A London-based DJ and producer who made his name through his own productions as well as numerous remixes, ranging from breaks and electro-house to the more club-friendly side of indie rock and pop. Equally influenced by classic techno and house as well as disco and funk, his tracks often have a choppy, distorted edge similar to artists on Ed Banger, but he’s progressively created more pop-leaning dance anthems, in addition to remixing major acts like U2 and Depeche Mode. Born Alex Drury in 1984, he first started releasing nu breaks tracks similar to artists such as Meat Katie and Koma & Bones. Often credited to just Metric, his initial 12″ singles appeared on labels such as Lot49 and Burrito Records. His 2006 single, “Holding,” on Four:Twenty Recordings went in more of a minimal tech-house direction, and included a remix by Dani König. By 2007’s Whatshewants EP on Marine Parade, his sound had begun to incorporate crunchy, cut-up guitar riffs and occasional vocals. Several singles and EPs followed on Marine Parade, continuing in a more song-based direction. 2011’s “It Starts” was an uptempo pop/rock tune similar to the French band Phoenix, whose single “Lisztomania” Metric had remixed. Metric also remixed songs by artists including Gorillaz, N*E*R*D, Ellie Goulding, and Bloc Party; 2011’s Open Your Eyes (Positiva/Virgin) collected many of these, as well as collaborations with Steve Angello, Stone Roses’ Ian Brown, and Charli XCX, which were released as singles.
Your productions seem to be getting attention from DJs right across the board. Why do you think your music has such broad appeal?
My love has always been chucking everything in the pot, the first thing I really got into was the big beat days, Skint and Wall of Sound, and then the French house thing, Super Discount and Etienne de Crecy, and I think that throwing everything into the blender is definitely something I try to do in my tracks, to have all these different influences. I love going out and not knowing what you’re gonna hear next, you’re never sure which direction it’s gonna go in. That’s the exciting thing about going out, the music that surprises.
Writing, producing and singing – have you always been D.I.Y. and independent in your attitude towards music?
The reason I got into production is that I used to just be purely a singer, and having to rely on flaky producers wasn’t much fun. So I decided to take it upon myself to do it all myself, and as I got into production I kind of stopped singing for four years or something. My music didn’t fit having my vocal on it, until I really discovered what the music that I wanted underneath it was. But now I feel that I’ve come to a point where I’m happy with the style I’ve got, so it made sense to get back on the mic again.
Who are some of the singers you love, that made you want to be a singer in the first place?
I’m really drawn to really white indie guy voices. Like Phoenix, the French band, are one of my favourites, I love everything those guys do, and his voice is wicked. He manages to sing just the right side of cheese as well. Zoot Woman, I love that guy’s voice, a big influence on me. And I’m really loving Primary 1 at the moment, his new record is seriously wicked. I heard the mixes on Erol Alkan’s label, and I was blown away. That guy will do massive things.
Do you ever ask to do remixes?
Generally remixes come to me and I’m pretty choosy about what I do. I don’t ever do a remix just for money. I do them because I love the original or I feel there’s something I can really bring to the original. I have asked to do a remix three times before. And they actually turned out to be some of the best ones.
What kind of preparation went into preparing the two different sets?
You know, I really don’t prepare my sets much. I’m not a DJ who has a clear idea of what I’m going to do. I’ve usually got my first few records picked out but after that I just feel it out and go with what I feel is right. When you’re DJ’ing every week you’ve got loads of tunes that you know go together so it’s not like you don’t know what’s going to happen. So I certainly don’t prepare things too much because to me the excitement of DJ’ing is not knowing. It’s reacting to the crowd and seeing what records they enjoy and playing to that taste.
You call your studio the Bat Cave, is there a story behind that?
Just because I like Batman haha, I’ve loved him ever since I was a kid and it kind of is like my cave that I never leave, and it’s filled with all my gizmo’s and gadget so calling it a Bat Cave seemed like the right thing. In the day when you used to have physical records I always loved seeing on there, “Produced by Alex Metric at the Bat Cave.
Any advice for producers who are just now getting into music?
Yeah! I think the main thing to say to them is, do your own thing. Be brave enough to stand apart from the crowd. That’s how you’ll get your head above everyone else. Don’t make music based on what is popular or what you think is gonna get you somewhere quick. Work out what it is you love and make those records.
who would be your dream collaborator?
What’s your favorite throwback track?
“Move Your Body” by Xpansion.
Name one remix that you think is better than the original
Jacques Lu Cont’s remix of “Mr Brightside” by The Killers.