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- Posted on May 14th 2010 4:45PM by Joshua Ostroff
Metric may've named their current album 'Fantasies,' but since its release last year all their fantasies seem to become reality -- the latest of which is landing the theme song to one of the year's biggest franchise films, 'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.'
This news comes on the heels of the Toronto electro-rockers going platinum in Canada; winning best alternative album and group of the year at the recent Juno Awards; opening for Muse at SXSW and seeing their single 'Gold Guns Girls' crack the top twenty Billboard rock charts.
But 'Eclipse (All Yours)' could be the breakout band's biggest break yet.
"It was one of the most interesting experiences of my musical life so far," singer Emily Haines tells Spinner of the journey that began with a call from Oscar-winning Canadian composer Howard Shore, who previously scored 'The Lord of the Rings.' "He handpicked us to write a song with him for the last scene of the film."
"He wrote the whole score to build to that moment. I'm just fascinated by the scale of that as a writer. Our challenge was to express an epic euphoria, which was hard for us – we're big on minor chords. But it's got a big sound. I think it's a beautiful song."
It's not the first time Metric's music has been in a film. 'Gold Guns Girls' showed up in 'Zombieland' and their unreleased single 'Black Sheep' will help soundtrack the Toronto-lensed Michael Cera film 'Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.'
But this is the first time they've written specifically for a film, working closely with Shore (who was impressed enough to incorporate their melodic motif into his own score) and watching the climactic scene over and over until they nailed it, knowing how important 'Twilight' is to its fanbase.
"I think Kristen Stewart is a really good actress and I feel like Bella's a really important character for young women. She's not a stupid girl. It's one of the most insightful portraits that I've ever seen of what it really is like to be a young woman and deal with the kaleidoscope of emotions that you go through on a daily basis."
But while Haines and the band dove deep into the film, she says they kept a certain distance from the Stephenie Meyer books that inspired them.
"I've looked at certain aspects of them but was actually advised against going too far into trying to pander to what's already there. I have a lot of respect for Stephenie, and I know she's happy about the song which is important to me, but you don't sit down and [write about] vampires and werewolves. These things are metaphors -- and Howard chose us to be us, but express her. So it was an unusual and cool challenge."
Though the song was mixed at heavyweight studios like Electric Ladyland in New York and Abbey Road in London, they recorded it at their own Giant Studios, which Metric guitarist Jimmy Shaw co-owns with Sebastian Grainger.
"The first thing I felt was this total sense of pride that we did this work in Giant, in Toronto, at our own studio with our same group of people. I felt really proud of our little downtown Toronto world being a part of something so much bigger."
Though the first two 'Twilight' films boasted songs by Death Cab for Cutie and Muse -- and the new soundtrack also includes Vampire Weekend, Dead Weather and Band of Horses – Shore was adamant that this time the film feature a proper theme.
"Howard was really interested in a classic cinematic way that the film would have a song that you associate with it, that's tied into the feeling and mood of movie, rather than a song that's just dropped into a particular scene."
Though they've long been part of Broken Social Scene's extended indie family, becoming intrinsically associated with this massive pop-cultural phenomenon could provide the mainstream entry that Metric has been moving towards since their indie classic 'Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?' debuted in 2003. Though they could have perhaps gotten there faster by trading on Haines looks, or by signing to a major label rather than self-releasing their latest album, the band's uncompromising path just keeps paying off.
"It's one day in and already psychically it's a trip. We've never been a part of something that has this kind of reach, so it's cool because we write it for this, but our band is still on our path and we get to have this strangle little ride where our song will exist in a world we've never existed in before -- and probably won't exist in afterward. But this should be interesting," Haines predicts, excited about the opportunity to reach a massive new audience.
"If people get a chance to hear us," she says, "maybe they'll like it."