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Big breaks 

METZ’s classic tale of rock band done good inspires---and after you’re done feeling that, have your mind blown at the shows.

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Toronto grunge/noise punk trio METZ has one of those career stories that most bands only ever dream about. Formed in 2008, METZ jammed it out for awhile, cultivating a sick live show and releasing a couple EPs before getting signed by Seattle's Sub Pop Records, the home of grunge.

It's a tale that doesn't get told very often anymore: join a band, play some songs, get noticed by a label, become huge stars. But it happened for METZ thanks to the massively influential Mudhoney. "We were touring with Mudhoney and we got to know the singer, Mark Arm, and he said 'Check this out' to Sub Pop and they did," says vocalist-guitarist Alex Edkins. "Honestly, it's a really good fit. At first we were completely overwhelmed and surprised. We thought it was a really cool thing. Sub Pop is a label we grew up loving and following. It's been an amazing relationship and now we're like a family."

Sub Pop released METZ's debut self-titled LP in 2012. As Canadian artists, METZ's album was also shortlisted for the 2013 Polaris Prize, which is quite an honour for newbs.

"Again, we were absolutely surprised. This year's been a lot of first things for us that we didn't think would ever happen," Edkins says. "We've played so many shows and huge festivals and the Polaris nomination caught us totally off guard, to be mentioned among those amazing artists."

The rocket-launch to Pitchfork Best Album lists and circulation in the US seems fueled by METZ's passion for stripped-down hardcore punk indebted to (but not really derivative of) the band's past and current labelmates.

For the first couple years, METZ members kept their humble and artistic day jobs. But after the album, the immediate positive response made them commit full-time. New releases are on the way. "Even though we've been touring the last 10 months, we've been working on new music, which is really exciting," says Edkins. METZ first played HPX in 2008 and returned for more, lucky for us.

"Every time we play Halifax Pop Explosion, I feel like it grows and grows and it's always an amazing time," Edkins says. "We're going to try and see as many bands and friends as we can."

Playing two shows this weekend, METZ will also be interviewed by CBC's Vish Khanna for a Pop!Talks session on Saturday afternoon. Do not miss the unforgettable burn of these rising stars.

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