It is a beautiful sunny, warm winter’s day when Canadian indie rock band Metric’s tour bus pulls into a one-street town somewhere they’ve never heard of before in Oklahoma. But these days, the road veterans who released their sixth studio album, “Pagans in Vegas,” last fall, don’t take a backwater stop like this for granted.
“We’re parked here in the tour bus and everyone keeps staring at us,” says Emily Haines in a low discreet voice. “We get to see so much of the country and we see how much has been homogenized. We’ve never had much chance to reflect, because it’s always been so go, go, go."
The band has been on what Haines describes as a decade and a half of serendipitous happenings — like working with composer Howard Shore for the "Twilight" films, and director Edgar Wright basing his 2010 "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" film adaption on Metric. “Brie Larson’s character is based on me, supposedly,” Haines says matter-of-factly.
“This life sounds ridiculous unless you’re doing it,” she adds about touring. “But we’ve been doing it for 15 years. I think it might be my life.”
She could be right; even in her private life, itchy feet drive her. Haines says even though Toronto is “a permanent hub” for the band, she’s called New York City home for seven years. But that’s about to change: “Our block got bought and we all got evicted. I’m ready for a change,” she explains. “My guy and I will get a place in Berlin. This has been my second round with New York. I was in Williamsburg and saw that whole shift. I feel you have to either buy in or get out. It’s not like it’s gentrification that’s the problem, it’s the foreign investors who suck the life out of a city and it’s happening everywhere.”
But the band members are up for making the distance between them work. Haines made her writing contribution to “Pagans in Vegas,” which dropped in September as a follow-up to 2012's "Synthetica," while she was in Nicaragua and co-songwriter, guitarist and producer Jimmy Shaw was in his Toronto studio.
“It’s not uncommon for the way we work,” Haines says. “I often have the desire to disappear somewhere. There’s nothing like getting in a helicopter and going into the jungle to get over yourself. While Jimmy is in his studio using all these cool instruments, I’ll come back with something raw I’ve done on a beaten up guitar. He’ll have created this whole symphony and the two end up working.”
If you go
March 11 at 7 p.m.
311 W. 34th Street, 212-279-7740
March 15 at 7 p.m.
The Fillmore Philadelphia
29 E. Allen St., 215-309-0150
March 17 at 7 p.m.
1 Hamilton Pl, 617-482-0106