Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Apr 16th 2010 11:30AM by Simona Rabinovitch
'Fantasies' was self-released internationally last April on MMI -- alternately known as Metric Music International or Me Myself and I -- albeit with longtime label Last Gang licensing the record in Canada and their friends at Broken Social Scene's label Arts&Crafts putting it out in Mexico. The album was shortlisted for the Polaris Prize, earned CASBY and Indie awards and now gives the quartet a shot at three trophies at Sunday's Juno Awards in St. John's, Newfoundland -- Group of the Year, Songwriter of the Year and Alternative Album of the Year.
"We definitely thought this through -- we're called Metric for a reason," Shaw jokes, recalling "one legendary conference call that lasted 4 1/2 hours" between himself, frontwoman Emily Haines and the band's manager, brainstorming their strategy. "We were like, 'Oh my god, we know too much to go blindly into another record deal.'"
As the interactive media landscape becomes more fragmented and instantaneous, Shaw is stoked to see odds becoming stacked in the little guy's favour.
"From iTunes to Twitter, the world is busting at the seams with content and media and different ways things are happening," says the 35-year-old. "It can be difficult to move around if you're big and clunky. When you're independent, you can just do stuff overnight -- you don't have to wait for some label's legal department to get back to you."
When it comes to maintaining ownership and control over one's own art by looking beyond the old music business model, Metric is in good company. Melissa Auf der Maur, for example, is another record label ex-pat who, following legal battles with her former major label, decided to launch her own innovative artist-run distribution concept to release her new multi-platform project. And, of course, there are big names like Prince and Radiohead now calling their own shots.
As times change, other talent is sure to follow the path of true independence. Besides having the freedom to swiftly make and act upon their own decisions, Shaw sees the factors that motivated Metric to take the reins as indicative of a modern return to a very old-fashioned way of selling and consuming art.
"I think the way to move forward is: every band has to be its own company," he explains. "It's going back to how it should be. There are just two people involved in the transaction, the player and the listener. It's simple: I play, you listen. The internet has opened that avenue for artists to have a direct relationship with their fans."