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Metric band members talk writing, touring with Long Island kids

Kidsday reporters Rhianna Leopold, Sarah O'Brien and Emma

Kidsday reporters Rhianna Leopold, Sarah O'Brien and Emma Marvelli, backstage at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn with the group Metric Joshua Winstead, Emily Haines, James Shaw and Joules Scott-Key on July 9, 2015. Credit: Newsday / Pat Mullooly

We met Emily Haines, James Shaw, Josh Winstead and Joules Scott-Key. Together they are the band Metric. We were backstage before a recent concert at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Do you ever fight with each other?Emily: Sometimes things are difficult because when you're trying really hard to do something and you can't always control the things that are happening around it. So sometimes things are hard for each of us but we . . . don't take it out on each other.

Joshua: There are arguments but it never gets out of control. It never gets too heated.

Joules: Always very constructive.

How is performing in Canada different from America?Emily: Well, you know how you have your hometown and there are places that you feel very close to. So for us there are a few places like that. Joules lives in Oakland, [California], with his family, so when we play there we're like, "Yes!" It feels really good. When we come to New York, Joshua lives here and it's where we all met, so yeah New York, and it's a similar thing in Toronto because that's where Jimmy and I came from. So we're just like, "Oh man, we're back in our hometown." So it's really about where your family and friends are.

What made you want to be in a band?Jimmy: I don't think any of us felt like we had a choice. I think it was the only thing we knew we were going to do from so long ago that it was all just about finding the right people to do it with and then when we all found each other it was like, "Oh, we found the right people. Now let's just go ahead and do it."

Do you guys like to dress up in costume at your concerts?Joshua: Getting dressed up is a lot of fun. We found that sometimes if we don't dress up you feel a little . . . not lazy, but a little low energy, but dressing up trying to look nice brings another thing. Brings another element to the stage.

Joules: Sometimes we do wear sunglasses that light up on stage. Emily: True. Keep an eye out for that tonight. That might happen.

Emily, how long did it take to learn all five instruments?Emily: Wikipedia has led you astray! I can play the piano, which I started playing when I was little. I played my whole life. It's kind of like my friend. When I felt sad I would go write and those songs stayed with me my whole life. Then I also played the guitar a little bit, more again just to write and then the main thing for me is singing and writing the songs, but you might have been reading about Jimmy or Joshua. These guys both play trumpet. Jimmy also plays guitar, Joshua also plays guitar, Joules plays drums. So maybe between all of us we got those five instruments covered. I do play the tambourine though, which is a skill I worked very hard at.

How did you decide that Emily was lead singer?Jimmy: Well, it wasn't going to be Joules.

Emily: I think it's kind of like in a group of friends when you're playing and you kind of know what everybody's really their favorite thing is and what they're most good at. So it's kind of like in a team you try to find each other's strengths and everybody does what feels natural to them. For me it was that, but it took me a long time. I used to be very nervous.

Joules: I would rather be behind the drums hiding.

Who in your band is most experienced in music?Joshua: I don't think anyone is more experienced than anyone else, but we've all been playing since we were really little kids and we've all taken it really serious for a long time. Everyone studied music and we all chose it as a life.

Jimmy: We've all have different experiences in music. There's stuff that I've done that he hasn't done, and stuff that he hasn't done and stuff that Emily hasn't done. So between all of us there's a lot of experience.

Joshua: We've all been playing for a very long time.

How did you all meet?Emily: We met here in Brooklyn, in Williamsburg, in the year 2000.

Jimmy: Emily and I had met earlier in Toronto and these guys had met earlier in Denton, Texas, and then they wanted to move to New York to meet people that they could be in a band with, and we wanted to move to New York to meet people we could be in a band with. And we all met here in Brooklyn.

Do you like going on tours?Joshua: Yes, absolutely. It's really exciting to be able to step up there and play things that you worked on for a really long time and have people get very excited and cheer and when you get on stage. You feel 10 feet tall. It's really fun.

Jimmy: You do have to sleep in a bus.

How did you choose the name of your band?Emily: It just kind of happened from seeing it in a song we were making and it was the name of this piece that Jimmy was working on and this piece of equipment and we had that name and it just really looked like kind of like us. Like we're the measure of things. We're kind of serious and we like to take stock of what's going on and it started to provide a measurement of what's our take on what's happening in the world. So it kind of stuck.


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