Interview with Metric’s James “Jimmy” Shaw

Emily Eveland

Canadian “new wave” rockers, Metric, will join Paramore at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium in Saint Paul Saturday night. A&E caught up with Metric’s guitarist James “Jimmy” Shaw a few hours before the band was set to play in New Jersey. But Shaw isn’t stressed by time crunches.


“We’ve been doing this for years,” he said. “Honestly, at this point, touring is not even chaos.”


When Paramore approached Metric about opening for them on tour, the band was unsure how to feel.


“At the beginning we weren’t sure if this was what we wanted to do, but the more we looked at it, it seemed like it was the right thing for us,” Shay said. “We’d heard nothing but great things about Paramore, about how sweet they are and how great their crew is and all of that turned out to be true.”


Shaw and lead singer Emily Haines started writing songs together in 1997 and put out their first EP under the name Mainstream in 1998, which fits with what Shaw had to say about Metric’s musical philosophy.


“We always wanted to be this slightly left field thing within the mainstream,“ Shaw said. “I think whatever commercial success we’ve had was totally in line with the kind of music we wanted to make.”


The members of Metric are no strangers to the Twin Cities — Shaw said the band has had some of its craziest touring experiences in Minneapolis.


“One of the earliest times we ever played there, we ended up at some crazy house party where we left a bunch of stuff and I had to like find the van at eight the next morning,” he said.  “There was a time we were there on Thanksgiving … and we were literally wandering around the streets and we ended up walking by First Avenue. Someone who works there actually recognized us from having played there and invited us in because they were having their own staff Thanksgiving dinner. That was really cool.”