Date:January 25, 2001
Publication:U of S Student Newspaper
Headline:Twin sisters learn the business of success
For those of you who don’t know, Tegan and Sara are 20-year-old twin sisters from Calgary now livin’ in Van. The sisters first started making music at age eight when they took up piano and then shared a punk band in their early teen years. In their first competition as Tegan and Sara, the duo posted the highest ever score awarded at Calgary’s Garage Warz which is no small feat. From there they joined the Lilith Fair tour and soon found themselves signed to Neil Young’s own label VaporRecords, and eventually toured with the man himself. They just got off their previous Canadian Tour 2000 and are currently on a full North American tour.
Their Saskatoon stop was on Saturday night at Amigos’, and at 11 o’clock the lineup at the door was all the way out to the street. Their set, though short, was packed full of most of their songs. They recently released their first album, This Business of Art, which feature the singles "The First" and "Frozen." Look for the video on MuchMusic any time now. Tegan and Sara play a style of music which has been called folk, rock, and even folk rap. They are most comfortable with just the two of them, their six strings and a couple of mics up on stage playing to a packed house in a small, modest venue.
Developing an on stage persona is something which has been very important to them, and they find that the most receptive fans are the ones who will go mad during the song, but stop and listen to what they have to say in between. The reason for this is simple; they feel that they need something beyond their music to keep the crowd interested. Concerning the live shows of high selling pop stars like Britney Spears, Tegan asks "if they’re not dancing, then what the fuck are they doing?" The point is that they think in order to be interesting, the live show must contain something more than just the music. That, however, was not the case at Amigos as the crowd was more interested in the music than the banter in between songs. And why not?
Tegan and Sara play a brand of music which is seldom heard elsewhere; a brand where all of the passion, excitement, and personality of Tegan and Sara reveals itself in the music, and not in the side show. Their catchy, energetic guitars and their insightful lyrics speak for themselves when the girls are up on stage. The lyrics of the song "Superstar" might just sum up where the girls are heading: "Voice on every frequency, Picture on every magazine."
When talking with Tegan and Sara, it didn’t take long to see the differences between the twins. During their time in the industry they have been treated as a unit, with no focus on them as individuals. Tegan admits that she is the lazier of the two, and says that most of the time she would simply like to, "lie around in bed." She does, however, seem to be more in touch with the industry and a little more serious than her sister. Her goals after touring and being paid to play music remain in the industry, but in a more behind the scenes role.
Sara is a little more easygoing and this comes out on stage and in the music. In songwriting, they work as individuals - each writing songs independent from the one another. This becomes evident when listening to their music, for it is possible to tell the difference between a Tegan song and a Sara song if you’re willing to take the time and really listen. After touring and music Sara sees herself going back to school and traveling without her guitar. Sara also loves to read and is currently into Salmon Rushdie’s new novel The Ground Beneath Her Feet. It is through reading and her respect for authors that Sara realizes the fanaticism some people have towards her and her sister.