Emily Haines of Metric Q&A

Indie-rock outfit Metric has headlined arenas across Canada, performed with the Rolling Stones and Lou Reed, and played main stages of festivals around the world. This fall, though, the band is on the road in a supporting role, as the main support act for pop-punkers Paramore.

amNY caught up with Emily Haines, Metric’s lead singer, to talk about touring, 10-year anniversaries and the passing of her collaborator and friend Reed.

amny: How does your approach to playing live change when you’re opening rather than headlining?

EH: Think of all the festivals we’ve played — the Lollapaloozas, the Coachellas, it’s a very similar thing. You’re walking out to a large crowd of people, some who don’t know who you are. Here, we’ve got a nice mix of some kids singing along to our songs and a lot of people who have never heard of us before, which is really great.

It’s been 10 years since Metric released "Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?" Is there anything you would have changed since then?

I’m so happy with what we’ve accomplished and are continuing to accomplish. The fact that we own our own company and we run the whole thing ? we’ve seen so many people fall off or go under that to still be going is great. It’s hard to look back from here and say, "I wish I had signed with Virgin" or something. How can I have any regrets about that time when it played out as well as it has for us? The breaks we didn’t get now feel like breaks we did get. We were able to keep our business entanglements to a minimum and keep going.

Your touching ode to Lou Reed was published on Rolling Stone’s website. If new musicians could take just one idea from his legacy, what should it be?

Have a longer lens. The thing that we fail to realize is that his stuff wasn’t always hits. Even during the [Andy] Warhol years, a lot of people looked down on New York artists. "Walk on the Wild Side" gets on the radio … but what people should remember is that for most of his career, Lou didn’t get that much love. The thing to take from his life is to be wary of instant gratification.