Interview with Tegan Quin

AfterEllen: I was excited to see you playing with Alkaline Trio on AOL. Have you seen it yet?
Tegan Quin:
Yeah, I saw it a couple of days ago. They sent me a link and said they were going live with it. I love those guys, they’re awesome.

AE: So cool to see you singing with them. And Ryan Adams has covered you before, and the White Stripes. I wonder why it is that so many men seem to cover Tegan and Sara?
TQ: I think it’s a big misconception that only girls listen to Tegan and Sara. I think this is a way of correcting that by male musicians covering us. I’ve never really heard of any girls covering us, not off the top of my head. It’s mainly just been dudes, which is great in opening us up to different audiences. It’s totally a nod to us, which I like, and I remember the first time that we hung out with Matt Sharp. He told us, if you guys were dudes, you’d be famous. And I’m just like “Really?” And he’s like, “Totally, this is a pop record. It’s a hit.”

But you’re girls, you’re lesbians, it’s just going to take you so much longer because of all the social norms or whatever. I never really aspired to be famous or rich, so, I think that, for me, it’s just kind of like we’ll take it as it comes, and I think it’s really cool when people like to cover our music, and it’s especially cool when they want to hang out with us.

AE: That’s funny. The only male twins that I can think of that sing are Evan and Jaron, and the one dudes with really long blonde hair that had a couple of hits back in the day …
TQ: Nelson!

AE: Nelson! You could have been the next Nelson.
TQ: We’d be in good company. We’re all nerds.

AE: What is going to be different about this upcoming tour, besides the fact that you’re playing some bigger venues? How will the set list be different?
TQ: We’re going to change it up and put some older stuff back into the set. We haven’t been playing four or five songs off The Con that we’ll probably put back in. We’re going to change it up a bit. We have two or three songs that we have requested every single time we play for 10 years now, so we’re going to have the other support acts learn them, and then we’ll come out and perform them with them. We’re hiring a lighting director who should be creating a cool light show for us. It should be really cool!

AE: That’s funny because one of the last times I saw you was at a tiny theater before your last album came out, and the lights kept going out on the stage.
TQ: Ridiculous. I like to think we’re not the kind of the band that needs a big light show, but apparently we do. That was annoying.

AE: What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you on stage? Is that the worst or are there plenty more?
TQ: Oh God. That wasn’t bad, that was kind of funny. I mean, we played in L.A. at the beginning of this record and someone threw gum on stage. I think the worst thing is that Sara just can’t let s–t go. Sara was like “Get them!” and everyone was turning around and pointing at [the person who threw the gum], and they were like proud of themselves. And Sara’s like, “Are you serious? Twenty thousand people here, and you decide you’re going to throw gum on the stage and be proud of it? You’re going to get your a– kicked, are you serious?” My sister can’t let sh-t go. Some girl gave us the finger out on stage the other night, and she wouldn’t stop talking about her. She just has the worst temper of all time. She was just berating her, and finally I was like, off the mic, and said, “Why don’t you stop? Just leave it alone; let’s play the song.” And she was all like “f–k you” or whatever, and afterward she proceeded to rip me and everyone around me a new a–hole, about how we weren’t supportive and I was f—ed up, and it was bullsh-t. Who f—ing cares?

AE: Maybe she’s getting you back for always bringing up how she fainted at Lollapalooza.

You’re right, you’re totally right. But that was funny. Looking back, most of the things I thought were crappy ended up turning into a really funny story.

AE: Yeah, because you’re not like a silent band that just gives someone the eye and continues on.
TQ: Yeah, and have it ruin the night. We just make it into a big production and everything is all right.

AE: And then everybody puts it on YouTube and on the Tegan and Sara LiveJournal forum.
TQ: We were wondering if that night when the girl gave us the finger made it to YouTube because the best part was I screwed up on a song at one point, and I blamed it on the girl. I was like, “Sorry!” She was still doing it and everyone kind of booed at her. I said, “Everyone look at that girl for screwing me up,” and everyone on cue turned around and gave her the middle finger. It was so funny, and I was like, I wonder if that made it on YouTube!

AE: Wow, it probably did. You guys definitely have some dedicated fans. Speaking of, you guys were on’s hot list at #67, together, Tegan and Sara together. What are you going to do to boost it up next year?
TQ: Who were the 66 people in front of us? Are there 66 hot lesbians?

AE: Well, Leisha was number one last year. I guess they’re mostly older ones.

TQ: How do we boost ourselves up on the list? I guess get older!