Canadian twins Tegan and Sara Quin have been making music together for almost 16 years now. From their first studio album ‘Under Feet Like Ours’ to their most recent ‘Sainthood’, the duo have firmly established themselves as the darlings of the Canadian indie scene. A string of strong singles, particularly ‘Back in Your Head’ helped to push the band into the consciousness of not only hardcore genre fans, but also more mainstream listeners. With their emotive lyrics, catchy vocals and knack for hitting just the right note on a chorus, Tegan and Sara went from regional favourites to having their songs featured on the likes of Grey’s Anatomy, One Tree Hill, The L Word and Hollyoaks.
To help celebrate their success both Tegan and Sara decided to put together something a little special for their fans. ‘Get Along’ is a live career retrospective which includes not only their best songs, but also a DVD compromising three very different films focussing on the sisters, their music, lives, fans and fortunes. From the iconic piano opening of ‘Back in Your Head’ to the haunting backing vocals of the beautiful ballad ‘I won’t Be Left’, ‘Get Along’ looks to be a timely reminder of just how important an act Tegan and Sara have been since they issued their first major release back in 1999. Speaking to Scotcampus, Sara discusses their latest album, the associated films and how it all came about.
First off, how are things with you?
“Everything is going very well for us right now! We just released ‘Get Along’ and did a week of screenings in North America which was very fun. As we’re writing for our next record, it was quite nice to have a breather from all the alone time and to get out and reconnect with fans and friends.”
It’s nice to see a band putting together a package for listeners. Is ‘Get Along’ in a way trying to pull fans away from the quick download and get them back to looking at music as something a bit more substantial?
“It was truly about collecting and archiving footage and interviews that centred around the last ten years of our lives in the music business. A retrospective of sorts. We hoped that the volume of music and film would encourage people to buy it, but, we are also aware of the growing demand for “free” from the average music consumer. It’s a tricky time for artists, but, in does mean a more focused effort from the band when a product is released.”
‘Get Along’ features three films from three different filmmakers. How much input did you have in who filmed you and what they recorded?
“We picked the three directors ourselves, but, we wanted to give them a lot of control in how they worked to capture us and the narrative the essentially tied the piece together. For example, Danny who filmed States, wanted us to do audio interviews about our history over the past ten years, and his piece ultimately took on a more somber, reflective feel. India, which our friend Elinor shot while on a trip to India with us last year, ended up being a more action packed and funny look at touring internationally, and the relationships we have with our friends and family. It was truly exciting to work with totally different and talented directors who had such different visions for us.”
When you watch yourself on the films are you quite analytical about your musical performances and things you’ve said in interviews?
“Oh yes! I think we are sometimes over critical of ourselves. Touring, making albums, making videos . . . we can be our harshest critics. We don’t like to disappoint people and we strive for a perfection that is impossible. Which means a lot of shame spirals! I’m trying harder to hear the positive affirmation from friends, family and fans and not be so hard on us. It might be a Canadian thing.”
Has the experience of ‘Get Along’ made you more likely to explore film again?
“I definitely feel grateful that we have so many opportunities to explore and vent our creative voices with so many different mediums. I don’t know that I’m naturally drawn to film, but, the occasional DVD or goofy online video blog seems likely.”
Finally, India isn’t on the tour route of many bands. How did you find the audiences over there and would you suggest more acts make an effort to play there?
“The audiences we performed for in India were excellent! The differences between countries, cities etc, is less so when the experience is through the lens of a live concert. We all internationally seem to respond generally the same! Lots of singing, lots of smiling and clapping. It was a treat!”
Check out www.teganandsara.com for more information on Tegan and Sara’s latest release ‘Get Along’. The duo are working on new material and should hitting the UK in 2012 as part of their European tour.