Metric is well on its way towards its next album -- but still has a long way to go, according to guitarist Jimmy Shaw.

Metric is well on its way towards its next album -- but still has a long way to go, according to guitarist Jimmy Shaw.

Shaw tells Billboard.com that the Canadian quartet is "about 75 percent" done with pre-production for the follow-up to 2005's "Live It Out" after writing sessions in Seattle and in the Toronto studio Shaw built with Death From Above 1979's Sebastien Grainger.

"It's been an amazing process so far," says Shaw, who was producing Grainger's solo album until Metric hit the road for its current North American tour.

"Sonically, we picture space a lot -- literally outer space and stars and planets and sh*t. It's like a church that's somewhere in outer space that we're playing in. I imagine some weird minister in a giant silver suit."

Does he look like George Clinton? "More like George Clooney, actually," Shaw cracks. "Unfortunately, he's white. What can you do?"

Lyrically, Shaw says Metric's new music has a more optimistic leaning than its predecessors. "It's more about envisioning the world we all want to live in," he explains. "It's definitely got a positive tinge that was not in our music before. It's like, OK, we know the world's going to sh*t. That's not really a novel concept. But it's becoming more increasingly interesting to imagine what it would be like if it wasn't and what it might be like if it was better and what we can do to make it better. That's infinitely more interesting to me."

Metric is currently road-testing the new songs, which have only working titles at this point. Shaw isn't sure when Metric will return to the studio; he says drummer Joules Scott-Key and bassist Joshua Winstead in particular deserve a rest after touring with their side project, Bang Lime, before going out with Metric. But Shaw says the outside projects, including singer Emily Haines' 2006 solo album "Knives Don't Have Your Back," have only sharpened the members' enthusiasm for Metric.

"Those things are interesting because of (Metric); (Metric) is interesting because of those things," Shaw says. "When you get to do a bunch of things in life and they all kind of contribute to helping each other out, you get to revisit everything with renewed energy, renewed confidence and renewed inspiration."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print