Last week, Tegan and Sara continued their summer tour with a stop at the World Cafe (which is continuing its string of amazing female musicians). They answered questions about being twins, their growing fame and The Con, and they played a few tunes live.
The interviewer did annoy me with his assertion that “it is only recently they have seen any real success.” Please! I think you mean commercial success, which is not the only yardstick for success on the planet. Tegan and Sara have been touring, playing and singing music successfully for years. And my girlfriend and I were just reminiscing about an old Letterman appearance:
The interview is still worth a listen, though, even for fans familiar with clips from The Con. Words can’t express how entertaining these two are, performing or not. This interview is full of more anecdotes such as Sara speaking a little about herself as the anxious child of “Like O Like H”: Her mom only strangled her “in fun.”
Inevitably and frequently the interview turned to relationships, and I was curious to see if the interviewer would drop the “lesbian” word. I’m torn in situations like these — on the one hand, why should every interview with a lesbian musician come back to this? On the other hand, why not? But it never happened, although the interview was full of the vague pronoun game. (You know, when you refer to your girlfriend as “this” and “that” person or in the plural “they.”) Tegan is particularly funny in her story about the origin of “Hop a Plane,” which was inspired by her confusion in a long distance relationship:
“I wanted to be told that I wasn’t theirs, which really meant I wanted to be told that I was theirs, but I wasn’t. So I got the result I didn’t want by asking the question that I shouldn’t have asked, which is awesome. So I wrote a song about it.”
Later in the interview, the two address their growing fame as a mixed blessing. Despite advantages of commercial play such as being able to take time off from touring, they still struggle with their ambivalence toward the obligations of having their material on the radio and the loss of control that comes with it — who wants to shake every program director’s hand and thank him? But, as Tegan noted, it makes having relationships a lot easier when you can afford your own bus and skip the public transport: “Hey honey, you wanna come on the Greyhound with me across Canada? It’s gonna be fun!”
Speaking of hounds, I also stumbled across an ad that Tegan and Sara did for PETA. The text is a little disturbing, but the image is adorable.