Date: October 11, 2010
Author: Tegan Quin
Headline: September 2010 - Ask Tegan and 30 Questions Meme

Natalie writes:
Hey Tegan!
You have talked before about how a lot of the songs you write are about certain people and relationships you have had. I was wondering, when you play those songs do you automatically picture/think of the person it was written about? And if so, is that hard? Or have the songs evolved for you and you no longer associate them with the person they were written about?

Tegan writes:
Hey Natalie!
They definitely evolve. Sometimes the memories that pop in my head are just memories from having played those songs before. For example every time I play Dark Come Soon I think of the Orpheum in LA. That is where my knees knocked together in front of 2600 people where I played that song for the most people ever when we first released The Con. Plus "The Con" who I wrote the song about was there and I was scared to play it live. Ha. It just pops into my head, that feeling, that visual, every time I sing that song. The songs have to evolve and thankfully do or I would get tired or too sad to play them every night I bet.
Thanks for asking!

Eric writes:
Hello Tegan,
I adore you. I just have a silly question, maybe i'm over thinking but what's the significance of you and Sara ripping off all the Tegan and Sara memorabilia of the wall in Northshore? Whenever I watch it, it makes me think you guys are ripping off your past, so to speak. Throwing them away. If there is no significance that's cool. It looks awesome. Just wondering.

Tegan writes:
Hey Eric!
Great question. That is exactly what we are doing. We're tearing down the image of Tegan and Sara. Tearing down the misconceptions, the labels, the image of us. We are up against so much sometimes when we step out into the "marketplace" and so this video was sort of a release of all that energy. Thanks for noticing!

Kayse asks:
Hey Tegan,
I was just wondering what the process is that you use to come up with bass/drum parts? When you collaborate with people, do you give them an idea of what you'd like it to sound like, or do they listen to the song and come up with possibilities?
P.S. I absolutely adore you and Sara. Please keep doing what you're doing, it means a lot to people, especially me . :)

Tegan writes:
Thank you so much for writing to us! We adore you guys!
Basically Sara and I record songs at home, alone. When we start work on the new records we send the demos to the producer and decide which songs to work on. We also get feedback from our management, our friends and our parents. Once we have the 16 or so songs we are going to work on we send the demos to the musicians we are going to record with. They use the demos as their blue print to build their parts off of. In some cases like Are you Ten Years Ago or The Con or Northshore there are already rough bass and drum ideas to give the musicians an idea of when, where, how and with how much intensity they should "contribute". In other cases like with...The Ocean for instance, it was an acoustic song and it was slow. But I wanted it to sound like...Against Me or Gaslight the band takes a crack at it and we give feedback and go back and forth from there until we find a sound and parts that feel right! Make sense? Good!
Thanks for writing in,

Inna writes:
Dearest Tegan,
First of all you guys are all amazing song writers/music composers/entertainers/and dream makers. Your music inspired me to start writing my own music, so I wanted to ask who or what inspired you to write your very first song? And why?
Your truest fan,

Tegan writes:
Thank you so much for being so inspired. Good luck with your music!
What inspired me? Well..I always loved listening to music, lipsincing along to my fave records in my room and imaging being up on stage moshing around. I was a punk rock teeanger and loved to imagine being all crazy up on stage like some of my fave bands. But as I grew up I started to write my own music. Usually the songs were nonsense, although people would like to believe the opposite, but they were mainly poetry to music. It wasn't until I was 18 that I started writing songs about girls and love. ha.
Good luck!

Steph asks:
Hey Tegan!
I was wondering if it's a coincidence that similar lyrics appear in a few of your songs? (For example "I Know I Know I Know" and "And Darling".) Also I noticed that many of your songs make reference to the ocean and I'm curious to know if there is a any explanation or significance behind this. Keep making great music, I love it!

Tegan writes:
Hey Steph,
I like to repeat ideas and words. I try not to make it TOO obvious but like with life I feel like I have to re learn, re experience things to "get it" sometimes and so often times in songs I have to repeat myself to "get it". The ocean is a magical thing. I have been obsessed since I was a kid with the ocean. My dream is to live on the ocean one day. I think its pure magic. I am equal parts in love with and in fear of the ocean though. I tried to learn to surf and nearly drowned. I have anxiety dreams at least once or twice a week about waves crashing over me, filling the city I live in or my bedroom. I never drown, I always manage to stay afloat but...I associate them with a loss of control. Which is why I love the ocean. I can't control it.


1. Tea or coffee?
Tea. No caffeine for the most part.

2. Chocolate or vanilla?

3. Cats or dogs?
Cats. For sure.

4. Art galleries or museums?
Depends on my mood. More of a museum person.

5. Favourite colour
Black. I know I know, its not a color.

6. Favourite food

7. Favourite drink

8. Favourite season

9. Favourite song
Dancing In The Dark - Bruce Springsteen (today).

10. Favourite song you've written
Call It Off.

11. Describe songwriting in one word

12. Describe performing in one word

13. Time you wake up
At home 10am. On the road 11am.

14. Time you go to sleep
At home 1am. On the road 3am.

15. Favourite thing to do on a day off
Movie. Eat. Shop. Read.

16. Bad habit
Eating. I used to smoke and replaced that habit with food. ha.

17. Favourite book
Too many to pick just one. I love John Irving and Wally Lamb.

18. Favourite TV show
Deadwood. Arrested Development. The Office (british). Friday Night Lights. My So Called Life.

19. Favourite movie
Breakfast Club. But I'm A Cheerleader. Die Hard. Phantom Of The Paradise.

20. Favourite charity
War Child.

21. Favourite sport to play
Eh. Basketball? I'm not a sports person.

22. Favourite sport to watch
Hockey. Rugby.

23. Favourite vacation spot
What's that? Vacation? I've never done that before. Oh. Once I went to Hawaii. It was nice from what I remember! ha.

24. Place you want to go
Costa Rica.

25. Hidden talent

26. Something you wish you were good at

27. Something you couldn't live without
Bed. Ipod. Computer. Blackberry. Friends. Family. Money. Air. Food.

28. Prized possession
Oh man. My guitars are all pretty awesome. I love them a lot.

29. Favourite age so far

30. One wish
I wish I was taller. I wish I didn't work so much. I wish everyone could just get along.