Interview with Tegan Quin


AE: There were some fans that were upset
you and Sara were listed together as one person.

TQ: That says a lot about society, doesn’t it?

AE: Well when people write it on the ballot
as "Tegan and Sara" as one person, how do they want us to count that?

TQ: There are other lists like that I’ve read, and I was higher than Sara was.

Tegan (left) & Sara

AE: Oh yeah, you were higher on the list of Hot Indie Rock Women.
Does she ever find out about that?

TQ: I don’t know, that kind of stuff cracks me up, though. We recently won Best
Hair for something and I was like "Wow!"

AE: That’s a compliment. You don’t want
to be on the "Bad Hair" list.

TQ: Absolutely, but I don’t worry too much about it.

AE: Have you been working on the new
record at all? What kind of stuff are you working on?

TQ: We’ve definitely writing. We have quite a bit of music from the last year
since we started touring, so I’m not sure that any of it is relevant now. At
this point there’s at least 15 songs that we’ve written. Sara’s definitely
writing some really good stuff, definitely writing about a lot of different
themes, writing about our childhood and not necessarily about love and
relationships, which is cool. I mean, we don’t think too much about it. We
never ever sit down and think about it and focus too much on what the plan is.
Sara tried to do that with me the other day about stuff that she potentially
wants to take one step further than we did on The Con, with a completely different band and completely different
producers. So we’ll see.

We’ve been writing 15 years with each other, so we’re always trying to do
something different.

AE: So while working on this song for
Augusten Burroughs, was it difficult for you to write about something that was
so specific?

TQ: It was different and fun because it wasn’t about me. I never, ever, ever
approach writing from someone else’s’ perspective. I found it really difficult.
I wanted to do justice to Augusten but I was also feeling a ton of pressure
because I had never done it before, so the combination of the two basically
paralyzed me, and I didn’t know where to start. So I read the book and started
like I was writing him a letter. "Dear Augusten, how and the hell did you
make it through your life?" And I felt inspired.

If you sat me down right now and asked me how to write a song, I wouldn’t be
able to tell you. Every time I write one, I feel like I’ll never be able to do
it again. For me, it always surprises me when I’m like, "Wow, I’m doing
this," or "Wow, I’m writing lyrics." It just kind of happens
from time to time. It just comes together and you’re like, "Wow,

AE: Are you the type of person that if you were at dinner with someone, you
would borrow their napkin to write down some lyrics as it came to you?

TQ: I hate people like that. If I was sitting at a table with someone and they
did that, I’d be like, "Goodbye!" I don’t know how I write lyrics.
Usually I’m just home alone [hums] and then I write stuff down and it takes
shape on my computer. I don’t even want to use a pencil or a pen anymore. Then
I go through some ideas and some lyrics and put a song together.

AE: I was wondering if you used a computer or if people use journals or
"olden times things."

TQ: I’m sure a lot of people still use the olden days tools, but I have almost
illegible handwriting so even as a teenager before the internet [I] would write
lyrics on a computer and print them out.

AE: On the track you did with Against
Me!, did you have any input on that, or did they just ask you to come in and
sing on it?

TQ: Yeah, I mean the song itself was written [yawns] …

AE: I’m totally boring you, aren’t I?
You are yawning, I can hear it through the phone!

TQ: God, I’m sorry! It’s 3 o’clock and between 3 o’clock and 7 o’clock, I yawn compulsively,
and I’ve talked to a doctor about it. I’m not tired, it’s not that I need
sleep. They don’t really know why people yawn, and one of the hypotheses is
that it’s related to anxiety and around this time of the day, I get anxious for
whatever reason. Go on Wikipedia, I’m not making it up! What were we talking
about? Sorry, I got off track.

AE: We were talking about Against Me! Or
actually, you were yawning, you were totally bored by me …

TQ: Oh, yes, you were totally boring. [laughs] No, so they wanted to put me in
the video, and they said, "Hey, come sing along," and it sounded
really easy, and so I came in to sing along and do some harmonies, and then
they were working on some sections with guitar and we’d pick one we liked and
we all worked together.

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