Since Metric's formation in 1998, leading lady Emily Haines has been revered for both her style and her pop prowess as a vocalist and guitarist for the celebrated indie-rock band. Recently, she bridged the two in a collaboration with the edgy, rocker-chic jewelry line Fleet. Working with designer Kate Powers, Haines co-created a bullet-shaped pen necklace, engraved with a Metric lyric, whose proceeds benefit HearMe, a charity that gives kids access to free music programs. Hive recently spoke to Haines about the project, the possibility of a Metric-designed clothing line, and where she’s finding inspiration for the follow-up to 2012’s Synthetica.
What was the concept behind your collaboration with Fleet?
Kate Powers is very talented and interesting and her idea of working with HearMe -- a great organization that makes it possible for kids in orphanages to have access to recording equipment and musical instruments. I feel very strongly about the cause because when I was growing up in Canada, I was fortunate to have access to free music programs. To be able to express yourself through music, especially during difficult times, can really save your life. Kate came up with such a great idea for the pendant. It looks like a beautiful piece of jewelry but when you unscrew the top, out comes a pen and it says “Believe in the power of songs,” a quote from our song “Dreams So Real” taken from the title of a poem that my father wrote. So it’s a nice circle there of affection and meaning coming together.
Why the bullet shape?
That was all Kate. We just discussed the most powerful message that we could put on the pen.
Do you have any plans to work with more designers?
A lot of things in my life have come to me from being open to working with people -- all the way from doing the [David] Cronenberg score [for Cosmopolis] to projects like this. It feels as though I just stay open to these things and they come.
Your personal style has earned praise within the fashion world. Are there any specific designers you’d like to work with?
There are so many, especially up-and-coming designers: I really like Emma Cook. She does some really interesting stuff. Kate Powers and I have ideas for a couple of items. Kate really understands the life of a modern girl and how you want to express yourself. My slogan in general is, “I wear clothes; they don’t wear me.” She and I are really aligned when it comes to that way of thinking.
If you were to design a line of clothing, what would it look like?
I have friends who are accomplished designers, so I wouldn’t take it lightly to embark on a whole line. My vision would be to take it one piece at a time. It might take only a few minutes for a piece to walk down the runway but the inspiration, vision, and originality required to make that happen is serious.
As far as music, what are you working on?
I'm doing collaborations with people in other genres, but nothing I can announce just yet. It’s a really exciting time for us because we’re so happy with the response to Synthetica.
Have you started working on the followup to Synthetica?
I’m always writing and for me the best thing is traveling and disappearing with my guitar. In the past few months, I’ve been to Nicaragua, back to Argentina, and Uruguay. I’m just going to keep doing what I do. For me, writing is just an extension of living and not everything needs to be on the Metric record. I’m staying inspired and making sure that I’m still having experiences and open to new things.
Watch Metric perform "Synthetica" for VH1's You Oughta Know":