November last year I had a pleasure to see METZ in Warsaw and have a little chat with Chris Slorach (bass) and Hayden Menzies (drums), two super nice and super down to earth guys.
Yesterday you were playing in Wrocław, today in Warsaw. It’s similar to your tour in 2013, as you were also playing in both of those cities. What’s more interesting, you were actually performing in this very club. Is it a déjà vu kind of situation?
Chris: Definitely. Mostly because it’s the same place.
Hayden: Yesterday was a different venue. It happens a lot, when you think about it. We go to the same places, see landmarks, graffiti, something that triggers certain feelings.
You were also a part of OFF Festival. Which form of performance suits you best, festivals or venues?
Hayden: I think there’s a place for both. Sometimes it’s good to play on a stage for a lot of people, you get to go watch other bands, you want to see and you sort of cross paths with other bands you’ve played with before, or are friends with, or have mutual friends with. It’s a friendly setting and it can be great, but at the same time not intimate, as playing a regular gig like this.
And what do you think of the polish crowd?
Chris: Going back to the déjà vu thing, I remember the last time we played here, it was crazy, maniac, really wild and super fun. I have fun memories of playing here.
Coming back to your album, why did you decide to name it Strange peace? Your previous albums were called Metz (self-titled album) and II. Was there ever a thought of just going with it and naming your albums chronologically? Three, Four, Five and like that to a Hundred?
Hayden: Not really. II wasn’t intentional, we weren’t aiming for a continuation of our first album. Some things were similar, some things were different. I won’t go into what the words necessarily mean, we came with it all three of us, it’s some kind of cryptic element of the record, it also means something different to other people, even to us. The way we wrote and recorded this one was maybe not massively different from our previous albums, but there were enough differences, that it was definitely worth changing the artwork and title. It didn’t deserve being put in the same pattern and being identified as the continuation of the previous ones.
Hayden, according to Wikipedia, you were the one designing the album cover, correct?
Hayden: I didn’t actually, it was a friend of ours, Jonathan Bauerle, he’s a collage artist and we just found his artwork. He just put a bunch of different pieces for us. He does a really cool work and we decided to sit down with him and collaborate on some cool stuff together.
What about the idea for the music video for Drained Lake?
Chris: We are not interested in starring in our own videos, we were never interested in being actors, so we were just looking for people with a vision. I think it’s a good way for an artist to visualize how they think. We chose to work with Shayne Ehman. He was sending me messages like “I had this dream last night”. It was so twisted and strange. When we worked with Shayne on Cellophane, it was like a crack head vision. Drained Lake is another level of strange, crazy, all weird.
Which of the songs is your favorite?
Chris: Honestly, I haven’t listened to it in a while. I think, it kind of jumps around, Sink was my favorite for a while, then Caterpillar. But I am very proud of the whole album. We’ve worked really hard, it was totally worth it and every day I have a new favorite.
Every time I ask this question, there’s no straight answer. No artist has it’s favorite child.
Hayden: It’s really hard to choose, there are different reasons for loving one a little bit more than the others. Sometimes it’s because we play this one really well, sometimes it’s a bit more intimate.
Chris: That’s why I like Raw Materials, it’s fun to play live.
Hayden: Exactly. Sometimes we need to play a song softer and then add some dynamics, to make sure it comes across the album versions justice. I personally can’t tell a favorite. Don’t make me choose.
Ok, I won’t. Which one is the hardest to play live?
Chris: I think Sink is probably the hardest one to play live. It’s the only one we haven’t been playing live.
Hayden: Yes, that one is a challenge, to listen to it is fun though.
Last but not least, do you have any weird habits before a show? Like drinking two pints of beer or having a golden toilet paper like Beyonce?
Chris: Is this real?
Hayden: If it is, it’s super impractical.
Chris: Before we played for a long time I used to stretch a lot. But I stopped and now I feel so much better. So what I do now is, I try to focus on some stupid tasks to take my mind of the upcoming performance, since it stresses me a lot. So I walk a lot, from one room to the other and then off to the show.
Hayden: I sometimes do crossword puzzles, it’s a good distraction. Don’t get me wrong, we’re excited to play, but if you spend too much time on thinking about what’s about to come, you get more anxious.
Thank you so much for you time and see you out there in a bit.