“As we became more popular, it was confusing to be accepted by the old guard of mainly white, heterosexual indie rock guys, because they wouldn’t necessarily speak out in support of us,” says Tegan.
“We were in the scene but always on the periphery.”Being marginalized often (usually) goes hand in hand with being condescended to.
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(Spoiler: he didn’t get the job.) “It took a lot of years and a lot of apologizing for us to get to this place.
We’re very respectful and we’re very humble, but we don’t apologize anymore,” says Tegan.
Spending time in the mainstream is basically like being at one long Taylor Swift Fourth of July party.“Somehow we’ve managed to open the gate and walk over to the barbecue that’s happening on the other side to hang out with a different scene of people,” she says.
The invite is extended and accepted with eyes open.
The solution: , a synth-pop nugget released in early 2013 that stabbed a stake through their indie cred and vaulted them into the mainstream.
The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, a personal best.
In that time they’ve put out eight studio albums—including their latest, , released in June—and moved from acoustic punk to indie rock to shiny pop. By living in separate cities—Montreal and New York for Sara and Vancouver for Tegan, though they’re now both based on the west coast—and allowing each other time to work on solo projects, they’ve learned that letting go can be just as powerful as holding on.
In short, they’ve taken enough leaps, and have regained their equilibrium enough times, to handle the impact. After , the duo’s sixth offering, Sara realized she needed something to change.
They’re the perfect hosts, even though they’re the guests.
An anecdote is told about Mickey— one of Sara’s two Internet-famous cats and the subject of copious amounts of fan art—who, the previous evening, had taken a flying leap from the deck of the Silverlake home Sara shares with her girlfriend, Stacy Reader.
That’s how long it takes Tegan and Sara Quin, quick with a joke and a smile, to win over the half-dozen women assembled to take their picture in a studio off Los Angeles’s Santa Monica Boulevard. For the next five hours, surrounded by racks of clothing and platters of Mexican takeout, they roll out a take-no-prisoners charm offensive.