An interview with tourmates Tegan Quin and Hayley Williams of Paramore

 
 

As the second leg of The Honda Civic Tour commences this week, I checked in with Hayley Williams of headlining band Paramore and Tegan Quin of openers Tegan and Sara to see how things have been going out on the road.

 

AfterEllen.com: This is Paramore’s biggest headline tour ever. I imagine there was huge pressure on you about picking the support acts for the tour; so, how did you pick Tegan and Sara?
Hayley Williams:
We wanted whoever was direct support for this tour to be a solidified, well-established artist that would stretch our fan base, maybe even challenge them. Most of our core fans love Tegan and Sara as it is, but the people who know of us from the radio or "That Twilight song" need to see that there is a whole different world of music happening right under their noses. Plus, I guess I’m selfish enough to bring out a band I love just so I can hear them all the time.

AE: Tegan, When Paramore asked you to come on the Honda Civic Tour what were your initial thoughts?
Tegan Quin:
Sara and I haven’t been out on a tour supporting someone else since 2006 so initially, I was actually really nervous to accept. We’ve gotten used to doing our own thing and jumping back into supporting someone else scared me a bit. We also knew this would be the last tour we would be doing in North America on Sainthood and so we were initially reluctant to end the year supporting someone else.

But I am a huge fan of Paramore and I thought it would be a great opportunity to get in front of a younger, more mainstream audience. We’ve also almost exclusively toured in support of male acts and so we were excited to see what it would be like to support a female-fronted band.

AE: Hayley, as a Christian in a band that has openly identified as Christian were you worried that your audience might not accept Tegan and Sara as they are lesbians and not a part of the Christian rock scene?
HW:
Fortunately, we’ve never really been associated with the Christian rock scene. I wouldn’t want to be a part of something so easily pigeon-holed. It’s an understandable misconception though — we’ve never preached but if someone asks us about our faith, we’re not scared to talk about it.

The biggest fault I find within the Christian community is that there are too many judges in the courthouse. What I know is that I’m not going to let myself be one of those. Not to sound selfish, but I’ve got my own life to figure out and faith is constantly surprising me. Hopefully, we’re surprising people too. I mean, who would’ve thought that Christians can actually hang out with lesbians without bursting into flames?! (Disclaimer: It’s a joke, people.)

AE: Tegan, since you and your sister are both open about your sexuality were you concerned about playing to a more mainstream audience?
TQ:
Not really. Honestly, over the past 12 years, I feel like we’ve experienced more sexism than homophobia. Hayley reassured me that Paramore fans were amazing and I feel like they pour over who to take on tour the way we do, and so we were pretty sure the Paramore audience would be ready for us, and would be open to us because Paramore had chosen us personally.

Sara and I find our audience is growing more and more diverse over the years. Its harder and harder for us to classify or pigeonhole our audience and we think of that as a positive thing. Our music is for everyone; not just gay people. So this was an opportunity to prove that even a mainstream radio audience would be open to us. And they have been.

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