Februay 2012 Ask Tegan

Date: March 1, 2012
Author: Tegan Quin
Publication: teganandsara.org
Headline: March 2012 – Ask Tegan

Sarah writes:
Hi Tegan!
I was wondering how you feel when you go into a store or public place and hear one of your songs playing? Do you still feel excited at all or look around to see if anyone is into the song? Do you have a memory of one of the first times you heard a Tegan and Sara song playing in a store? (I know as a fan, I always get excited when any store is playing a Tegan and Sara song. I even once saw HMV playing the whole Its Not Fun Don’t Do It concert and nearly died!)

Hey Sarah!

What a funny question! YES~! I get excited and then I feel embarrassed. Sometimes it just depends on who is in the store with me. If I’m alone I feel like dying. Ha. If I’m with a friend or Sara I laugh and make jokes. One time Sara and I were shopping in an HMV in Canada somewhere and the video for Speak Slow came on and I was laughing/horrified all at once but when I went to look for Sara she had run out of the store! ha. I don’t remember the first time I heard my music in public but I remember the era…and I think it always made me happy. I’m also relieved to know that people like our music. Never gets old.

Take care!


Christine writes:
I remember you once said that it´s easier for you to live openly gay because you are a musician. I guess the music business is somewhat used to alternative lifestyles. For the average gay woman who´s maybe the only lesbian at her workplace (like I am) it might be harder. But do you sometimes think about being a mother and having to deal with teachers and other parents who might be oblivious or even hostile to homosexuals? Are you sometimes concerned about what lies ahead? Unfortunately I am.

Hey Christine!

Yes. Absolutely. I live with those fears for sure. I definitely feel lucky to be from Vancouver, Canada and to live in a very open minded community and do something so alternative for a living because I am rarely discriminated against. But I date an American and spend more and more time in Los Angeles and recognize that things here are different than in Canada. I worry about having kids and how they’ll be treated. But I know more and more people that are raising kids that are gay and who were raised by gay parents and they’re pretty okay.

As a musician I feel like I get respect and love even from people who don’t necessarily agree with our lifestyle but I also face tons of hurdles and discrimination in the press and from outlets like radio and TV every day. We are constantly objectified and sexualized and marginalized because of these things. What keeps me going is that every time I step on stage, or a new person learns about my music or another gay band, or queer friendly, ally heavy band like FUN. comes around I think…there…we’re one step closer…there…one more person not afraid..there one more person standing up and fighting with us..not against us. I try to focus on that and try not to get hopeless. Which I am prone to do. I won’t not be proud or have a family or be open just because I’ll face discrimination. It’s not worth it.

Good luck Christine! We’re with you!

I imagine being the only gay person at your place of work is very difficult. I know SO many people who are closeted in our industry but also who have regular jobs. It makes me so sad to think of them not being loved for who they really are. We did a tour a few summers ago and Sara and I were the only gay people on the tour. There were 75 band and crew members on the tour. It was really weird. We acted out by putting signs on our bus that said “gay bus” and put a gay flag in the window after we heard people making “that so gay” jokes. After that I felt like people went out of their way to ask about it, to come visit us and to be more respectful. Sometimes people just don’t know how to act. I can’t believe it but….for some people … we were the first gay people they had ever met! That blew my mind! So we just went with it. Sometimes it takes standing out to fit it.


Maya writes:
Dear Tegan,
Before my question, I just wanted to say that you and Sara are my favorite people and saved my life a few times in more ways than I will say. You two are just so amazing and inspirational! Now, for my question: When you and Sara banter, do you guys just come up with it onstage and go along with it? I have watched MANY of your concerts on YouTube and you guys just never seem to not be funny. I know that you said in an interview that you and Sara once started fighting onstage, and I also wanted to ask when you and Sara had the toughest time getting along. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer all of our questions, it really means a lot.
Love you guys,

Hey Maya!

Thank you for being a fan. I’m glad Sara and I and our music was able to help you through so much. We feel exactly the same way about our music and all of you fans out there listening to it. You get us through!

Now. We are definitely not always funny. No way. Ha. The clips on youtube are funny because those are generally the best moments. Ha. I think if we weren’t funny (which we are often not) people just don’t post them! ha. I think.

But. We are typically funnier on stage than off. And we just banter naturally. There is never any planning. We just go with the flow up there. Sometimes its the audience that influences our humour, sometimes each other or something we did during the day. Often it’s the stories about the songs that we focus on talking about…it just comes naturally.

I think in a past life we were comedians. I think we sometimes think we still are! ha.

Take care,

Deanna writes:
Hi Tegan!
I just want to say quickly, how much I LOVE yours and Sara’s music so very much! You’re an inspiration to everyone, and not just with your music, but how amazing you both are as people! Thank you and keep it up! Okay, now I have two questions that are kind of the same. I was curious if you had seen the documentary Miss Representation and if you had, what your thoughts on it were? I also was curious to know your thoughts on the Gay Rights Movement Video that you tweeted about (I had seen it the previous day and was almost in tears!) and the making of Second Class Citizen?
Thanks so much! xoxo

Hey Dee!

I have not seen Miss Representation but I will add it to the list of movies I need to watch! And regarding the gay rights movement video I tweeted and being a second class citizen…

It’s tough. You know. The fact is I live in Canada, where I have all the same rights as everyone else. I live in the USA part time and date an American and I get sad over the limitation and restrictions and inequality all the time. On top of that I can’t believe that she (and all Americans) don’t have proper health care. Don’t even get me started on the giant ass bills my girlfriend has to pay for health care. RIDICULOUS! So I feel the pain everyone down in the states is feeling. It’s unfair. I work very hard to educate our audience, our friends and our families about this in equality. I work daily to try and get our straight allies working with us. I try my hardest to focus my attention on the positive and moving things forward. But it’s tough. Sometimes I just can’t believe that people wouldn’t like me because I’m gay. It blows my mind. Moving forward I just want every queer person in American to know…from a Canadian who is NOT a 2nd class citizen, that you are NOT a 2nd class citizen either. And that we love you and we’ll keep fighting for your rights along with you.

So I was moved by the video needless to say! ha.

Take care,

Sarah writes:
Hey Tegan!
I was recently listening to your album If It Was You, and noticed that you and Sara both used the line “In the back of your car I feel like I have traveled nowhere” in Sara’s song Not Tonight and your song Terrible Storm. I was just wondering if it was just a coincidence that you both used that line, or if not, who originally came up with that line. Also, the next time you come to Ottawa would you consider playing My Number? Thanks a lot!

Hey Sarah!

Those are actually both Sara songs! During that era we both used a lot of repeat lines in our songs. I think we were playing with the idea of perspective and different voices. So I found it really haunting that she wrote those two songs about two different things and yet tied them together with that one line. They were both such different feeling songs and thematically were touching on such different topics..and yet…were bound together with that line…very moving stuff!

And regarding MY NUMBER…one day I’ll play it again for sure! For now we’re focusing on new music and not doing a lot of touring…but I think I’d like to do a medley of old stuff when we tour again. We will have 7 records worth of material to get through..it’s hard to decide WHAT to do and what not to do…harder than you’d think!

Take care!