Well, you’re always going to write about what you’re feeling. Do you think rock stars have a certain responsibility for how their content affects their fans, or do you also enjoy artists who write stuff that’s just fun?
You know what, I think there’s a place for all of it.
I think there are people who I always…I think of U2 as a great example and I guess Arcade Fire comes to mind; bands that are sort of big and popular, exciting bands that also have political views and occasionally take the time to sort of step up and speak about the things they don’t talk about in their songs.
But I also appreciate political acts, people like Billy Bragg.
Being identical twins, have you started to see any differences or similarities between your songwriting styles?
Can you recognize the Tegan songs from the Sara songs?
I listen to a lot of old country and I listen to a lot of old hipster electronic music, and also a lot of really lo-fi shit. I envy and admire those who are able to write and produce those massive hits. I can really admire a big public machine like Justin Bieber. You know, my parents loved Zeppelin and Springsteen and U2 and The Pretenders and The Police and all that kind of stuff. Anything that had a good strong melody, we loved it. I can be the biggest snob, but when it gets down to it, I can get into a Tom Petty record. In a sense, I almost don’t believe in guilty pleasures. Are you someone who mostly buys records or CDs, or do you go for digital music?
That record is just chock full of melodies and hooks and whatever. I definitely do digital music, but I’m definitely still an old-fashioned person in the sense that I buy a ridiculous amount of books and magazines.
And I do know that we have an impressionable audience.
So I choose very carefully what I talk about offstage or what I pursue or promote.
No, no, we still are sticking kind of to our traditional methods of writing independently. If I write something and record it, she’ll be the first person I send it to, and she’ll give me suggestions about arrangements or melodies, so we’re all certainly involved in the process. I think in the beginning there was a little bit of reluctance sometimes, always sort of assuming that the other person was wrong.
But from the beginning stage to about the 70% stage, it’s really us writing stuff by ourselves, individually. I’d be like, “Okay, thanks for your feedback, but no.” But as you get older and work with other people, you do a lot more collaborative stuff; you know, “I produced your record and I’ve written with other people and I’ve guested on things.” As you work with other people, it gets easier to take suggestions and criticisms and critiques and not act like that.
There was definitely a time in my life when I thought that Tegan and I would grow into a political band but still have the vehicle of pop music, which I love.