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Metric: The Political Gets Personal, and Vice Versa

Vocalist Emily Haines and guitarist James Shaw formed the beginnings of what would become the new-wave/indie-rock band Metric in 1998. Haines learned about music from her father, avant-garde jazz musician and poet Paul Haines, while Shaw acquired classical training from the Juilliard Music School. In 1999, they decided to call their partnership Metric, named for a synthesizer beat that Shaw used on his sampler, and released Mainstream E.P. Soon afterward, Metric grew to a four-piece and developed chemistry as a live band.

In 2003, Metric released Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? to favorable reviews and excellent sales in Canada. Two years later, it released Live It Out, which was nominated for the 2006 Polaris Music Prize for Canadian Album of the Year. An unreleased album from 1999, Grow Up and Blow Away, was finally released this past summer. All three discs find the band mixing the personal and political in ways that make them seem virtually indistinguishable.

In this segment, Metric's members talk about their transition from using computerized background sounds to becoming a real live band, and they describe the challenge of matching their live sound to the computer-generated one.

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