@Metric_Fans: An Interview with Metric's Instagram Fan Account
Brought together in the wasteland of the internet by electro-rock dance band, Metric, three super fans started an Instagram page. The sometimes band news, sometimes fangirl rambling, and sometimes non-sequitur captions accompanying each photo made the page extremely popular very quickly.
Some recent posts include a black and white photo of Metric’s lead singer Emily Haines with the caption: “God university is expensive” and a photo from a live show with the caption: “I can’t sleep because I can’t stop listening to Metric.”
Now, with over 1200 followers and a page that’s only a year old, Luke, Mya, and Tallulah are using their @metric_fans Instagram to connect with other fans and share their passion with the world.
How did you find Metric?
Luke: This is a fascinating story: I play a lot of video games. I remember playing FIFA 10 and hearing a song (Gold Guns Girls) that was featured in the game. I couldn't get the song out of my head until I found out who Metric was. I heard Stadium Love being used as the Edmonton Oilers’ goal song and looked up Metric to hear their other stuff. I found out they did the song from FIFA that had been in my head all those years. Then I found out they did Black Sheep from [the movie] Scott Pilgrim- another one of my favorite songs that I had no clue was by them. So, really, had it not been for me loving sports, then I would've never found them.
Mya: My dad showed me the music videos for Combat Baby and Dead Disco when I was in first or second grade, so that's when I was first introduced to Metric. I really started becoming a big fan of them when I was in fourth grade and it took off from there.
Tallulah: My dad went to a bar where Metric just happened to be playing in 2003 or 2004. He really liked them and bought Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? off someone from the band (he can’t remember who). He brought it home and I’ve loved them ever since. I remember the first time I really thought about actually liking them though. I was probably around 7 years old. I had the flu and lice. My older sister built me a fort under our dining room table and my best friend came over. We sat under the table and listened to Old World Underground. That was the true beginning of my love.
How did you get the idea to start the Instagram page? Why did you choose Instagram over other social media outlets?
L: I got the idea when I woke up one day. I really wanted to post about Metric and just talk about them with someone who cared. I didn't want to saturate my personal page with Metric posts, so I figured starting another account would be the best option. I chose Instagram because anything else is just too crowded. Too many people tweet and use Facebook or Tumblr. It's easier to connect and more straight forward on Insta. Plus, text posts are just boring. I prefer sharing photos I find and seeing what other people think. Instagram is great and it's certainly worked.
M: Luke and I met on Instagram before he made the fan page. He basically said to me one day, "Hey, I made a Metric fan page and I would like if you helped me run the account." Having a Metric fan account was something that I always wanted so, of course, I joined.
T: I don’t remember how I found out about it actually. I was one of Luke’s first followers though. I had been wanting to start a fan page for a while, but I just never got around to it. After a few weeks, I decided one night, while sitting on my back porch listening to Metric with my mom and some of her friends, to ask if I could join. And they said I could. So here we are.
What's your favorite thing about meeting other Metric fans, either in person or online? How are those experiences different or the same?
L: My favorite thing is just finding out that other people care about the same music as me. Seeing as they're rather unknown in the States it's especially nice to find someone my age who likes them and knows of them. I flipped out when another kid in my journalism class said he knows Metric.
M: I've never met a Metric fan in real life, unless you count my parents and their friends. Many people haven't heard of them and most of the fans are a lot older than me, so talking to other fans through the page is awesome. They can answer questions and give opinions which isn't something I experience with the people I see everyday.
T: I just love getting to talk about Metric with people who care and understand how I feel. I try to talk to my friends but they don’t care about Emily’s new outfit or the cute thing Joules said in an interview. Metric fans understand. I’ve met a lot of people through the fan page which is awesome. I talked to one girl about meeting Metric for the first time and about how nervous we were. It was so cool to talk about it with someone who got it. I haven’t really met a lot of Metric fans, at least not fans to my extent, in person. At concerts I do, but there’s not much talking that goes on there.
Metric has been vocal about embracing technology/social media as a positive tool. How do you think these things affect you as a fan?
L: We follow that to a T. We promote nothing but positive vibes on our page. We adore our followers and love interacting with them. I always try to respond to every comment. We definitely use it as a positive tool.
M: Metric's use of social media makes it easier for fans to connect with them and get updates. I think fans in general feel closer to them this way. In my opinion, Metric embracing social media can only be described as beneficial for the fans.
T: It’s really cool. I feel lucky that my favorite band does stuff like the Pagan Portal [Metric’s fan app]. It shows that they really care about their fans and they want to give us things like free access to their music. I like that they’re pretty active on social media. It’s always exciting when they post a new picture. It’s really awesome now that Josh has his own stuff too. We get really cool behind the scenes looks from his Snapchat.
Metric has evolved a lot over the last 6 records- what's your favorite era and why?
L: Though I wasn't a fan during the time, my favorite era is certainly Old World Underground. There's a definite swagger and attitude there. When I listen to that album I feel like I'm in a spy movie. It's beautiful and it's the most raw, insightful, and relatable record I've ever heard. Plus, their dress from that time is just incredible. Everything about that album is phenomenal, from the artwork to the lyrics.
M: I really can't choose a favorite era because each of the albums are so different from one another; it's difficult to compare them. Each album is amazing in it’s own way. I could list 100 great things about each one. Although, I've always loved the way Emily dressed in the Old World Underground era. It was really simple but it looked amazing.
T: I really like the Live It Out era because I feel like it’s sort of their angsty teenage years which is where I am now- sort of pissed off about everything. That said, Live It Out isn’t my favorite album, Old World Underground will always be number one.
If you got a tattoo of a Metric lyric, what would it be and why?
L: Yikes, there are so many good ones. Thinking about it, probably "Don't go quietly" [from Combat Baby] in a super edgy font lol. I chose that one because it defines my personality. Don't settle for an opinion and don't give in to anyone else's thoughts. Fight for what you believe in. Be your own person.
M: "How I miss your ranting. Do you miss my all time lows?" [from Combat Baby].
T: I think about this daily, and it always changes. The one I go back to most is, “Nothing I’ve ever done right happened on the safe side” [from Clone] but I don’t know. Emily writes so many good lines. Right now I’m really feeling “Da da da man,” which isn’t a lyric but something Emily said. To me it sort of represents being totally care free, like it’s totally meaningless, but I love it.
You guys have some great fan art. Can you talk about how Metric inspires you in that way?
L: If I could have stuff based on Metric all around me (furniture, paintings, etc.) I'd be a happy man. I have lots of ideas for artwork involving Metric. If I were a goalie in the NHL, my mask would certainly be based on the Old World Underground artwork. If I were a player in the NFL, my eyeblack would be around my eyes and mouth just like the cover of OWU. I just love illustrating the thoughts and emotions their artwork gives me.
M: Metric has a lot of creative and unique visuals- whether it’s album art or music videos. When I recreate the visuals it's more of a challenge to get it as close to the original as I possibly can. If I'm not attempting to make an exact copy, I'm adding my own ideas or using my own creativity to make something as interesting as their visuals.
T: Personally, I’m not really an artist. But whenever I have to make art for school or whatever I do something Metric related. Metric is always the first thing I think about- basically all I think about- so it’s almost automatic. More often when I’m feeling inspired by Metric I’ll just write out my favorite lyrics. Right now I’m in the process of making an Emily Haines lyric wall.
Any good meet and greet stories?
L: Never met them. However, they have favorited a few of my tweets, followed my fan page, and Josh responded to me on snapchat haha.
M: I've never met Metric. However, they've retweeted my fan art, liked my tweet, and Josh messaged me on snapchat twice.
T: I met them once, recently, at one of the meet and greets for the Lights on the Horizon Tour. Unfortunately there were a lot of people, so I didn’t get much time with them, but it was still really great. I made Emily laugh, which is the main thing. And Josh and I had a nice conversation. The week before, I had been in New York and saw Emily walking down the street. I freaked out, obviously, but I didn’t want to bother her so I didn’t say anything. We actually were going the same way for like 7 blocks. I was freaking out the whole time. Later that night, I tried to get into Josh’s solo show, but because I’m not 21, I couldn’t get in. Anyway, while my friend and I were walking away we saw him and his wife walking in and I turned to him and said “Hey! We were just talking about you!” He asked why and I told him it was because I loved him. He laughed, then walked away. So, I brought this up when I met him and he told me that he brags to his wife about it (JOSH TALKS ABOUT ME) because she didn’t believe he was cool.
What's the furthest you've ever traveled or would travel for a show?
L: Baltimore is the farthest I've traveled. That was with my dad on March 9 of this year. The farthest I would travel is anywhere in western Canada. As long as it's not overseas, I'd make the trip.
M: I've only ever seen them in Toronto with my mom, but I would go anywhere in southern Ontario and close parts of America to see them if I were allowed.
T: The farthest I’ve gone is New York. I live in Ottawa which is over a seven hour drive away and I have to cross the U.S./Canada border. I’ve also gone to Toronto a few times (five hour drive) and Montreal a few times (two hours). Right now, I’m looking into going to Wayhome Music festival which is about five hours away. I honestly would go anywhere to see them.
What's the longest you've ever waited or would wait in line for a show?
L: I waited outside Rams Head in Baltimore for about an hour and a half before anyone arrived. I couldn't even eat my food as we waited because I was too nervous the venue would fill up.
M: I've always had seats, so it would be unnecessary to wait in line. Although, I would wait in a line for hours if it meant being close to them.
T: The longest I’ve ever waited was nine hours. It was Canada Day on Parliament Hill and Metric was playing. Since it’s the capital of Canada, as I’m sure you can imagine, it gets crazy packed. I made my friends come with me and stand for nine hours in the hot sun so we could be at the front. It was totally worth it, although my feet were a bit sore.
What is the best thing about seeing Metric live? Why do you like going to live shows?
L: The best thing is being surrounded by awesome people. Metric has rad fans. It’s also the aesthetic part of it- tremendous lighting and sound. They always go the extra mile with songs too. You're pretty much guaranteed to get an extended version of every song and it's beautiful.
M: The best part about seeing Metric live is that the songs are different live than when you hear them off the album. Jimmy's guitar solos are always incredible. My mom and I really love Emily's little speeches as well. Their lighting is very basic, but so effective. It's just a whole other experience when you see them live.
T: The best thing about seeing them live is getting to be that close to the band. When I’m standing right at the front a bit on the left (Jimmy’s side always) and I’m dancing and smiling and maybe crying and Jimmy smiles at me or Emily points at me; that’s the best. I’m just so happy there, I get totally engrossed in the experience, nothing else at all matters. I’m not self conscious there, I’m not sad there, I’m not nervous or stressed. I’m dancing five feet away from my favorite people in the world.
What does being a Metric fan mean to you?
L: It's definitely special to me. I feel more free to be myself. Their music really just inspires something in me. I soak in all the lyrics and I take pride in their ability to inspire me as a person.
M: Being a fan to me means supporting them. Metric is my favorite band. Their music always makes me happy and I have good memories connected to their music. It's cool that Metric is loved by a wide variety of people, both young and old.
T: Being a Metric fan is who I am. It’s my identifier. On the first day of school or whatever when we have to get to know each other and we have to say something about ourselves I say “I love Metric”. When someone is trying to describe me they say the girl who loves Metric (and has blue hair). Being a Metric fan is all I know, since I was six and putting on shows pretending to be Emily Haines. I am a Metric fan.