Canadian rockers Tegan and Sara have been playing music together for 14 years, since their high school days in Calgary. But until their latest record, Sainthood, they had never written a song together. Not one.
Always the experimentalists, they sequestered themselves in New Orleans and set to work with a drum kit and guitar. “Well, by the time we got to New Orleans, we already had nearly 40 songs, so we said, well, we’ll try something totally different,” says Tegan Quin, on the phone from her home in Vancouver. (Twin sister Sara lives in Montreal).
“The songs had their own vibe, and we decided that, unless that is the direction we want to go, maybe those songs weren’t appropriate.”
The results? “Think the White Stripes sung by 14-year-old chipmunks,” says Quin.
But don’t be surprised if the tracks don’t make it onto an EP soon enough. What did make it on Sainthood made up a theme of unrequited love, a familiar topic for the Quins.
“We see a theme and pick songs as we moved along that worked with that theme,” Quin explains. “It is about how people act, when we get into relationships, how your behaviour changes and you act all perfect and do everything right and want the other person to only notice the good things about you. It is totally insane, beautiful and amazing at the same time.”
The Quins have garnered a huge fan base around the world, a result of their decision early on to concentrate their efforts outside of Canada. “We didn’t want to get stuck like a lot of bands and only work two months a year,” says Quin. Tegan and Sara play at Massey Hall on Jan. 19 and Kool Haus on Jan. 20.