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A-LISTS rage rhythms
Hopefully you had the opportunity to
catch Tegan and Sara on March 3 at Copley
Symphony Hall. This San Diego show is the
only Southern California appearance as they
Tegan
bring their new recording called Sainthood to
the live performance stage with a full band. If
you have followed their career over the past 12
years, Sainthood represents the first time the
and
two twins and out lesbians have collaborated
together in writing songs. Tegan and Sara have
released five previous albums and Sainthood
brings the two together in a whole new light.
Sara
The Rage Monthly spoke with Sara while she is
in the midst of a tour that will continue through
Sara Quin
May of this year.
ShareS the
The Rage Monthly: You have a fresh fan. This is my first time
eSSence of
around the block with Tegan and Sara hearing Sainthood.
Sainthood
I’m really enjoying it.
Sara Quin: That’s amazing. by bill biss
Rage: The first song I wanted to ask you about is “Red
Belt.” Have you ever heard the album by The Cars called
Panorama?
SQ: I haven’t no.
Rage: That album is reminiscent of what “Red Belt”
is for me.
SQ: Oh that’s cool. I loved The Cars when I was grow-
ing up and certainly that era of music. It was almost
starting to be like New Wave but it wasn’t. That was
always real influential on me. I loved rock music and
that could be rock music but still a little bit quirky. That
certainly is where “Red Belt” is coming from.
photography by Pamela Littky (l to r) Tegan and Sara
Rage: There’s a line in the song “I’ve got a red belt around my
mind.” What does that expression mean? Did you write that?
SQ: I did. Yeah. You know the truth is that I had seen myself in my little comfort zone or whatever. Yeah, to it and written songs together. What was that like for you
Red Belt, the David Mammoth film and it was a refer- Devo. We referenced Devo a number of times. I think and what did you take away from the experience?
ence to the film. Maybe it doesn’t make total sense on “Hell” as well, in what could easily be pushed into SQ: I am really enjoying it, to be honest. Writing mu-
but the film being about deception and it’s almost that conventional rock territory and keep it still in sic is always this nebulous sort of strange, meditative
like a psychological thriller. I sort of used “red belt” as that quirky demo feel. thing. I don’t find it totally challenging to write. Even
almost like an adjective? It’s almost like something if I don’t like what I write or I get to the end of the day
that someone can do to you. They can sort of become Rage: The video for your first single “Hell,” I’m trying to with nothing, I find the experience quite…I always
all encompassing on your mind. understand it. Was that about the experience of writing say I imagine it’s like people who long-distance run.
songs together for the first time? There is a rhythm and momentum to it and you lose
Rage: There are also some great punk licks, almost Devo-ish SQ: I don’t think necessarily it was about our rela- track and you can just focus on something outside of
on the song “Northshore.” That song… tionship as people. Tegan and I rarely write anything yourself. I really find music that way.
talk about an anxiety attack. to do about our own relationship. But, because we’re It was a completely different experience having
SQ: Seriously. That song, it’s so funny to me be- the actors in the video, it ends up being interesting Tegan write with me because I’m so aware of her pres-
cause “Northshore” is a Tegan song. I couldn’t even narrative about the pushes and pulls in our own ence. It’s so rare that I actually do write with someone
imagine writing a song with that many lyrics. And the relationship. I think the video was more of just an arts or someone witnessing my writing process. I was
delivery, that staccato, sort of crazy, quick punch lyric and crafts project. really aware of that and was constantly watching
kind of thing is so not me. I love having a band where myself being reflected back through Tegan. I realized
I have to back her up doing that. I have to really push Rage: It was cool. You and Tegan have finally gotten down how picky I am and how nitpicky I am.
18 RAGE monthly | MARCH 2010
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