Canadian Duo, Tegan and Sara
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In the midst of an exceedingly busy tour schedule, Tegan of Tegan and Sara breaks it down for Tweed.
TWEED: Tegan and Sara is a band with a very distinct, almost provincial sound that, alternately, is universal and "poppy." There's a lot of new wave on So Jealous. I hate to trudge out the "who are your influences" cliche, but what artists helped form that sound? When writing songs, how much do you draw from those artists?
TEGAN: I think as kids that grew up in the 80s, we had the usual influences from our parents: The Police, Bruce Springsteen, U2 and the Pretenders. But I think, over time, as we get older, we have gone through lots of stages. Folk, Pop, Punk and lately, I think, a mixture of all of those genres. For this record, specifically, it was a mixture of pop-culture and Alt-rock, Emo and the classics. We love the New Pornographers, The Stills, Broken Social Scene, Cat Power and Fleetwood Mac and they all had an impact on this record.
TWEED: I always love to ask the bands we talk to--what is your songwriting process? Is there that often-alluded-to symbiosis associated with being twins? Bands often talk about a sort of chemistry between members that drives great songwriting. Considering you are twins, do you feel at ease creatively with one-another that you may not feel with another collaborator?
TEGAN: We write completely separately and so, as we live apart now in different cities, we do a lot on our own. It is sort of like 2 solo-acts combined. We really don't start collaborating until we are in the studio. I think we fear giving negative feedback so we usually just focus on the positive and avoid talking about songs we hate. We, as sisters, pick up on the omission and relate the obvious to our brain.
TWEED: When you make a record, are you looking to capture the Tegan and Sara live performance or is there some effort to sculpt a new, different sonic idea? In other words, are you interested in being a "live band" or a "studio band," understanding, of course, that they're not necessarily mutually exclusive?
TEGAN: We try not to do anything we can't reproduce live on our records but live is very different than studio. Live, you don't have to be perfect because you have an audience in front of you that is feeding what you are doing--and emotion translates differently. The record has to be lush and emotional through the instruments and quality of sound and production. We try and balance the two. As a band, we enjoy both equally and for different reasons--so we really try to get the most from both environments.
TWEED: I've read many bands recount that their days leading up to what was, ultimately, their level of success, were often the ones they looked back on most fondly. So Jealous has garnered a lot of really positive, supportive attention and it seems like the band is justifiably "breaking out"--Rolling Stone named So Jealous one of the 50 best records of the year, there was an MTV "You Heard It Here First" feature--you are getting a lot of people talking about the record. It being such a unique time for you as a band, tell us how it feels. Is it exci
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