Date: November 25, 2008
Author: Aaron Kayce
Headline: BLURTING with Tegan Quin
One-half of dynamic duo Tegan & Sara, the Canadian popster has more than just a good home-cooked meal on her mind these days.
Speaking to Blurt just one day before the November 4 Presidential Election, Tegan Quinn (pictured above, on the right) is hyped up, a little scared and really talkative. Having recently completed a very successful cross-country Tegan & Sara tour (with her twin sister Sara of course), she's quick to praise the bigger crowds and overwhelming response to the duo's fifth album, 2007's The Con, but deep down she really just wants to rap about gay marriage, boobs and her grandma.
Blurt: In terms of what's facing the next president, what are you most concerned about?
Tegan: As a Canadian, there are certain things that we take for granted because it's just always been there. Things like health care, and we don't really get involved in war. The idea that you guys are spending twelve billion dollars a month in Iraq and 45 million Americans don't have health care is ridiculous. It's an outrage. It stresses me out at night before I go to sleep. I should be thinking about sex, or making more money, or selling records, or meeting Bruce Springsteen, but instead I'm thinking about how one of the wealthiest nations in the world doesn't care for its people. And as a person that now lives part time in California, it concerns me that people are voting yes for Prop 8. I've been working a ton with the people from Prop 8 to hopefully keep gay marriage and equality for people who are homosexual [this Proposition did pass and is being protested heavily]. I just don't think that there should be a double standard. It's been proven that there's a gay gene. I don't think that it's fair that anyone be excluded.
Blurt: Why are people so concerned about who marries who, especially during a time like this? Why is this an issue right now?
Tegan: I think a lot of people are just afraid. They're living in fear about a lot of things, be it the terrorists that the George Bush administration made us afraid of, or God - we all live in fear of not being welcomed into heaven. So I think ultimately gay marriage shouldn't be relevant to anybody. It shouldn't be an issue at this point, but I think it's actually an easier topic for us to concern ourselves with. I think that trying to figure out how to give everyone health care and stressing out over whether that's socialism or not; that's a pretty big topic and I think most people aren't trying to wrap their heads around it. They're just saying things like, 'that's socialism anyway,' and 'gay people shouldn't get married.' They're just saying the tag lines. And I think the Republican Party is pretty great at coming up with those tag lines. And it just makes the other side look kind of backwards. You know, like you've seen the Prop 8 ads with the two different water fountains. It's similar. Like for those of us that are gay and remember being three or four years old and being attracted to women, it's like it wasn't a choice. I didn't make a choice when I was three years old to like my best friend, I just did. The same way a little boy knows that he likes a little girl; I knew I liked girls too. And so it's very frustrating. I'm dating a girl right now who's never dated girls before and she gets so upset and riled up talking about it. And I always say to her, 'You can't change the world. You can only change the people that love you.' And you would be surprised how many people that love you don't know or understand that this isn't a choice.
Blurt: Now some more lighthearted questions. What's the biggest size bra you've ever been hit with while playing onstage?
Tegan: Oh, my god! I mean they're always big and I always laugh because I've always dated girls with small boobs. So I'm like, 'This is the worst thing ever!' If you threw a small-boobed bra onstage I would be like, 'Oh, that's hot. What girl threw this?' But there's nothing more not hot than giant boobs - when you have boobs that is.
Blurt: Name one or two things that you never leave home without when you go on tour.
Tegan: IPod and bedding, because when you sleep on the bus, I just... I know exactly what has happened in those bunks and I don't want my skin to be anywhere near it.
Blurt: That sounds like a wise idea. What album do you always take with you on tour?
Tegan: The Essential Bruce Springsteen.
Blurt: What's your favorite band right now?
Tegan: I'm really into Ra Ra Riot right now.
Blurt: What's the best and/or worst part of spending so much time with your sister?
Tegan: I think the best part is that she's actually really funny, and I think the two of us together are really funny. So I like hanging out with her because I'm always very entertained. I never feel bored of Sara, or her stories. I think the worst part is, just as you can imagine, traveling with your sibling and spending probably 60 percent of your time on the road with her, sometimes we can get very frustrated with one another. There's a certain amount of bullshit that you can take out on each other that you could never take out on another human being or you'd probably be sent to prison. So I think that can be the worst sometimes, because it can be very stressful dealing with each other emotionally.
Blurt: What would you consider to be your best habit or quality?
Tegan: I think I'm a pretty generous human being. I just had an argument with my grandfather the other day because he said it's like I'm running a communist or socialist band the way that we think over things and give percentages to the people we work with. And we're pretty good about bonusing everybody, and if someone is coming to a show with free stuff for Sara and I, I make sure they bring free stuff for the band, and if they're not, then I have them send it to us rather than show up without enough for everyone. I think the philosophy is: don't bring gum to class unless you have a piece for everybody. That's sort of been our philosophy, and we have a very close knit and loyal group around us for that reason. I think that we really care. And so I think that's probably my best quality, that I really genuinely care about everyone around me.
Blurt: And how about worst?
Tegan: I don't think I'm that great of a listener. Though people constantly are telling me how I'm a really good listener, I feel like they're being passive-aggressive. I'm very excitable, very high strung, a very anxious person and I sometimes, it's not so much that I don't listen, as much as I just constantly talk. And so I feel like I monopolize a lot of time and often feel this burden or this expectation to entertain when it's not expected of me, and so I come off sometimes a little narcissistic.
Blurt: If you could have dinner with any person - living or dead - who would it be?
Tegan: I would have dinner with my grandma. She passed away three years ago and I miss her like crazy. She was funny and just so awesome. She's the first rock star I ever met. I mean, she was an absolute star in our lives. There would probably be like a hundred visitors a year to their house. They were constantly entertaining and they had a bar in their basement and they just mesmerized everyone. So my grandmother was just an amazing force. And I spent so much time on the road the last few years, I really didn't see her much before she died and so I would have dinner with her.
Blurt: What's your favorite food?
Tegan: I'll take a roast beef, mashed potatoes, asparagus, gravy, Yorkshire pudding dinner any time.
Blurt: if you weren't a musician, what do you think you'd be doing to pay the rent?
Tegan: Oh god, I probably wouldn't be paying the rent. I'd find some girl that was really rich and just live off of her.