 Polaris Music Prize for the “Canadian Album of the Year” and for the 2006 Juno Awards for “Best Alternative Album”.
Their third studio album Grow Up and Blow Away was recorded in 2001 and it was initially planned as their debut album. The album was delayed for many years and it was finally released in June 26, 2007, with some changes in track list. Some songs were also slightly reworked.
Metric’s fourth album Fantasies was released in April 7, 2009. It was shortlisted for the 2009 Polaris Music Prize for “Canadian Album of the Year”, and won the “Alternative Album of the Year” at the 2010 Juno Awards. Metric won as well in 2010 “Group of the Year”. Fantasies also became the band’s most successful album so far.
The fifth Metric studio album, Synthetica, was released on June 12, 2012. The band won two awards at 2013 Juno Awards: “Alternative Album of the Year” for Synthetica and “Producer of the Year” for James Shaw. The art director/designer/photographer Justin Broadbent also won an award for “Recording Package of the Year” for Synthetica.