Metric's Emily Haines Sings Political
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t works double for them. They can manage to like captivate all of us simultaneously--like CNN, worldwide, this is the ONE story of what's happening whereas I think with Nixon it was a little harder to do. It's a monopoly. It's upsetting that like, the Internet has so many alternates to news that get no love. But still, if you want to find out something else, you can.
BILL: Do you think Bush is worse? Is that what you're saying? His administration is worse? I mean, you say all politicians lie, but do you find his administration to be that much worse?
EMILY: I'm like a young person. It's not like I've been through Vietnam or whatever. But it's hard for me to fathom a more despicable human being. Just like the whole family...we are living in a Biblical mythology under this child's mind. We've got to be more articulate than to say "fuck bush," that doesn't like...I mean, at our shows, we try to initiate town hall meetings. We try to steer it away from "fuck him." Actually, to me it's the same thing as criticizing the approach of a terrorist when all they have is a box cutter or whatever. You're so underneath the main narrative that it's hard for you to say anything but "fuck off!" You so have no power.
BILL: How exactly do you initiate those meeting?
EMILY: My goal is to take all the attention that is focused on me and summersault it back out, which is more effective sometimes than others. Like, in Nashville were these giant Budweiser true blue--these huge banners. They are everywhere these days. Well, the Nashville crowd was amazing and I could say something like--it becomes almost like I'm Lenny Bruce, like I'm gonna say something and you're gonna react. And it's that rhythm. And I said, "what if we tore these things down?"
So like there was this mass rush to tear the things down. And they are attached really heavily to the whole lighting rig at the top of the stage. It's like a real stage of a really great venue that we really like playing--really cool people--so I was like "Wait! Hold on. We have to think of the ramifications of this activity. If we pull them down, it's gonna take the lighting rig down."
And I literally saw 500 people--like 500 brows furrow simultaneously. And that was cool. That's the essence of the dilemma of any sort of political dilemma: If you're thoughtful enough to do something, you're thoughtful enough to know what the ramifications are and you are fucking paralyzed, you know? It's the same thing with words, its like, if you care enough about language, words and speech, to like get into it, you'll ultimately realize that your words are worth nothing. And you'll get really bummed out.
And your doctor will prescribe Xanax.
BILL: It all comes full circle.
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Check back for more segments of the interview (including James's arrival at Vera Cruz) on both the website and in the new print issue, coming soon. For the latest from Metric visit ilovemetric.com or their label Everloving Records at everloving.com. Photographs by Stewart Smith.
--Stewart Smith, William Wallace
Saturday, 24 July 2004
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