They may not have a full-length record out yet, and most have probably never heard their name, but deafening Toronto hard rock band METZ has already made its mark on St. John’s.
The three-piece, which originated in the nation’s capital before lead singer and guitarist Alex Edkins and drummer Hayden Menzies upped the ante with a move into the country’s biggest music community 3 1/2 years ago, was a fan favourite at last year’s inaugural Lawnya Vawnya festival in St. John’s.
And they enjoyed the experience so much they’re returning for a pair of gigs this weekend.
Speaking with The Telegram during a break from mixing the band’s forthcoming record in Toronto, Edkins shared a bit of METZ’s history and revealed that the band most have come to know through its intense live shows is in the process of bringing that reputation to vinyl.
He and Menzies grew up in Ottawa’s punk rock scene and played in a handful of bands. When they moved to Toronto they connected with bassist Chris Slorach, and the rest is history.
“It was one of those serendipitous things that happened where, without the three people in this group, we would sound nothing like we do,” says Edkins.
“It was lucky and it worked out well.”
When they started gigging it wasn’t long before they earned a reputation for their loud, invigorating sound.
Not only did they garner the attention of adoring fans, but also of some popular North American rock and grunge bands like Death From Above 1979 and Mudhoney, each of whom invited METZ to open for them on tour.
A self-proclaimed grunge band, Edkins says they’ve embraced the label in a tongue-in-cheek kind of way.
“I like to think we sound like and are influenced more by the bands that influenced bands like Nirvana,” he explains.
“We certainly don’t have anything in common with what grunge became. I think we’re more of just a loud, abrasive punk band, but not in the tradition of punk that is kind of brainless. We like to think that it’s got more of a pop music base with some of the elements of punk and noise-rock and stuff like that.”
The band’s three seven-inch vinyl releases were more “experimental and on the weirder side,” says Edkins, “but this new record is going to sound more straight-ahead and more like our live performances.
“I think our reputation is based around our live show at this point, and that’s why we’re really excited to get our record out,” he continues. “Personally, I think we’ve got our songwriting to a point where we’re really proud of it, and I think we can make the energy from the live show and the loudness and craziness that people talk about — we can make that transfer over onto a record. It’s been a lot of work going into it but I think we’re all pretty excited with the results so far.”
Though the band is reluctant to divulge much more about the new record, in part because they’re still in talks with record labels, Edkins promises fans will get what they’ve come to expect from the trio when the album is released later this year — a genuine and loud experience.
“It all just comes from the three of us,” he says.
“We just get in the room and don’t really talk about it, and we don’t really have any strict rules.
“Growing up and being part of the punk scene and all that, we’re used to seeing bands kind of just go for it. And we’ve certainly never played a show half-assed, that’s for sure. That’s not something we’ve discussed — I think it just naturally comes out that way.”
METZ plays The Ship Pub Friday evening with local bands Colonel Craze & The Hunch, Derm Kean & An Incredible Woman and The Drunks Rule This Place.
Saturday at Distortion they will be joined by Monsterbator, Local Tough and Polina.