Interview with Tegan from Tegan and Sara

Originally published in SEE Magazine  January 7, 2010

Sainthood is the sixth album for the rocking twin Quin sisters from Calgary. Slowly but surely, they are surpassing the likes of George Fox and Paul Brandt as Cow Town’s most popular musicians. So what, so they opened for Neil Young and the Pretenders, it isn’t country (bull whip sound, horse whinny)! In reality, Tegan and Sara are becoming an international draw. But even though they’ve been all over the world playing to a plethora of people, according to Tegan, their roots are still clear.

“The way I usually describe the difference between Calgary and Edmonton is that Calgary is much more of an oil city,” Tegan says. “There is more money and people are bit fancier and it’s gotten more of a gimmick. Edmonton is more of a blue collar city. It kind of reminds me of Austin, Texas in a way because it has a really cool art scene right now. I think the rivalry between the two cities comes from being the only western province with two very big cities close by. Also Edmonton used to be good at hockey and now they are not, so …”

After laughing for two solid minutes, I asked if there were any surprises with their new album. Do they have to recreate themselves with each release? Does it get easier?

“It’s nice to still be relevant,” says Tegan. “Our objective over the past while is to create good records and to grow. We’ve been doing music together for about 15 years so doing something that keeps us interested for the next year and a half is what is at the forefront of our minds right now. People are saying some interesting things about Sainthood though, I mean, it is a Tegan and Sara record but people are saying it’s too poppy or it’s more of a live album but, I think this record fits in with So Jealous or The Con just nicely.”

Now for something the super fans might not know and the new ones might want to:

SEE Magazine: What book do you wish you wrote?

Tegan: Anything by John Irving. He is my favorite writer. Until I Find You is my favourite … or A Widow For One Year. I have this fascination with male writers in their forties, especially those who write intense female characters.

SEE: Who would play you in the movie of your life if you were a man?

Tegan: I love that question. I love it because I want to be a boy. I would say James Franco. Not that we look anything alike … although we kinda do. Or the drummer from the Kooks … he would be James’s understudy.

SEE: If you were forced to compete in the winter Olympics what would be your sport?

Tegan: I will just say drinking but it’s inappropriate. Skiing is much too obvious. Snowboarding, I do a lot of Wii snowboarding here in my house … I loved figure skating growing up though … I think I’ll pick being a hockey player on Team Canada.

SEE: Would you rather own a unicorn, pegasus or a dragon?

Tegan: Unicorn of course.

SEE: And what would you name it?

Tegan: I would name it Tegan. It would be cool if we had the same name.

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