Date: January 19th, 2001
Author: Fish Griwkowsky, Edmonton Sun
Headline: Music on the Double: Talkin' About Life With the Quin Twins, Tegan and Sara
Watch The Shining all alone in the night and you'll agree: Twins can be freaking creepy.
I've hung out with enough of them to know there's no worse enemy to have in the world than your duplicate, someone who, from the get-go, is naturally stealing the show from you.
But a conversation with Sara Quin, "the blond one" in Tegan and Sara, who play the Sidetrack with guaranteed energy tonight, points out some new things about being paired off from Day 1, especially when mixed with the idea of instant fame.
After all, it's always totally OK to stare at twins, isn't it? Think again.
FISH: There's a subtle competition inherent in being a twin, isn't there?
SARA: I find twins creepy. There's a weird vibe. We are, like, more high maintenance, easily. It's the way we're raised. We always have this "twin music" thing and it's like, shut up. But it's valid, it does affect things, especially because it's easy to fight with your twin. When we start sparring with each other we get a little mean. The reality is what's the point of whining? We got into this industry knowing exactly what we're doing, how we would be sold.
FISH: So what do you suggest to twin-bearers?
SARA: DON'T put them in the same activities. I think that we raise twins to be the same person, but we're independent, moreso than other people. Put them in different schools. Being a twin is like being famous. Everyone thinks they should be able to point at you. And working in the music industry is the same thing, except you choose that. With twins, you kicked apart the egg so that there'd be two of you. I'm creeped out by other sets of twins. I don't like looking into their eyes.
FISH: In Edmonton we have a lot of insecurity of being, you know, "world class" to the exclusion of self-honesty. I know Calgary, your home town which you left, has a bit of this going on.
SARA: It's really interesting. We're signed to an American company, so we've had to spend a lot of time down there. Canadians seem to be more competitive with each other. You know, "We're from Toronto," "We're from Vancouver." We're so consistent with this idea of promoting for ourselves, unlike the States. Down there, they only care about the fact that you're from Canada, somewhere different and interesting.
I wanted to move out of Calgary to Vancouver. It was right before we went on the road on the Neil (Young) tour. I was, 'Not only am I packing up, I'm leaving forever.' That's all there is to it. I'm happier.
Back to the flag-waving, I heard Matthew Good say something about Canadian press. We're so boring we make a big deal about everything, every time something happens, no matter how useless.
FISH: Your producer on This Business of Art, Hawksley Workman, is a genius. What madness did he bring to the studio?
SARA: This album saved us from boredom. These songs are so old, but Hawksley made the material fresh, and we sing it way better than we used to. This album, the only growth I see is maybe in the technique of old songs.
FISH: How is his playing different from yours?
SARA: He is David Bowie. We're on a realistic kick while he's doing something like a Broadway show.
FISH: And how old are you now?
SARA: I know. It's not my fault.