Interview: Chilling with Tegan and Sara

This article originally appeared on TeenWire.org

After 20 years of sibling rivalry, these twin girls decided to take action and channel their energy into beautiful music.

tegan and sara interview

Tegan and Sara are 20-year-old twins from Calgary, Canada. With acoustic guitars and two distinctively different voices, they just released their first CD, This Business of Art on Vapor Records. They've won Calgary's Garage Warz contest and have played shows with Hayden, Paula Cole, and the Lilith Fair. They're currently touring with Neil Young and the Pretenders.

tegan and sarah this busines sof art album cover

TeenWire was lucky enough to get a chance to talk to Tegan and Sara, and here's what they had to say:

TeenWire (TW): How would you describe your music?

Tegan and Sara (T&S): We're Bruce Springsteen wannabes. And we're inspired by lots of different artists, like Kinnie Starr, she's an amazing Canadian woman artist, and Sinead O'Connor. We're not trying to imitate any style when it comes to songwriting, though. It's just a fluke, and I think we're lucky.

TW: I heard that you recorded this CD in two weeks. Is that true? And if it is, do you think the speed has anything to do with the pace of life today?

T&S: Yes. We actually only had nine days — a song a day. And then another week and a half to mix and master it.  And yes, we talk fast, we think fast. We feel like we're always going. Because there's just so much going on. There are so many things that we want to say, and so many places to say them.

TW: How do you guys get along with your family?

T&S: Love them. We have a really cool, really sweet family.

TW: You and Sara get along well?

T&S: No, not really. We're like an old married couple. We've spent 20 years together. We have the same friends; we look the same, share the same clothes; we like the same things. We can't even pretend that we don't like the same things, because we do.

"But really, there's a lot of pressure to do certain things and to be empowered and to be strong. But you are you and no matter what you do, as long as you feel good about it, you're doing the right thing."

People say that when twins graduate high school, they're supposed to grow apart . . . do their own thing, so they can have space and love each other. We didn't get to do any of that. We got in a van together and traveled across the country. So we get along fine, but we do fight a lot.

TW: A lot of your songs, like "Proud" and "Freedom," seem to be about keeping your center and staying grounded. Tell us about that.

tegan and sara

T&S: Last year was our first year out of high school. We both went through this stage of looking for balance in our lives. I went on this diet, 8 Weeks to Optimum Health, and I stopped drinking caffeine, and liked this really big stage of balance. Those songs were about how to have balance in your relationships, your life, and your emotions.

TW: In your song, "The First," you say that the future's scary, but you "choose to celebrate." What advice would you give to young women about the future?

T&S: I just watched Slaughter Boy and it's in my head, so I have to say it: "Don't do crack." But really, there's a lot of pressure to do certain things and to be empowered and to be strong. But you are you and no matter what you do, as long as you feel good about it, you're doing the right thing.  We did a youth program and there were like 1,500 girls in the audience plus it was on TV. Our opening line was, "We're not Britney Spears. You don't have to be her to succeed in this business." We got so much mail afterwards from girls who said that's so awesome.

TW: Is there anything you want to say to young women about sexuality and relationships?

T&S: I know you go through this experience of dating people you don't really like in high school just because your friends are like, "This guy likes you." It's so liberating to graduate because you get to go out with whoever you want; you get to experience whatever you want. So, I guess my advice is that it gets better.

TW: Did I miss anything?

T&S: Just that we're cute and we're cool. And we have cute bums. And of course, listen to "Tegan and Sara" because we're the rocking-est, coolest band ever.