Toronto noise-rockers METZ released their third studio album in September — and the record, Strange Peace, is not only their best yet, but one of the year’s best rock releases. Now, in a new video EW is excited to premiere, you can go inside the feverish sessions that yielded the wild LP.
Guitarist and vocalist Alex Edkins explains that Strange Peace “was definitely a more streamlined affair” for METZ, partly because the band booked only a week of studio time to record the bulk of the record. But they didn’t book any studio and any producer: They linked up with the legendary Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies) at his Chicago studio, Electrical Audio. “We hold him in high esteem,” Edkins says. “He has a very distinct sound and process.”
Albini pushed METZ to experiment with sounds they hadn’t tried before. “He has all kinds of gadgets and amps and guitars,” Edkins recalls. “One thing that he did was he made a ‘trash hat.’ It’s like a hi-hat, but with another cymbal on top of it. On ‘Drained Lake’ it’s pretty audible. That was something we had in our heads; I sang it out and Steve said, ‘I think I know!'”
Recording in the Windy City during its brutal winter months also encouraged the group to stay inside and tinker. “It certainly kept us indoors,” Edkins says. “I only remember going out for a beer at night. We’d wake up, record, and go to bed. We slept in the studio. There was no reason to go outside.”
But while Albini lent a guiding hand, Strange Peace‘s biggest creative leaps come from METZ themselves. “You never want to do the same thing over and over again,” Edkins notes. “What was exciting, to us, was having that space and letting the songs breathe more than we ever have before. The frantic music that we had been making, that’s still on this record quite a bit. But we also wanted to have space.”
Watch the tour video above and visit METZ’s site for information about their current fall tour.