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Interview: Tegan and Sara - 08.13.10
 

Tegan and Sara - 08.13.10

Interviewed by
Tegan and Sara - 08.13.10Oh, hey everyone. Have you had the pleasure of speaking with either of the Quin sisters that comprise Tegan and Sara? No?! Well, here's your lucky day, as we've taken a bunch of your questions and directed them toward Tegan herself to get responses. Not enough Tegan for you? Pick up their latest album, Sainthood. Still not enough for you? Be sure to see them on the Honda Civic Tour with Paramore, New Found Glory, and Kadawatha! Super thanks to Tegan and to Rick and Amanda from Warner for helping set this up. -A

Most people on our site don't really think of two acts like Tegan and Sara and Paramore being complementary toward each other, but it's working well on the tour (from what I saw in Hershey). Were you nervous about this crowd before you started the tour? How have you felt about the audiences so far?


Definitely nervous before we started was how I was describing myself to friends. But from the first show we were totally excited to be on this tour. Paramores audience is actually really open minded and seems to be really familiar with our music. We are definitely making new fans but so far its been a really good mix actually.

Most/least favorite songs to play live currently?

Loving Northshore, Hop A Plane and I Bet It Stung.

Do you work on harmonizing for each other's songs when playing live or do you sometimes improvise?

There is some improvisation as the years wear on. Generally we sing what's on the record at first and then we add news parts when we get bored!

One of our readers loved your 'stripped down' show on 2/15 in New York, saying it was "nothing short of incredible." Are there plans to do any shows like this in the future?

Definitely planning more "stripped down" performances for this year. We are working on a DVD right now and we're hoping to mainly use footage of us performing "stripped down" or "alternate versions" of songs so we are going to do more soon!

On the subject of touring, how was touring with Astronautalis?

Andy (Astronautalis) is incredible. He is a very bright, energetic, funny human being. He brings so much to touring. Our audience LOVED him and we did too. If he didn't have such a bright future I would try and hire him to work for us so we could have him around all the time.

Would you ever play Warped Tour?

I would love to. We talked about trying to do some dates this summer but we then this Paramore tour came up. Maybe next year?

What are the best gifts you've ever gotten from fans? The weirdest?

I got a "to scale" version of a pair of shoes I used to wear a lot on stage, made out of duct tape. The best gifts are useful ones. Things like...coffee, snacks, cool toques.

Tegan, why do you hate playing "Superstar" so much?

I don't hate playing it. I just don't relate to the words in ANY way. I also don't like the music much anymore. The whole thing is a bit of a mess. We did play it for about 4 months last year as an outtro for Hop A Plane. It was pretty awesome. Some songs...you just disconnect from. I was 17 when I wrote Superstar. It just doesn't represent me anymore.

How much involvement have you had in the upcoming "Tegan and Sara: The Official Vinyl Collection" release?

We were involved in every detail. Sara and I have been pressing our records onto vinyl since 2003. Emy Storey our art director was crucial in the design but we were there every step of the way.

When writing for Sainthood, you experimented with writing together over an intense retreat to New Orleans, but only one of the collaborative tracks (Paperback Head) actually made it onto the record. A) What went into the decision to axe the other songs? and b) Why did you choose New Orleans for this experience?

We also wrote Sheets together and that just got released on the SUMMER EP with Paramore for the Honda Civic Tour. Most of the songs we wrote in New Orleans were just too different than what we were picking for the record. Sara really loves New Orleans and wanted to hang out there so we decided to go there for a week and hide out. We didn't know anyone else there so it would be less distracting than working in perhaps....LA for example. Since the experience we have written a bunch of other songs together. It was a great experience and we intend on doing it more often in the future.

There was a tonal shift after 'So Jealous' that seemed to carry through 'The Con' and 'Sainthood'. Would you consider the more intricate recent music output merely career progression, or was there a conscious attempt to alter the course into more elaborate territory? If so, what sparked it?

I think we just grew a lot over the course of those first 5 years we were touring/writing etc. By So Jealous we had really figured out what we wanted our band to sound like and HOW to make it sound that way. It was natural.

How was performing on a children's show?

Amazing. I'd go back tomorrow. It was inspiring.

Do you have a favorite Muppet?

Um. Kermit?

Have any advice for one of our users that is moving to Canada from the US?

Get ready for a good time! Get your Canadian Tuxedo pressed for the border!

Any book recommendations?

Lit - Mary Karr
A Lovers Discourse - Roland Barthes

Which albums have you been digging lately?

Beach House - Teen Dream
Goldfrappe - Head First
Against Me - White Crosses
Circa Survive - Blue Sky Noise
Robyn - Body Talk, PT 1

If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be?

Hmm...any of the above.

When you're making a record, do you have some idea of which songs the public [minus hardcore T&S fans] are going to focus on?

I don't really think about it. I try to always make something I'll be proud of. What's most important to me is to be inspired. I just hope what inspires me will translate.

One of our users wants to know why you think some great songs like "I Can't Take It" are under appreciated.

Honestly, I think that some of Sara's songs are more difficult to get into because they aren't as poppy or obvious. But for us in the band songs like Terrible Storm, I Can't Take It, Relief Next To Me, Arrow and Red Belt are my faves. I just think they are darker and deeper and the arrangements are more complicated and unique.

Which of your albums do you think will be regarded as your pièce de résistance in 25 years, or is it still coming?

I think we're both kind of shocked at how attached to The Con everyone still is. I am too. Sainthood has been an amazing journey but I still feel .... like I'm working through my issues that I was working out on The Con. Sainthood feels...more settled. The Con still brings up my dark side, my demos if you will. I think If It Was You is an overlooked jem. I want to work towards making another record like that. I think of it like...our Pinkerton or something..its full of pop gems. Moving forward though I think we'll write our best songs. We have to! We must continue to be inspired!
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 37
10:00 PM on 08/14/10
#2
Loyaltabk
. . .Sure, let's go with that.
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greatness.
10:09 PM on 08/14/10
#3
Argentine
When I die, rap dies; Destiny Bond.
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Interesting comparison with If It Was You being their Pinkerton. Either way, great hearing from them.
10:11 PM on 08/14/10
#4
MattDennis
(Yeah)
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Nice to see her give that nod to Red Belt. Probably my favorite song on Sainthood.
10:29 PM on 08/14/10
#5
oceanblue
Every day I'm getting older.
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Interesting comparison with If It Was You being their Pinkerton. Either way, great hearing from them.
I agree, If It Was You is still my favorite album by far. there is a grittiness and more rock sound on there that made me fall in love with Tegan and Sara.
10:45 PM on 08/14/10
#6
Argentine
When I die, rap dies; Destiny Bond.
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I agree, If It Was You is still my favorite album by far. there is a grittiness and more rock sound on there that made me fall in love with Tegan and Sara.
I've never got into that album as much as The Con and Sainthood last year. Maybe I should soon. You make it sound like some of their best work.
10:55 PM on 08/14/10
#7
Mattylikesfilms
If You Dig Up The Dead...
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Sainthood is hands down their best album. It's the only album that I fully enjoy and love. The other albums have a few solid tracks but thats it. Sainthood sounded like their potential was finally reached. I hope they continue down the same path/sound for their next record.
11:28 PM on 08/14/10
#8
InBetweenAisles
WeReadTheSignsCompletelyB ackwards
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Awesome interview. She seems really cool.
01:22 AM on 08/15/10
#9
Illinoise
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Sainthood is hands down their best album. It's the only album that I fully enjoy and love. The other albums have a few solid tracks but thats it. Sainthood sounded like their potential was finally reached. I hope they continue down the same path/sound for their next record.
No.
01:30 AM on 08/15/10
hydraulicheart
The world is yours, so take it.
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The Con will forever hold a special place in my heart. There is not a single dry track on that record, and it is also the one record of theirs I really connected with. All of their albums are different from one another, but they are all still so very good. And the Home Recordings they recently released on vinyl? Golden. I may even love "The Ocean" demo more than the Sainthood recording.
03:14 AM on 08/15/10
sargentlgfuad
Glass boy
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absolute love. their music. them. just love.
08:07 AM on 08/15/10
cwhit412
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Loving the Circa shoutout.
They were awesome on the civic tour. Surprised me.
08:23 AM on 08/15/10
esposimi
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I saw them at the show in Hershey as well. I loved their style. A lot of people underestimated them, but I thought they were very good.
08:45 AM on 08/15/10
Mattylikesfilms
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08:47 AM on 08/15/10
hcar
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They're awesome.(:

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