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Metronomy - Metro Pop

Author: Carlisle Rogers
Monday, November 17, 2008

3D’s Carlisle Rogers talks with UK electro pop act Metronomy, whose new album Nights Out hit shelves recently.

Metronomy has been crafting crafty electronic ditties since the turn of the century, but with the band’s second long player, Nights Out, enhanced by twisted synth bars and Kele Okereke-esque vocals, the rules have changed.

Gabriel Stebbing, who plays keyboards and bass on the road, says the new record is really a pop record.

“The first was much more instrumental, experimental electronic. This one sounds much more like a band record. There’s been a live band involved for the last couple of years, rather than it being just a solo laptop thing,” he says. “Basically, the record was created in the studio almost solely by Joseph Mount, who is the band leader. It was created in his studio, Hoxton, in London. It’s been put together over the last two years. Our first album came out about three years ago, but that had quite a few hold-ups and it wasn’t promoted properly. In the meantime, there hasn’t been any possibility for Metronomy releases because there were contractual issues. The album developed quite slowly and then the release was put back six months. It’s really had a long gestation, but it’s finally here.”

Metronomy has become as famous for the band’s low rent pop show tour antics as its glistening, glittering melodies. Gabriel says the band’s minimalist discipline means they don’t have to strip anything back for the upcoming Australian tour.

“The whole philosophy behind Metronomy is to pare it down as much as we can. When we first started touring we could fit all of our equipment inside a small car, like a Nissan Micro. Hopefully we shouldn’t have to pare down our stage show at all. It’s basically three keyboards along the front of the stage because we all play keyboards. I play bass as well, Joe plays guitar as well as sings, and Oscar plays saxophone, melodica and we both sing backing vocals as well. The show itself is our little stab at a pop stage show. We have lights that we mount on our chests that are really cheap push lights made in China. We basically do our stab at Christina Aguilera dance routines and we try and create a little bit of magic using very, very cheap materials. We’ve been working on it for a while and it’s almost as lame as it is exciting.

“When we first started, we were quite aware that a lot of electronic acts when translated live tried to make it a band with a drum kit and who is triggering samples and a guitarist who plays the effects pedals and stuff, or it’s a solo laptop show with a couple of guys on laptop nodding their heads. We wanted to do something that was a bit more visually exciting without that much money to spend. We came up with something that we think will give someone an evening’s entertainment rather than just looking at a few guys bobbing their heads.”

WHO: Metronomy
WHAT: Nights Out through Because / Warner
WHEN: Out now