Date: September 28th, 2004
Author: Patrick Lavery
Publication: The Link
Headline: Tegan and Sara Get So Jealous
Sara Quin sounds tired as she speaks into the phone. She and her sister, Tegan, who make up the duo Tegan and Sara, just played a concert last night in Long Beach; they didn't get to sleep until late in the night. So, despite it being 11:00 a.m. where she is, she's yawning-just a little.
"We were supposed to drive to Eugene, Oregon today for a show tomorrow," she says. "It would've taken, like, 16 hours or something. But we stayed here to appear on a local L.A. TV show, so now we're flying."
Their new album, So Jealous continues to show Tegan and Sara exploring the limits of their songwriting. The lyrics range from goofy to darkly bittersweet. On six of the album's 14 tracks, they are backed by friend and former Weezer bassist Matt Sharp.
"It's not supposed to be a cheeky title," says Quin. "It's something that our whole group of friends say. I always say it in my head." Quin admits that her own jealousy inspired the title track. "I'm always saying how jealous I am of somebody," she says. "The song is [about] being insecure, being paralyzed by jealousy."
The album also shows how far the sisters moved away from the Ani DiFranco-style folk pop that characterized their first album, This Business of Art. "We kinda shrugged it off for (our last album) If It Was You," she says. "We've kinda matured and what we're listening to has changed."
"It would be boring not to be challenging ourselves," Quin continues. "If we weren't going beyond what we've already done, getting more involved in the production, I would lose interest. It wouldn't seem like ours anymore."
Putting the new album together proved to be a bit of a challenge for the sisters. "I moved to Montreal almost two years ago," says Quin. "Tegan's still in Vancouver. Because she had a high speed DSL line, she would send me mp3s. I'd burn my stuff to a CD and Fed Ex it to her. It really wasn't that different from before, when we weren't living together. I just have to travel more now." Quin says she does more of the traveling, since their management and recording studio are both in Vancouver.
Quin still loves Montreal, though. "It's such a great city," she says. "Life is completely different than in Calgary or Vancouver. There, it's easy to come home and drop off the face of the earth for a while. In Montreal, I go out to shows, I want be around other people."
On stage, the two sisters have a natural chemistry that runs between caustic and silly. They spend a lot of time between songs talking with the crowd, telling stories. "We have natural presence on stage, I think," says Quin. "We've always been able to talk to people. What makes it easy is we're both there. Talking to Tegan is a very grounding thing."
Quin also says that the chemistry with the crowd can make or break a show for her. "I've gotten offstage and we've played well, but performer-wise, there was something missing," she said. "The crowd didn't laugh at a joke or we didn't talk as much."
"But then," she says. "We'll do a concert where we played okay, but I know we've done a good show because the audience connection is there."