When Metric first went to record “Help I’m Alive,” one of the more inescapable alterna-hits of the past few months, they were off the mark.

“When she says ‘I tremble’ it was actually said with a really tremble-y voice,” says guitarist Jimmy Shaw of the song his bandmate Emily Haines brought to the band after more than a year apart. “I remember having a revelation one day and I was like ‘no, we got it all wrong. It has to be balls out, like a proclamation to the world like I’m trembling at you, not like I’m scared of you.’”

The change proved effective, and whenever Haines proudly delivers that opening “they’re gonna eat me alive,” the crowd erupts, as Shaw recently experienced Down Under.


“We’d never been to Australia or released a record there until this one and we went down and played like 55 minute set, stuff that’s been our staples for years,” he says. “Then we’d kick it up [into “Help I’m Alive”] and the place would bust open. It was like, ‘Oh OK, I guess that’s what happens when you have a hit single.’ It’s a new thing for us.”

Friday, 8 p.m.
The House of Blues
15 Lansdowne St., Boston
MBTA: Green Line to Kenmore
$20, 888-693-BLUE

Wednesday, 8 p.m.
Electric Factory
421 N. 7th Street
$20-$22, 610-784-5400

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