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Tegan And Sara: Synth Pop Jubilation

Watch the fizzy pop duo perform "Closer" live in the Soundcheck studio.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tegan and Sara perform in the Soundcheck studio. Tegan and Sara perform in the Soundcheck studio. (Michael Katzif / WNYC)

This year has been good to Tegan and Sara Quin, the identical twin sisters who lead the band Tegan and Sara. Their seventh studio album, Heartthrob, premiered at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart, and the duo recently made the short list for Canada's prestigious Polaris Music Prize. And it's easy to hear why: Tegan and Sara's fizzy brand of pop draws you in immediately with pulsing synths, a propulsive beat, and uncannily catchy melodies.

 

 

For more photos, visit Soundcheck's Tumblr page

Set List:

  • "I Was A Fool"
  • "Closer"
  • "I'm Not Your Hero"

 

Interview Highlights

Tegan Quin, on the benefits of collaborating and writing for other artists:

I encourage young artists out there to collaborate with each other all the time. Bands constantly come to us for advice — young artists, aspiring artists, singers, writers, etc. — and I always say now, the best thing you can do is go and collaborate with someone else, because you are broadening your horizon right away. Instantly you are learning from someone else, and I think that that’s the best way to become a good writer.

Sara Quin, on the duo collaborating with each other heavily for the first time:

There's something creatively frustrating for me that in the compromise we've ended up having so much more success. You of course stubbornly think that it’ll be your song or it’ll be your vision that ultimately pushes you forward. And I think that over the years I’ve realized that that was fairly, that’s not true.

Tegan and I, probably our most successful moments have come when we were probably both stubbornly moving towards the middle. And that sort of compromise has created some of our strongest work, probably.

 Tegan, on her and Sara’s decision to go in a more mainstream direction with Heartthrob:

We’d always just said, “No, there’s no room for us on radio. We’re different. We’re girls. We write own songs. Nobody wants that. No one wants that.” All of a sudden, we didn’t care anymore. We shrugged off all that insecurity.

And I was like, “I want to change the way that mainstream radio looks. I want to change the way that mainstream music looks. I want to get things like SNL. I want to get on The Ellen [Degeneres] Show. I want to tour and play really big venues. And I don’t want to compromise. I want to just go for it and still have integrity in our music.” And Sara was on board for that too.

Guests:

Tegan and Sara

Comments [77]

gustmuzz from INDONESIA

TEGAN AND SARA ALWAYS SUPER AWESOME!!! Please come back to INDONESIA!!!

Jul. 23 2013 05:52 PM
John A

Comments: 'Go Here!'... 'Please come to Zanzibar'. ... ...
Guys, I enjoyed the album*, and I hope you go catch a break any time you need it.
(* All the albums, you lucky dudes)

Jul. 23 2013 03:20 PM
Weronika from Poland

I agree, you should come to Poland! e.g. Poznań :)

Jul. 22 2013 04:19 PM
Raquel from Brazil

Tegan and Sara are so amazing, great voices, great lyrics, so much talented and they are so gorgeous! Kind of unfair haha <3

Jul. 22 2013 04:11 PM
Gosia from Poland

How come you haven't been to Poland yet? ;) You don't know what you're missing! ;) Cracow rocka!!!

Jul. 22 2013 03:18 PM
Kathie from Harlingen,Texas

Hello ^-^ Thanks for live music . See you in September =) <3 Heartthrobes !!!!!!!

Jul. 22 2013 03:00 PM
Sylvie from Poland

I just want to know why is it that you are so fabolous?
:)
and yea... Come to Poland! ;)

Jul. 22 2013 02:39 PM
Heather from Jacksonville, Florida

I've been a fan for 10 years, and i think ya'll are great. When are you coming to Jacksonville, Florida? I haven't seen you since the true colors tour in Atlanta, Georgia. Ya'll have a lot of fans here in the south!

Jul. 22 2013 02:38 PM
Estibaliz from Los Angeles CA

Is their any instrument or instruments that you as a musician would like to learn how to play or just really admire?

Jul. 22 2013 02:36 PM
Galilea from Virginia

Missing the very first half of your performance at Merriweather Post Pavilian and literally crying my hardest because so, do you guys plan on touring as long as you possibly can for teens like me to grow up having more chances to see their idols live?

Jul. 22 2013 02:35 PM
Paulina from Poland

Please come to POLAND

Jul. 22 2013 02:35 PM
yelly from philippines

Please please please come to Manila. Please please please.

Jul. 22 2013 02:35 PM
Sharon from Venezuela

I was eating and I almost drowned, I love you

Jul. 22 2013 02:34 PM
sara from Pittsburgh,pa

Come Back to Pittsburgh!!! I love the fact that you have a mailbox at your shows! I hope you liked the Bruce Springsteen and the giving tree decals I left in your mailbox!!

Jul. 22 2013 02:33 PM
Nita from Canada

I CAN'T WAIT TIL YOU PLAY IN MY PROVINCE!

Jul. 22 2013 02:33 PM
LK from South Africa

When will you do another Springsteen cover? Human Touch or tunnel of love perhaps?

You're awesome! Come to sunny South Africa

Jul. 22 2013 02:32 PM
L from Europe

Do you get in touch with Hayley Williams?

Jul. 22 2013 02:32 PM
Rachel from Ontario

Absolutely love what you do!
Will your next album follow suit and maintain a pop-indie edge like Hearttrob? Are you thinking of dabbling into other genres?

Jul. 22 2013 02:32 PM
Tyler from Hereford, UK

Talking about biography, would you ever bring out an autobiography of your own?

Jul. 22 2013 02:31 PM
Kaitlyn from Oklahoma

Hey, Tegan HOW DO YOU GET YOUR HAIR TO DO THE SWOOSH FLIP SWISH THING?

Jul. 22 2013 02:30 PM
Sharon

some Latin band you like?

Jul. 22 2013 02:30 PM
Bryan Bick

This is really interesting; I only knew the song "Androgynous" from the Joan Jett cover version. I had no idea it was by The Replacements.

Jul. 22 2013 02:29 PM
Orenzo from Vancouver

What are your favourite bands? C:

Jul. 22 2013 02:29 PM
Bianchi from Philippines

PLEASE COME TO MANILA THIS YEAR! I flew to Singapore last May to see you! It was the best night of my life. I even got to hold your hand as you drove away in the white van Sara! haha

Jul. 22 2013 02:29 PM
Erica Periandri from Troy, IL

You should make a record with some songs that didn't make it onto your records!

Jul. 22 2013 02:28 PM
lizzy and marisa from Vancouver

guitar goddesses

Jul. 22 2013 02:28 PM
Galilea Rojo from Virginia

Saw you at the Merriweather Post Pavilian concert, literally cried my hardest while watching. 1. Cause I was late and missed your first few songs & 2. You guys are my idols. What are your favorite quotes that get you through a bad day? Love, Galilea.

Jul. 22 2013 02:28 PM
Kaitlyn from Oklahoma

Serious question for Tegan HOW DO YOU GET YOUR HAIR TO DO THE SWOOSH FLIP SWISH THING?

Jul. 22 2013 02:27 PM
Emily from Pennsylvania

Thank you so much for doing this awesome interview and playing live for us to hear on the internet! I saw you open for Fun recently, and you guys were great but do you plan to do more shows where you guys are headlining? I miss hearing the older stuff. This Business of Art is still some of my favorite stuff. Will you ever play those again in concert? How do you feel about playing those older tracks now?

Jul. 22 2013 02:27 PM
Bianca from Philipppines

It's 2:30 am and I have get up early for work but I'm staying up for you guys. Saw you in Singapore you were awesome! Heard a rumor that you're coming to Manila, is it true?? Please please let it be!!!

Jul. 22 2013 02:27 PM
Sean from SINGAPORE

REMEMBER YOUR 1 YEAR PROMISE TO BE BACK TO SINGAPORE!!!

Jul. 22 2013 02:26 PM
Asya from Israel

Come to Israel!
Q: Thoughts on the next album? hip hop style maybe? ;)

Jul. 22 2013 02:26 PM
Petra Asperger from Austria

Hey guys, do you ever come to AUSTRIA???

Jul. 22 2013 02:26 PM
Florencia from Argentina

Hi Tegan and Sara! I'm listening from Argentina, I hope you could come here someday. Love you!

Jul. 22 2013 02:26 PM
Timothy from Lansing, MI

Also, you both were awesome in Columbus - thank you for making that such a fun trip for me! <3

Jul. 22 2013 02:26 PM
Laura from Lithuania

Are you planning to get married with your partners?:)

Jul. 22 2013 02:26 PM
Kristina

You guys are awesome. Can't wait for you to come back to Houston :)

Jul. 22 2013 02:26 PM
Meg Vonada from Ohio

HOLY CRAP I LOVE U GIRLS SO MUCH I CRIED NONSTOP WHEN I SAW U IN COLUMBUS OHIO.THANK U FOR EVERYTHING!

Jul. 22 2013 02:26 PM
Karine from Ottawa, Canada

What annoys you the most on tour?

Jul. 22 2013 02:25 PM
Bozman from Ohio

Missing this to go to work. Keep writing excellent music.

Jul. 22 2013 02:25 PM
Marie from France

How is it dealing with the crazy fandom ? Are you following what's happening on tumblr ?

Jul. 22 2013 02:25 PM
Michele from Philadelphia, PA

Just saw you both on Friday, awesome concert as always!

Jul. 22 2013 02:25 PM
Kaitlyn from Oklahoma

Not really a question, but THANK YOU SO MUCH for being such an inspiration!

Jul. 22 2013 02:25 PM
Jenny from Ottawa, Ontario

Saw you at Bluesfest in Ottawa, ON and you blew my mind PLEASE COME BACK SOON :)

Jul. 22 2013 02:25 PM
Alexandra from Brasil

wanted to speak English!

Jul. 22 2013 02:25 PM
Shani from Framingham , MA

Do you guys have a favorite time of day ?

Jul. 22 2013 02:25 PM
Gaby from NYC

Speaking of looks -- what's your favorite hair product?

Jul. 22 2013 02:25 PM
Cree from Arizona

How do you guys begin writing new songs? Any tips for a songwriter?

Your show in Flagstaff, AZ was amazing by the way!

:)

Jul. 22 2013 02:25 PM
Nikki from Dayton Ohio

Just saw you in Columbus (twice), you guys were amazing!

Jul. 22 2013 02:25 PM
Bianca from Philippines

What book are you reading now, Sara?? PLEASE COME TO THE PHILIPPINES!!!

Jul. 22 2013 02:25 PM
Dianne Desjarlais from Saskatoon

I LOVE YOU GIRLS!! I was wondering if you guys would do another small venue concert like you did on GET ALONG. and if so can I come! lol

Jul. 22 2013 02:25 PM
Myra from London

What makes a great support band, loving Waxahatchee at the moment your European support :)

Jul. 22 2013 02:24 PM
Julia from Germany

how exhausting is touring for you?

Jul. 22 2013 02:24 PM
Amber from Los Angeles, CA

When will you be coming back to California? I saw you guys at the Nokia theather in LA and that night changed my night. I can't wait to see you guys again.

Jul. 22 2013 02:24 PM
Erica Periandri from Troy, IL

You guys are so incredible as always. You need to come back to St Louis because we love you!

Jul. 22 2013 02:24 PM
Tyler from England

Are you coming to the UK agin soon? and if so, when? would love to come and see you again. Amazing live!!

Jul. 22 2013 02:24 PM
Kate from Iowa

How is touring with Fun.?

Jul. 22 2013 02:24 PM
Jay

Thanks for being the best role models and musicians ever.

Jul. 22 2013 02:24 PM
Brian Messmer

I love you guys! Please stay in New York foreverrr! You two are incredible! How long do you plan to tour from Heartthrob??

Jul. 22 2013 02:24 PM
Chriskurtrobin from TX

One day it will be Tegan and Sara AND CHRIS! Just kidding! Huge fan! Keep being amazing!

Jul. 22 2013 02:24 PM
Mari-Lisa from Ottawa

agh they were so good in Toronto and at Bluesfest aflkajewpr

Jul. 22 2013 02:24 PM
Laura from Lithuania

Lithuania loves you<33

Jul. 22 2013 02:24 PM
Jenna Rosenthal from Oakland, CA

I love you guys so much, thanks for doing what you do. You are an inspiration.

Jul. 22 2013 02:24 PM
Birdie Rodriguez from Los Angeles, CA

Listening in from work! One earphone in, the other ear paying attention to students taking a practice SAT test! Can't resist listening to Tegan and Sara live!

Jul. 22 2013 02:24 PM
Wanda from Wisconsin

Tegan and Sara, what's your favorite candy? Come to Wisconsin again, we have beer and cheese!

Jul. 22 2013 02:24 PM
Martina from Macedonia

Come to Macedonia guys! Or anywhere on the Balkans. And also - What drives your relationship with your fans?

Jul. 22 2013 02:23 PM
Abby from Pittsburgh, PA

We went to 4 shows in the last 10 days! Can't get enough of Tegan & Sara!

Jul. 22 2013 02:23 PM
Erica Periandri from Troy, Illinois

PLEASE COME BACK TO ST. LOUIS I LOVE YOU

Jul. 22 2013 02:23 PM
Nicole D. from New Jersey

You sound amazing.

Jul. 22 2013 02:23 PM
diah

thanks for coming to Indonesia this may!!!

Jul. 22 2013 02:23 PM
Bianca

Please come to the Philippines!!!!

Jul. 22 2013 02:23 PM
Timothy from Lansing, MI

Make my dreams come true, come to Lansing Michigan! Keep rockin' both of you <3

Jul. 22 2013 02:16 PM
klaudia from Poland

Come to Poland please ! love yaaa!

Jul. 22 2013 02:14 PM
Grecia from Mexico

Are you comming to Mexico?
and thanks for your music and inspiration!

Jul. 22 2013 02:12 PM
Deniece from Vancouver

What influences your fashion?

Jul. 22 2013 02:07 PM
rachel slimin from NEWCASTLE DUH

COME TO NEWCASTLE ENGLAND, YOU GUYS ROCKKKKKKKKKKK

Jul. 22 2013 02:07 PM
Alyssa

They sound so good. I love them so much oh my goodness this is great!

Jul. 22 2013 02:03 PM

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