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Twins, Not Clones: Interview with Tegan Quin, Tegan & Sara
by Vesa Kuosmanen
2008-04-06 08:29:42
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When meeting with Tegan Quin, the other half of Canadian Tegan & Sara twin duo, who have just released their excellent fifth album The Con in the UK, you realise what amazing energy this 27-year old, young woman has. Even if she is apparently tired, she talks with incredible speed and her every word seems to make perfect sense. It’s easy to see where their catchy songs get the energy, but what inspires Tegan to write these sad but so danceable pop tunes?

“It’s mainly the daily lives” she replies, “and of course the relationships”. For her the songs are an emotional journey through your feelings. When writing The Con it was an interesting situation for Tegan; it was the first time she wrote as a single. “We recorded The Con with this whole different energy, we got very involved. When we took the year off to write The Con we were coming off from the two years of touring and writing. We started from the scratch, we didn’t bring in any songs from that two year period of the touring but I think we had loads of experiences and obviously our abilities had been cult figured during that time. The Con was very much a separate journey. Sara was writing more about being in the relationship and having love in long term. I was writing more about being single, dating, insecurity, how you feel for somebody and that stuff.” The diversity and different approach can surely be heard in their songs and is one of the reasons The Con is so enjoyable.

Even if the Quin sisters live separately, Sara in Montreal and Tegan in Vancouver, and write separately, the connection between them is strong - they vibe on the same level and together make a good energy. However, they live their separate lives and contribute towards the music in different ways. “We always joke that we are twins, not clones,” Tegan says. They are two strong individuals and want to do different things, but manage to work together extremely well. “Partnerships work like that way, you mix things. Sara and I mix blue and brown and I think we make a good colour together out of our mixtures.” Obviously you need to know yourself before you can really be o the same level with somebody, and Tegan feels that the last ten years and five albums has been extremely important to them to build up that level of understanding.

Despite their young age, Tegan & Sara have a long career, their first album Under Feet Like Ours was released in 1999. What keeps them doing the music and what they want to say with it? Even if song writing is a personal experience for Tegan, there is a strong urge to make people think. “I have to feel when I am writing a song that it’s not only for myself but will be heard of by loads of people. I absolutely think about other people. We definitely want to get people to think but the writing is still very selfish and very much for me.” She wants to share her own personal experiences with the audience and that way makes a connection with them and gets people to think. When you hear their catchy tunes it’s easy to agree that they have found themes that touch everybody who has loved or been loved.

The Con was released three years after Tegan & Sara’s previous album So Jealous. It feels very accomplished record and even if it has 14 tracks it’s very compact listening experience. As a producer they had Chris Walla, from Portland band Death Cab for Cutie, and the collaboration seem to be working fine. Tegan admits that the Quin sisters are completely control freaks and Chris was a perfect producer, allowing them certain freedom. She adds that Death Cab for Cutie shares a similar background to Tegan & Sara, so having Chris as producer made perfect sense. “With Chris it was fun. He understood what we are and he could compromise. I’m old now, I don’t want to compromise, I want it done my way.” Seems that it worked with The Con and we all are waiting for to hear more of this collaboration.

“Tegan & Sara write incredibly sad and introspective songs but kind of poppy way”, Tegan concludes their music. She says that they are happy doing what they are doing at the moment and they keep on doing music as long as it feels like a right thing to do. There is always a chance for some musical side adventures she adds before she needs to bust a groove and get ready for one more sold out gig.

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Simon2008-04-06 22:59:51
Do they have a website?

Thanos2008-04-07 13:57:11
Yes: http://www.teganandsara.com/

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