Date: January 2004 - Issue #3
Author: Anna Pournikova
Publication: Gasoline Magazine
Headline: Tegan vs. Sara
"I kicked her in the back and attacked her" - Sara
Tegan and Sara are one of Canada's best kept secrets. Before finishing high school, the Quinn sisters had already managed to hawk, stage side, 4000 copies of their independent debut, Under Feet Like Ours, in Canada. Since signing to Vapor, the Calgary-born pop-rock musicians have sold 65,000 albums worldwide, with little radio support for both 2000's This Business of Art, and follow-up, If It Was You.
The members of the dynamic duo, who both write, sing, and play guitar, have toured with such heavyweights as Neil Young, the Pretenders and Bryan Adams, as well as several artists in the middleweight category, including Rufus Wainwright, Ryan Adams, Ben Folds, and Hot Hot Heat.
As partners, their achievements are notable for their 23-years, but privately they have battled each other the entire way. both are so fiercely independent that they've chosen to live on opposite ends of the country. Tegan in Vancouver and Sara in Montreal.
The gloves came off when Gasoline caught up with the by-coastal beauties in their respective home bases to ask them five questions about music, touring, the media and what it's like to fight your sister.
Anna Pournikova: Who is the better musician?
B. Your sister.
C. She better not say she is.
Sara: "I think she knows I'm a better musician."
Tegan: "I think that the better musician is A. Me."
Anna: If forced to spend a weekend locked in a room with Tegan/Sara or Regan from the exorcist, which would you chose?
Sara: "I'm locked in a room with Tegan every night, so I would pick Regan just to switch it up. They have a lot of similarities though: uncontrolled mood-swings, projectile vomiting and peeing on the carpet."
Tegan: "How big's the room?"
Anna: Who was the weirdest or most high maintenance artist you ever toured with?
Sara: "Ryan Adams was my most favourite tour ever because he was the only rock star we ever toured with. He was always drinking, and getting weird tattoos, and talking about famous people."
Tegan: "The weirdest was probably Rufus Wainwright. He did two-hour soundchecks, and then he would go and drink, and come back and play, which was kind of an oxymoron. Why practice if you're just gonna get drunk and be unstable on stage?"
Anna: How do you feel about journalists who ask about your sexual preference?
Sara: "Most people have taken it upon themselves to write about it. A lot of it is how Tegan and I would be famous if we weren't lesbians. Do you think that anyone sits across from a male indie artist and says, 'You're a fat, ugly, white guy. You've sold hundreds of thousands of records. How did you do it, without radio play?'"
Tegan: "It doesn't happen as much as people probably think it does. Never with major press, except Entertainment Weekly. They asked, and, at first, I was really annoyed because that was our really big break for big national coverage in the U.S., so I was kind of annoyed that asked. At the same time, I think that we're part of a generation that doesn't really care."
Anna: How do the other members of your touring band feel about the two of you fighting?
Sara: "They encourage it. Me and Tegan fought in Toronto, and Tegan took this big tarp and threw it at me, and then I pushed her, and she fell over this fence. I remember looking up and seeing Rob (Chursinoff, drummer) and Chris (Carlson, bassist) with their jaws open. They were so thrilled that we fought. That same tour, Tegan locked me out of the hotel room, and when she opened the door, I kicked her in the back and attacked her. We wrestled on the ground for 45 minutes and she'll tell you that she won, but she just got lucky and pulled my coat over my head and tried to suffocate me, so I gave up. But that has nothing to do with strength; it had to do with the convenience of my jacket. When they (the band) found out that me and Tegan fought, they were like, 'How come you never fight in front of us?'"
Tegan: "We try to act like adults. Recently, the most horrible fight that we had was me locking Sara out at the hotel, and then when she did get in the room, she attacked me from behind and kicked me to the ground. We wrestled around and then I pulled her jacket up over her head and shoved her in between the hotel bed and the wall, and stood on her head until she couldn't breathe. I think we get somewhere when we fight. The rest of the band was excited the next day. They were like, 'You guys fought! Oh my god! Do it again!' I like the fighting; I think it's useful."
Tegan and Sara will return to the studio in early 2004, for a planned fall release.