Daily Vice: Tegan and Sara Talk Feelings In a Cat Cafe

The duo talk broken hearts, marriage being a fucked up concept, and their new record. With cats!

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May 18 2016, 4:00pm


Photo courtesy of Daily VICE

Tegan and Sara have been writing about their broken hearts for as long as they have been a band. Whether it was with their stripped down, folky vibe on earlier work like If It Was You to their switched up power, stadium pop on Heartthrob, Tegan and Sara songs have soundtracked many long nights thinking about that one person who messed up your heart. The Canadian twin sisters are set to release their eighth studio album, Love You to Death, on June 3. This record is looking to prove that Tegan and Sara are still very much major players in the pop song game. “Boyfriend”, the lead single from the record, is synth-soaked danceable jam asking an unknown lover to stop being more mysterious.

But they will argue that their songs are more than just about unrequited love and pining; rather they are more interested in looking at who and why they have approached relationships as they have in the past. In this Daily Vice video, we spoke to Tegan and Sara at Toronto’s Cat Cafe about their new record, why marriage is a fucked up concept, what songs they don’t want to write for their audience (hint: it isn’t love), and also coo excitedly at a bunch of cats. Watch the full interview below along with a full Q&A.


Noisey: So I listened to your record a couple of times and once thing I noticed, aside from the first song and the last song, all the songs seem to be about some sort of unrequited love of some sort. How more times do you feel you can get hurt?
Tegan: Nothing new and traumatizing has happened. I’ve just had more experience and more insight. It’s more of an introspective record. I think it’s less like “you didn’t call me”, “you hurt me more” and more “what did I do that I’ve become this person?”

To me, the first song, “That Girl”, and the last song were the only two that weren’t necessarily...
Tegan: “Stop Desire” is all about hooking up. It’s not unrequited.
Sara: And “Be With You” is about being in love and not wanting to get married, which is not about unrequited love.

You don’t want a White Wedding!
Tegan: And “A Hundred Times” is about Sara wanting to quit the band. It’s like you didn’t even listen to the record!
Sara: You make it sound like we’re just writing about getting broken up with. There’s some deep shit on the record.

I mean, maybe I’m not that deep! Maybe I didn’t get it.
Sara: You’re not deep! Your haircut makes me think that maybe you’re not that deep. I don’t know.

Okay, so, next question, wait, fuck. Someone is calling me.
Sara: Someone is calling you? This is very unprofessional.

Sara: I remember when I first came out and I was dating my first girlfriend and I was really madly in love. We were using that language like, “we should get married” and “we should have kids.” At some point I remember, you know, in my twenties, thinking, I don’t want any of that stuff. Why am I saying all of those things? I think for me it was almost a reaction, a reflex, to say to people, “I’m just like you”, I’m totally like a straight person. I’ll say this. There was a bit of a paradox for me because on one hand I felt like I was opting out and, quite aggressively, from an intellectual perspective, I was thinking about saying “no, not for me.” But as a gay person, I was it is so fucked up that we are not allowed to make that choice. We don’t get access to it. We like to say everyone should have the right to get divorced and say the institution is ridiculous. So that’s not a song about love in the sense of being rejected. It’s rejecting the institution of marriage.

It’s about a relationship between…
Sara: What do you want us to write about? Recycling?! God!

Write about, like, cats or something else like a rainforest?
Sara: No! Why?