Joe Mount has a theory: young musicians, take note. 13 years and six albums into Metronomy’s tenure as critically-acclaimed, publicly-beloved, genre-mashing stalwarts, their ringleader and lynchpin is ready to impart some well-earned wisdom. “The problem,” he begins, “is ever having an expectation of what you’re about to do. So like, I might sit down and think, I’m gonna draw a horse and it’s gonna be fucking brilliant. But then fuck! It’s not! So then you sit down and try and draw a dog. But then another time I might have accidentally drawn a horse when I was just trying to write a pop song.” Got that? On to the next lesson.
Now the curly-mopped musician’s musings on equine artistic strategy might seem a little… out there on first glance, true. But in many ways, this malleable, open approach to creativity is almost certainly the key to Metronomy’s continued brilliance. From the project’s first moves in the mid-’00s as just Joe and a laptop, through their stint as a trio, rocking now-infamous nightlight-emblazoned T-shirts and glitchy, pinging dancefloor bangers, to their current status as a fully-fledged, festival-headlining five-piece live band, Metronomy have always followed their nose, occasionally aligning themselves with other bands, but more often bouncing along merrily down their own path. Rather than sitting down and mapping out a boardroom strategy for maximum success, Joe (the sole writer and creative heart of the group) has always seemed like a man more excited by the possibilities of what could happen if you go where the wind takes you – be that in his band’s shapeshifting line-up, ever-morphing sound or just the fact that, at 36-years-old, he’s recently penned a song called ‘Sex Emoji’.
It’s why, releasing sixth album ‘Metronomy Forever’ this month - a 17-song epic featuring both some of their poppiest moments and most unlikely output to date – the record’s title feels suitably timeless: a lovingly scrawled doodle on a fan’s notebook for a band who’ve not so much weathered the tides of a changing industry as happily hopped on board. If there’s one thing Metronomy have always championed, it’s the idea of constantly experimenting and remaining open to new ideas, no matter what their source. Yet, for a brief moment in the making of their latest, there was a time when the path wasn’t quite so clear.
As featured in the September 2019 issue of DIY, out now.