Metric Discuss Origins and Meaning of First ‘Synthetica’ Single, ‘Youth Without Youth’
Metric have announced ‘Youth Without Youth’ (listen below) as the first single off their forthcoming fifth album, ‘Synthetica,’ which drops June 12, and Diffuser.fm recently had a chance to sit down to talk about the disc with singer Emily Haines and guitarist-keyboardist James Shaw. Haines says she sketched the beginnings of ‘Youth’ as a rough-around-edges acoustic tune while travelling by herself through Spain with a tiny Gibson acoustic on her back. The song simply came to her one night “like a phantom.”
“I was channeling the story of this sort of young kid whose innocence is completely gone before he had the chance to be a kid,” explains Haines. “A 15-year-old-kid-doing-meth kind of thing. I felt this sort of identity and story to him, that’s the way you feel when you’re 15 and the way hate your parents and it kills them.”
“The meaning that I derive from it is that there is a whole generation of kids that actually don’t really have a childhood and they’re exposed to everything on the Internet before they’ve ever even left their house,” adds Shaw.
“It’s the same games today [as we used to play as kids], like you’re playing Blind Man’s Bluff, but you’re playing it with a hand grenade,” continues Haines. “The stakes are so much higher but you’re still acting out the childish game.”
She explains that the “song sort of really wrote itself” but remained nothing more than a fragment until a visit to their Toronto studio last summer from some advisors from New York brought it out. After playing their guests all the completed songs they had been recording for months – “I was sitting at the [mixing] console listening and thinking to myself, ‘f—, this is not the record we need to make,’” Shaw admits — one of the guests asked the band if there was anything else they had sitting around.
They played back the embryonic demo of what would become ‘Youth Without Youth,’ not really thinking much of it at the time. “It was like a two minute clip,” explains Haines, “it’s the slowest thing, it’s just me with an acoustic guitar, and he was like, ‘That’s amazing, what is that?’ And he didn’t guide us or anything, he just said ‘That’s amazing,’ so thank god for that.”
Thank god, indeed.
Listen to Metric’s ‘Youth Without Youth’