alex edkins

“I only want to play my Jazzmaster because nothing else sounds like it,” says Alex Edkins. He uses his backup guitar—a vintage Fender Jaguar—only when a string breaks.
Photo by Debi Del Grande

Punk mayhem with jagged riffs, jarring rhythms, and a vintage Jazzmaster.

In a time when the essential energy of punk rock has been watered down, rehashed, and otherwise consigned to mediocrity, bands like Canadian noise-rock upstarts METZ are few and far between. With the release of II, the Toronto-bred trio proves that they’ve harnessed and honed punk’s intensity in unique and potent ways. The band’s sophomore LP is a furious display of dissonant chords and jagged riffs, delivered in off-kilter time signatures and filtered through distorted raunch and swirling oscillation. And their live show is one of the most exciting unabashed expressions of rock ’n’ roll spirit in recent memory.

One of the snarling heads atop this sonic Cerberus belongs to guitarist/vocalist Alex Edkins. Edkins wields his Fender Jazzmaster like a jackhammer and swears by the inalienable truths of simplicity, obscene volume, and sheer, unbridled energy. Edkins took time mid-tour to ruminate on these qualities and discuss the group’s writing process, the indestructibility of Fender amplifiers, and the pitfalls of romanticizing guitar gear.

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