Looking at the list of Tegan and Sara Quin’s accomplishments in 2009, it’s more a question of what they did not do. The Canadian pop rock duo released their sixth album Sainthood last October; published a three-volume book titled “ON, IN, AT”; collaborated on records with other bands; and are currently in the middle of several months of touring throughout the world. Yet, in the midst of their performing, writing, traveling and everything else, Sara found the time to talk about their recent adventures.
Innocent Words: How is Sainthood different from your previous albums, such as your collaboration in working on it?
Sara Quin: Tegan and I still wrote much of the album separately, but we did spend a week together in New Orleans working on material together. The experience wasn’t any more difficult than writing alone, although I did find that I rushed to make decisions because I didn’t want Tegan to get bored or lose focus. I found that her influence helped expand my vision to be something bigger. I think this album is more of a performance record. We wanted it to have the energy and spirit of a live show.
IW: What inspired your lyrics on Sainthood?
Quin: I like to write about my life as a conversation. I like to write about romance and detail my reflections, anxieties and pursuits!
IW: What made you decide to write three books on top of your musical writing?
Quin: We like to create and collaborate, and these books offered us an opportunity to work with photographers and friends that we really liked. It also gave us another medium to explore and express our thoughts and art.
IW: What are the books about?
Quin: Two of the books look at touring, and one of the books details our experience of writing together in New Orleans!
IW: I love to tour in the USA. I find the difference from city to city, as well as the amazing venues and friends we’ve made over the years, help make it the most fun place to tour! I also love Germany, Sweden and Japan! And Canada. And Australia. … I guess I like to tour everywhere!
IW: Some people probably think of “Tegan and Sara” as kind of a single person, in a way, but how would you describe the ways that you two are most different from one another?
Quin: We have very different personalities. I think Tegan has a stronger extroverted personality. I tend to be more reserved, shy, etc. Tegan is much more impulsive, and I exercise a lot more restraint and patience.
IW: Outside of music, what do you like to do, if you even have time? At the risk of stereotyping, are you hockey fans?
Quin: We both read a lot. I like to snowshoe, and I do like hockey! We both like to work on other projects. Producing, writing etc.
IW: What are your future plans?
Quin: We have a long year ahead of us! Lots of touring!