January 2012 Ask Tegan

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

Roak writes:
Hi you guys,
I was wondering if you would be attending NAMM in January of 2012? I’ve recently become fans of you two (and Ted) in August, but you’ve been one of the biggest influences on me musically and socially and I think it’d be great to see you guys there.
P.S. I’m not totally sure if its actually you answering these so it was a little weird wording the question, but thank you anyway!

Hey Roak!

Thanks for sending in a question! I am indeed the one who answers these questions! Very exciting for me! ha.
I had never heard of NAMM before your email. I had to google it! It looks really cool! I will not be there but now I am
very interested in attending and learning more! So thanks for that! And thank you so much for becoming a fan! We love
hearing about new people finding us! Very inspiring!

Take care and happy new year!


Ricky writes:
Hey Tegan,
I don’t know if you would classify this as a question maybe more of an idea I had. I had an idea to keep fans busy and also a way potentially gain new fans through your current fans. I know you’ve talked about in the past you have around 30 or even more songs that you whittle down to the album and there are some songs that don’t get used, my idea was to upload the lyrics and the chords to your website of one of these songs that you aren’t going to take further (or one that you may take further) and then see what your fans can make of it. You could see how it differs to the original without us actually hearing the song. I think it could be an interesting competition with the judge being either fans or you and Sara, either way I think it would be awesome to see what Tegan and Sara fans could do with it (and maybe see how your fans inspire your music for a change!).
Take care!


That is actually a brilliant idea! One I will share with my product manager and Warner and with the Tegan and Sara team! I have no idea if we would ever be allowed to do that (record contracts are quite limiting) but I love the idea! Nice work! Thank you so much for the suggestion. We do write a lot of songs and it’s sad that so many never get heard. We currently have over 35 written for the new record and I feel anxiety when I think of how many won’t ever even get recorded! YIKES! So thank you for this very creative and thoughtful idea!


Kaitlin writes:
Hi Tegan, I came across a YouTube video with a song called Sheets on it and I know that isn’t from any of your records but I was wondering if you were going to release that and other songs? …I absolutely LOVE Sheets it’s stuck in my head and I would definitely be the first to buy it!

Hi Kaitlin,

Sheets was released with the pre order of Sainthood on iTunes. I’m so glad to hear that you liked it so much! We definitely need to continue to work on creative ways to get you guys more of our new music. It’s so hard to decide what should be on the record or not. We start with such a large pile of songs and we become so attached to the demos as we write them. It’s a real challenge for us to figure out which ones you all will love the most. I really wish we had included Sheets on Sainthood. Sara and I wrote that song together and I really came to love it AFTER we were done the record. But by then it was too late…

Anyway! Happy New Year


Hi Tegan,
For the past 6 years Tegan and Sara has been my FAVORITE band! I’m a contemporary dancer and your passion within the music inspires me in so many ways. Every time your music is playing its literally impossible for me to sit still! You have inspired me to play the guitar and create my own songs. I find this process fun but really difficult! How do you start/go about this process, do you write lyrics then a melody or vice versa? Any tips?
Thanks for being AMAZING at life!
- Kaitlin

Kaitlin (so many questions)! ha.

I start with guitar or piano cords. I find something that feels good, and let a melody start creating itself in the guitar structure. I hum and howl over the guitar chords until I find something that sticks and then I write lyrics. I rarely write lyrics before melody. It doesn’t work for me the other way! Keep working at your song writing! It just takes time! We’ve been writing since we were 15! So 16 years of practice! WE’RE SO OLD! ha.


Ami writes:
Okay so my question is why do you and Sara usually write in the form of singing to the person instead of singing about the person? I don’t know if that made sense, but like in Nineteen saying “I felt you in my legs” instead of “I felt her in my legs.” Hopefully you get what I’m trying to ask! I hope everything is going well for you, and I CANNOT WAIT for the next record!!

Hey Ami!

Our intention when writing songs is to write from a perspective that would allow anyone listening (young, old, married, single, heartbroken, happy, girl, boy, LBGTQ) to connect and apply the song to their own life. We have found “he” or “she” to be limiting when listening to songs WE love, so we try not to limit the listener. Also, we’re often writing songs FOR someone and so it feels better to sing to them then to an audience..ha.

Take care,