Date: May 10, 2011
Author:Tegan Quin
Headline: April 2011 - Ask Tegan

Kelly writes:
Hey Tegan!
I am currently studying music business and was wondering how you think your experience of listening to records is different than how "kids these days" listen to records? Do you think that kids are getting the same experience out of music as you did in your childhood? (Not getting a preview of the record, physical copies instead of digital, artwork etc.) Do you think of your records as one piece of art or a dozen individual ideas that happen to be on the same record? How important is the order of the tracks on the album to you? Best of luck with the new record,

Hey Kelly,
Great questions! I definitely think people hear music differently these days, including those of us that were around pre internet/digital music. I think there are a billion reasons why that is bad and another billion for why it is good. I do miss the feeling of going into a record store to buy a record and taking it home to listen to it ; devouring the lyrics and soaking up the music as you hear it for the first time. Things have definitely changed. I think our perspective as a culture on music has been the worst part of that change. People don't value music the way they once did. I think the LP or the CD used to be an extension of the art. A gift directly from the artist to the listener. Now its just a product. That's sad.

I think records for me are usually one idea explored 12-14 different ways. And track listing, or sequencing as we call it, is VERY important. We labor over the sequence for months sometimes.
Thanks again and good luck!

Juliet writes: Hi Tegan!
You and Sara often talk about your family life and your parents splitting. I was just wondering which parent you were and are closer to and what was it like growing up in that situation? Who took the separation harder, you or Sara? By the way, I am a huge fan and have been for a long time now! Thanks for inspiring me with your music!
From, Juliet

Hey Juliet!
Sara and I were 4 when our parents were separated. They got divorced when we were 5 or 6 I believe. I don't remember a ton from that time but I do remember my parents telling us. It was very hard and very sad for us. I don't remember seeing my parents fight or not get along. We were very happy kids though and after they split we still saw our dad every week. We were closer to my mom for obvious reasons (girls tend to be closer to their moms, we lived with her during the week) but we had a really awesome relationship with our dad too. I think Sara showed signs of anxiety in more extroverted ways, like asthma and hypochondria after the divorce. I was very extroverted with my anxiety as well but it came as a need to please everyone. I used to dress up as a clown to entertain my family when they were sad. We're like a bad indie movie script family. Ha. I believe divorce is normal and just part of what happens when two people fall out of love. I never resented my parents for splitting. In fact I can't imagine them together. I'm glad they made us, but living apart was best for us all. That being said, when you're 4 it feels very personal and very life shattering. I remember having a lot of anxiety at night after my dad left. I felt unsafe alone in the house with my mom and sister. That sort of thing can't be helped though. We always say that some of the most damaged people we know came from homes where the parents DIDN'T get divorced! ha.
Take care,

Charlotte writes:
Hi Tegan!
In what (if any) ways do you feel like you've changed since working on your last album?

Thanks for the question! I could never write all the ways I've changed. There are just too many. Every record cycle I feel I grow as a writer, a performer, a singer and a person. We travel all over the world, meet so many people, face so many challenges, experience so many cultures. I learn so much its impossible not to see it shape me as I grow older. I think the biggest chance this last few years is that I want to have more balance in my life between work and personal. But I also want more success more than ever. I believe our band has a message that needs to be shared/heard. I want to share our music with as many people as we can! That is new. Ha.
We'll see what happens come the new record!

Shauna writes:
I've been wondering this for awhile now: Why can't you and Sara be podcast anymore? I know you may not have control over it, but I'm confused as to why it happened. It makes me sad to know that when I listen to any CBC podcasts I won't be happily surprised to hear you guys come on. On a happy note, thank you and Sara for being you.
With great admiration,

Hey Shauna!
Sara and I don't work for CBC so we don't get to podcast whenever we want! They invite you to come in and create a podcast and then they promote and release it on their site! Hopefully next record they will invite us back!

Melissa writes:
Hey Tegan!
First of all thank you (and Sara) for being such incredible and inspiring musicians and people! The question I wanted to ask is: Do you ever think about how the songs you've written potentially effect those you've written them "about"? You've spoken about how sometimes it can be difficult for you to play a certain song because you may be particularly emotionally attached to etc., but have there ever been experiences (that you are aware of) where the person you've written a song about find it difficult to listen to that particular song? Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions for your fans, Melissa

Hey Melissa!
I definitely think about the people I've written my music about more and more. Mainly because friends in my life have created art that is personal to them but has to do with me and it affected me greatly. I realized that for a long time I thought my songs were pretty ambiguous and personal and the subject matter wouldn't really affect the subjects involved, but as it turns out, I was wrong! ha. Definitely keeping that in mind going into this next record. I think the subjects in my music over the years have generally appreciated my process and loved the music for the most part. Generally those people aren't particularly interested in making the music about them, so I think they detach from it as best they can.
Thanks for the question!

Ashley writes:
Hey Tegan!
For many of your fans, there is a particular song they feel they can relate to that brightens their day or gives them the hope they need to keep on going during their darkest days. Is there a song by a particular band that has always helped you when you're feeling down? If so, which one? And what do you think about Tegan and Sara music changing or possibly even saving the lives of your fans? Thanks for everything you and Sara do!

Hey Ashley!
There are so many bands that I put on when I am sad. Usually its something old from my childhood like Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Cyndi Lauper, Supertramp, The Pretenders. Sometimes I go for punk/emo/hardcore. Hearing their aggression often helps me find a place to put my own. I love System Of A Down, Thursday, Taking Back Sunday, AFI, Alexis On Fire, Muse, Atari Teenage Riot, 7 year Bitch, L7. And sometimes when I REALLY feel bad I listen to Britney Spears. That always makes me feel better. Dance Pop. Love it!
And yes, over the years we have accepted that our music has been able to reach, touch, affect, console and potentially save our fans. And that means the world to us. We don't take that lightly. We care very much for our audience. Most importantly we try to make music we think other people would relate to. Like everyone else we deal with all sorts of emotion and hardship. We get it!