Date: November 13th 2002
Author: Darryl Sterdan, Winnipeg Sun
Headline: Tegan & Sara: The Mighty Quins
Just because Tegan and Sara look alike doesn't mean they always see eye-to-eye.
"People always say that we're competitive with each other, but we're not really -- we're just annoying and abusive to each other," laughs Sara Quin, who shares the spotlight with her twin sis Tegan. "As songwriters and musicians, we definitely have to have our boundaries or else we start to bicker."
Then again, maybe that's because nobody lets these two Calgary-raised 23-year-olds forget their relationship -- and their supposed sibling rivalry -- for a second.
"The whole twin-sister singer thing is something that we've been hauling around on our backs for a little bit now," says the hyperactive Sara, calling from a laundromat in Minneapolis. "It does get a little tiresome, but I also know it's helped us get noticed.
"This whole industry is about being branded as something, and you don't want to start whining when you get press. But sometimes you have to really hold your tongue. I mean, I sort of think there's something embarrassing when it comes to being a twin. That's not the thing I want to be associated with."
Fortunately, neither Quin has any reason to be embarrassed about the they they do want to be judged by -- their second album If It Was You. While their folksy 2000 debut This Business of Art placed them in Lilith Fair-y territory, their sophomore outing is an edgier affair on which the gals combine the sugary pop-rock punch of Juliana Hatfield with the raw sensuality of P.J. Harvey and the flamboyance of old pal Hawksley Workman.
So far, it seems to be working. Lately the Quins have made impressive inroads into the American market, appearing on The Late Show With David Letterman and Late Night With Conan O'Brien, touring with Ryan Adams and even winning a fan in Neil Young, who signed them to his Vapor Records label for the U.S. Not bad for gals who started off winning a band battle four short years ago.
But Quin stresses their success is no accident -- nor as glamourous as it sounds.
"It seems like we have all this cool stuff, and we do. But that's because we've worked for it. We get up at 7 a.m. to do college radio, because if we don't someone else will. But we're just barely keeping up," says Quin. "There's this feeling that we're still standing outside the window looking in -- they're waving at us, but we're still trying to get in."
One thing they have gained, however, is confidence in themselves as individuals.
"We've always played together and shared equipment, so we've always thought we would be no good on our own. But in the past year, we've both been validated as individuals."
Of course, that has its downside, too.
"Now we're both recording songs and not telling each other because we're keeping them for our solo albums," she laughs. "I fantasize about mine all the time."
Sibling rivalry? Perish the thought.