The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Lessons Learnt: Joe Mount Of Metronomy's Favourite Albums
Patrick Clarke , February 21st, 2019 10:53

As Metronomy reissue 'Nights Out' for its 10th anniversary, their frontman Joe Mount sits down with Patrick Clarke to pick his favourite records, and explain how they shaped him

When Metronomy released Nights Out they became a formative band for indie kids of the era. In the same way The Horrors introduced us to shoegaze and psychedelia, and Wild Beasts to flamboyance and the horn, Metronomy were a gateway to the compelling possibilities of wonky, awkward electro-pop. Reissued this month to mark its 10th anniversary, the record stands up as one of that era’s best, but also one of its most idiosyncratic. They were a band that never quite fitted, even the case that the album arrived in was of such an awkward shape and size that hit had to be squashed in order to take its place on my CD rack.

Meeting the band’s primary member Joe Mount in an upmarket Oxford Street coffee shop, I tell him of my teenage days spent watching the group live, and how I remember how each member wore kitschy LED lights on their chest that would light up in time with the music. It surprised me, I tell him as nicely as I can, that such an awkward band would end up so popular a decade on. “The lights… that’s a very niche memory!” he says, taken slightly aback. “I guess [Nights Out’s success] did surprise me, it made us really popular in France, it took us around the world for the first time, it was everything you dream of as someone who wants to be a musician. Since that album, I have a job as a musician, it was the thing.”

He seems pleased that it had such huge appeal to 15 year olds of the era. “It feels like the closest I’ll ever come to making an album that relatable for my own age group, I was still connected to the teenage world in some way. It feels naïve and young, but not in a bad way. I’m in quite an odd part of my career now, I’m aware that I’ve used up the genuine, relatable anxiety that I was able to express in music. My problems and my anxieties now involve my family and my children, it’s unrelatable for the kind of people that I want my music to interest. If I try and do something that’s about me, I feel like it’s not interesting. I lament the fact that I didn’t make more angsty records when I had the chance!”

It's notable that when picking his Baker’s Dozen, Mount says he was immediately drawn to teenage angst of his own, to the records he loved at the same age that many were drawn to Metronomy. His Baker’s Dozen features the artists that taught him what he knows now, whether or not he immediately enjoyed what lessons they had to impart. There are albums and artists he hated at first and grew to love, and others that he hooked onto in the way that teenagers do. All, however, had an impact in shaping Joe Mount into the artist he is today.

The 10th Anniversary edition of Nights Out is available now. To begin reading Joe Mount's Baker's Dozen, click the image of him below