Hi Johnny, Ted and Shaun,
I have the feeling that I've already read the answer to this somewhere, but I just can't seem to remember. Tegan and Sara are going to India to play a few shows in November. Are you guys going as well? Or is it just a going to be an acoustic set with just the two of them? How do you feel about going/not going to India?
Thanks for being part of an amazing band!
Unfortunately Shaun and I will not be going to play the shows in India. This make me a little sad as my ethnic background is East Indian/Belgian... it would be great to see the country where my Dad is from. The reason Shaun and I are not going is because of time constraints and economical reasons. Tegan and Sara would have the whole band there in a heart beat but this time they are playing acoustically... which is also great! You should go check them out!!!
I will be joining Tegan and Sara on the tour to India and I'm thrilled about it! I feel very fortunate and blessed that music has taken me so many amazing places.
Yes, Tegan and Sara are going to play India in a very cool stripped down acoustic set and Ted will be joining them! I love travelling and at some point of my life I would like to go to India but I think it's more of a blessing not to go on this whirlwind trip and then straight to New Zealand and Australia after that... I'd be so tired I've have troubles functioning!
Charlie G writes:
How old were you when you picked up your first real instrument and how old were you when you started to play what you play in Tegan and Sara?
Hey Johnny, Ted and Shaun!
What kind of education do you have? And for how long have you been able to live off of music? Thanks for answering our questions. =)
Hey Charlie G,
I was probably around 7 years old when my parents started me in piano lessons... I was never really into piano and I was tapping on every surface available (pots and pans, kitchen table, books... you name it! haha!) I was also the annoying little kid that played with his chopsticks in Chinese and Japanese restaurants! I was 14 when I started playing the drums.
My musical education is quite brief. I grew up in the church playing all kinds of styles like Folk, Rock, Jazz and Urban Gospel Choir music. I took a few lessons when I was 16 to read and write music... but other than that, I am self taught. My teachers have been watching bands/drummers play live, on TV and in recordings. I studied and practiced a lot!!! When I was in High school I was practicing for 4-5 hours a day or I was out giging in local bands or playing in church. So yeah... practice, practice, practice!!!
I've been playing guitar since I was 12 and I started playing with Tegan and Sara at 22.
I graduated from high school and that's about it. I took a few college courses here and there but I didn't take anything specific. I had no interest in going to music school. None of the musicians I looked up to went to school so I guess I thought I didn't have too either. I've lived off music mostly since I was 25. I used to do commercial painting in between tours, but that was mainly to stay busy. I hate sitting around!
I was 9 years old when I first started picking up a bass, and then for my 10th birthday my parents got me one!
I did two years of university for math and computer science until I realized I wasn't as into math as I thought I was... then went to music school in L.A., (Los Angeles Music Academy) for a year... then moved to a small town in Quebec for a year to study French since I was playing enough music to make a living at the time :) But thankfully I've been living off of music predominantly now for the past 7 years.
THE FANS LOVE YOU! Why are you guys never in any Tegan & Sara videos? We love seeing you!
That's a good question... Why aren't we in any Tegan and Sara videos??? Well, I think it's because the girls are so much more attractive than us! hahaha! Well actually I think its because the videos have been concept/storyline videos and did not require us in the shots. I look awkward with my drummer face anyways! ha! You will be able to see us in Tegan and Sara's next DVD. It will feature touring videos and live performances... but it's still currently being filmed... so you may have to wait a little while before it is released.
Great question! haha. I'm a background behind the scenes kind of person so I'd rather not be in any videos. Also my contract states that any video I'm in must look like "Tonight, Tonight" by the Smashing Pumkins. JK.
Hey Ashley, do you really want to see us in a Tegan and Sara video? I like being on camera but I have to admit that I am very very awkward... good for a reality show maybe but not for a good looking professional music video. haha. Thanks for the support though!
-T&S have been talking about taking a bit of a break from touring for a while. How do you guys feel about this? Are you glad to have some time off or would you prefer to keep touring? Have you guys got some projects planned to keep yourselves occupied while you are off the road?
-How do your friends and family deal with you guys being on the road so much during the year?
-What are your favourite T&S songs to listen to?
-Do you guys watch DVD's when you are out on the road? What are some of your favourites to watch?
-T&S often speak about how making music and touring has been their only real job. Was this the same for you guys? What other kind of jobs have you had outside music?
-It's true T&S will be taking some time off from touring. I think it's a good thing. This will allow Tegan and Sara to work on the many projects they do and also write new music for the next album. As for me, I love touring with them! It's great to be playing amazing songs with them every night on tour... but we tour a lot and its great to be able to recharge, rest. you don't wanna burn yourself out! Other Projects: When I'm not on the road with T&S I have many projects. I do a lot of studio drumming for other bands (all kinds of styles and music) it keeps me sharp and creative. I love the challenges of the studio!!! I also play for a few other bands. On this time off from T&S I will be working with my own band "Rococode." It features members from other bands. Andrew Braun (Hannah Gerogas), Laura Smith (Dan Mangan), Ryan Guldemond (Mother Mother), Shaun Huberts (T&S) and me!!! I will also be working/touring with Hannah Gerogas.
-My family and friends are really great about me touring. Although we miss each other very much, we have learned to deal with my touring schedule buy communicating as much as we can. It's really important to get a good cell plan and bring your computer to Skype when you can!!!
-My Favourite Tegan and Sara songs to listen to are... wow there are so many amazing songs... its really hard to pick... I would have to say all of them! hahaha... but I'm really into "Feel It In My Bones", "Nightwatch" and "Wake Up Exhausted" right now.
-DVDs... well I don't watch a ton of movies on the road... but on this last tour I watched "Let the Right One In" and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy" I really seem to like Swedish films at the moment. We sometimes all watch TV series together, like "True Blood" and "We Can Be Heroes" I'm also into Anime movies.
-Real jobs... well I have never had another job! I have been playing professionally since age 15 and touring professionally since I was 18 years old! I had to work very hard... but I'm fortunate to be playing music for a living!
Wow, you had a lot of questions!!! I hope I answered them well enough! Cheers!
-It's bittersweet really. I like touring but a break will be good. I'm hoping to do some more music production and film soundtrack work next year. I started to dabble in that this year and I really love it.
-It's tough but when you've done something like this for so long it kind of becomes the norm. Weird but true.
-Usually new demos.
-I like to get into a new TV series every tour. Right now it's "Rescue Me".
-I worked as a commercial painter for years on and off along with music. I had lots of different jobs while I was pursuing music as a career. I also make a pretty good latte.
You've got a bunch of questions for let me try and answer them all.
-Time off is a good thing, but too much time off can be stressful too! I like working and I like touring so even if I am off the road I am constantly looking for things to occupy my time here in Vancouver. Maybe I just like being busy? I do have a few little projects that I hope to do more of in this next time off, one being the book that I am trying to finish writing (www.howtopacklikearockstar.com) and the other being a new band that Johnny and I are kinda part of called Rococode. Also recording with a few people in town so that's fun.
-In today's age it isn't too difficult to keep up with all your friends and family via Skype or email or cheap calling cards but then again those aren't really a real substitute for actually being with your family, so it can still be difficult. My friends and family are very supportive of me and my traveling and that's been great.
-Right now I am really into listening to the "If It Was You" and "So Jealous" albums! And "Call It Off" is always a fave song as well.
-YES DVDs! Right now I a watching "Friday Night Lights", "Caprica", "True Blood", "Mad Men"... and plenty more :)
-Outside of music I have worked as a Safety Coordinator and First Aid Attendant on a construction site, I've worked for the government in property taxes, I've done a lot of painting for various people and companies, I 'taught' English to high school students while I was in Quebec for a few hours a week, and Ted and I had a paper route together when we were in 6th grade. Haha, true story.
Hope I got'em all!