Friday, April 11, 2008

Exclusive Interview with Tegan Rain Quin


(Ran in the ER E section on Friday April 11th)

by Melody Stone

Tegan and Sara Quin of the band Tegan and Sara have just recently completed a rough European tour during which they had two bus accidents, had to take hose showers at venues and ran out of merchandise. They are tired and ready for something beautiful and fun: a tour down the West Coast.

Tegan took some time out of her three-week break to chat with The Eureka Reporter on the phone.

Eureka Reporter: Playing and touring together with your sister, do you feel the need to do solo things?

Tegan Quin: I think Sara and I are both very interested in writing alone; we collaborate. In terms of writing, we always do it before. In a weird way we get to be the lead singer and the backup at the same time. We are so busy and so occupied with the project I can’t imagine doing anything else.

ER: What does the set list look like for this tour, mostly songs off “The Con” (Tegan and Sara’s newest album), your older albums or new unreleased works?

TQ: We always do a big mix. For ourselves we want to do the new stuff because it’s challenging. It’s always our intention to entertain. It’s gonna be a good mix. We don’t really write our set list until the day.

ER: Are you going to perform your cover of Rihanna’s “Umbrella”?

TQ: We pulled it off the set for a while because people were starting to ask for it. It probably won’t happen. Sara really holds down the cover song territory. We might cover some songs of our own; we do consider it covering because I don’t remember how to play them.

ER: Will you play your hit “Walking with the Ghost”?

TQ: Sara really hates “Walking with the Ghost” and she tries to take it off the set list every show, which is ridiculous. We still play it. She gets the biggest cheers and the clapping. If I had written the single I would be happy to play it.

ER: Have you been to Humboldt County before?

TQ: No. I’m having a hard time imagining on a map.

(ER explains where we are located.)

I know exactly where that is. I’ve always thought about moving to Northern California. I have lots of friends in San Francisco area.

ER: Did you have much say in your tour spots, and if so, why Humboldt County?

TQ: We love the coast. We’ve been in Europe; we got roughed up. We knew we would want to do something nice. We are going to continue to tour the coast as much as possible.

ER: I was told you wouldn’t play the venue unless it was a 16-plus show. Is that true? If so, why?

TQ: Yes. Sara and I have three sort of rules for shows. We don’t play for money — if we don’t like the venue we aren’t going to play there, no matter how much they offer. We try to do all-ages shows whenever we can. We never play a show unless it’s 16 and over. If we do 21-plus shows we are cutting out a huge portion of our demographic. The third thing, we try to keep our ticket prices really low. We always make sure we can sell our own merchandise. We aren’t out to make money; we are just out to have fun.

We have really good merch. The new run we are doing is so good. We always do a hoodie, a few shirts and this time we have a light windbreak.

ER: Why did you choose to do the True Colors tour (a tour with Cindy Lauper to help promote lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgendered acceptance)?

TQ: Lisa, Cindy (Laupers)’s manager, contacted us. We managed to carve out 10 dates we are doing with them. I think it’s great. This year they are focusing a lot on the vote. It’s a lot of mainstream acts that have been incredible queer allies for years and younger acts like ourselves. I think the combination of all of it is gonna be great.

ER: What do you have to say to the people who will be coming to the show?

TQ: I really love, I love it when people come to the show, and people are completely there. I’m talking like clapping over their heads, singing.

Sometimes people come right up to the front of the stage and look so scared. I go out of my way to smile, make eye contact. Sara and I are total nerds. The tables have turned and now we are up on stage, but I was in the front row staring at my favorite band.

I want to make sure you wear a jacket to the show and don’t do drugs and have a great time.

ER: What’s next?

TQ: We are going to take the summer off because we are burnt out. We are then having a big tour in the fall and teaming up with Rock the Vote. We are very excited about your American election; it’s almost like our American election, even though we aren’t American.

ER: Which candidate are you supporting?

TQ: I love Hillary Clinton. Change is change at this point. I think Hillary’s the best.

Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of The Eureka Reporter or its staff.


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