Are emily haines and james shaw dating

How can rock grow and thrive in this digital age of urban beats and pop plasticity?

Canadian quartet Metric fret over this dilemma on a fifth album so thrilling it almost makes the question academic.

"Oh God, I am not used to it at all," Shaw confesses. The record already made chart history when "Youth Without Youth" became the first single to ever debut at #1 on the Mediabase Canadian Alternative Radio Airplay chart. "We're following it, and it's actually going quite fast." The band's rise has been steady, more architectural than meteoric.

Now with Synthetica, the next level of their career's structure reaches further skyward.

These days, given rock’s shrinking commercial profile, it is probably more a case of adapting to survive.

I tell them how I cried to "Monster Hospital," how it was a hard transformation that left me uglier and lonelier for it. Living day in, day out with Metric, hearing directly how the music coaxed someone through a difficult, chrysalis period seems to confirm that the magic is working.

I tell them I was glad to have had their soundtrack to get me through it. They still seem shocked by it, and by the energy that is already building in advance of their latest album, Synthetica, coming out June 12.

Before I ask a single question, I tell them a story. It would not completely implode for nearly another year, but the plastic explosives were being coolly, methodically placed at all the weak points. The only things he didn't hate were Metric, and me.

I was working as a cheesemonger, learning to cut 60 kilo wheels of parmesan with a bare wire and surreptitiously drinking behind the counter. That spring, we spent every lunch hour at his apartment, reeking of cheese and on the verge of tears, listening to Live It Out over and over again.

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