Fashion (Canada) - - Culture Interview -

In­ter­est­ing fact: It turns out that, much like sib­lings who aren’t also band mem­bers, Te­gan and Sara do spend time apart. Since we didn’t want Te­gan to feel left out, we sent her some fol­lowup ques­tions, which she gen­er­ously an­swered.

Pop mu­sic seems to be get­ting more re­spect these days. I think Te­gan and Sara has both ben­e­fited from this crit­i­cal reap­praisal of the genre and en­cour­aged it. Your thoughts?

“When we sat down to work on what would be­come Heart­throb, I think we saw a shift hap­pen­ing in pop­u­lar mu­sic to­ward hy­brid pop/R&B/ elec­tronic and, lyri­cally, things just seemed more dense, deep and in­ti­mate. That in­spired us to try to reach the main­stream and re­fine our pro­duc­tion a lit­tle bit. Truth­fully, we al­ways saw our­selves as writ­ing ‘pop’ songs, but our ear­lier pro­duc­tion skewed more al­ter­na­tive. Heart­throb was def­i­nitely an at­tempt to cap­ture the new pop sound and reach more peo­ple.”

Since Heart­throb, you’ve men­tioned how you had to work on your stage pres­ence be­cause you aren’t be­hind gui­tars as of­ten. What have you

learned? “It was a great chal­lenge, af­ter nearly 15 years, to have to try some­thing new. Sim­i­larly, it was a relief at cer­tain points in the set to go back to hid­ing. I think the bal­ance of pro­ject­ing and per­form­ing and hid­ing is what cre­ates a mean­ing­ful show for my­self and the au­di­ence. I still tin­ker with the ra­tio—I just re­cently added the gui­tar back in for two songs be­cause I felt it would cre­ate more emo­tion in the set. And it worked. I think we will al­ways be work­ing on the bal­ance.”

What was the last song that sur­prised you or made you cry when you didn’t ex­pect it to?

“I can’t re­call the last time mu­sic made me cry. Don’t call me cyn­i­cal, but I think I’ve been hav­ing a hard time con­nect­ing to mu­sic lately. Mostly, I’ve been lis­ten­ing to mu­sic that is up­beat or just lis­ten­ing to pro­duc­tion. I did cry lis­ten­ing to the Nancy pod­cast, though, so I am still ca­pa­ble of tears.”

It’s the 10th an­niver­sary of The Con. Do the songs still con­nect with you, or do you feel more

sep­a­rate from them? “I still feel very con­nected to The Con—more than other records of ours from the past. I feel that way about Heart­throb, too. Of­ten, when we have taken the big­gest risks mu­si­cally, I end up feel­ing very at­tached. It’s easy for me to play any songs from

The Con be­cause they still res­onate. I don’t know if I could ever ex­pose my­self [again] the way I did back then. I am more protective now. But I am glad the record ex­ists. It’s a nightly re­minder to re­main present in the most hu­man of emo­tions.”

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