Does it ever get to be too much to be away from home or is it better because you’re with your sister?
We’ve definitely gotten used to the lifestyle and have adjusted our schedules. When you’ve been doing it for 15 years, you sort of know what works and what doesn’t. Our tour manager’s been with us for 10 years and our guitar player for eight years so it’s not just Tegan; I feel like that’s sort of a family. You have so many cool experiences that in a lot of ways it justifies the time you miss at home.
Also, for example, I’ve spent the majority of the last two years in one place writing and hanging out so that’s the trade-off. You get a lot of focused time at home to write and see friends and family and sometimes you’re away for a while.
You’ve taken on other projects like videos and unique merchandise. Where do those ideas come from?
There’s a lot of downtime when we’re touring and when we’re writing so we’re sort of goofy. We always just start kicking around ideas we think would be fun.
In 2007, we were in Portland for a couple of months and we had rented this house and we thought it would be really funny to build a set in the basement. Instead of like MTV, talking to the camera, documentary style we thought it would be fun to start calling people. Every night when we’d get out of the studio we’d go sit downstairs in the set—this contraption called the forest phone—and we’d call people, tell them about our day and talk about the record.
It’s more like trying to take ideas that other people use and make them stand out a little more. Do it less traditionally. We just like to have fun and it’s a way for us to kill time.
What’s your favorite thing about playing in and visiting San Francisco?
San Francisco has always been one of our favorite places. I love playing in California a lot—audiences are super enthusiastic and we’ve always had a strong fan base. When we first left Canada and were touring all the time, Los Angeles and New York were okay but I was like “San Francisco, THAT’S cool.” I still really love it, the crowds, the coffee.
What are you guys listening to on your own these days?
Well because we’re just finishing up our own record and in eigh-hour rehersals for the set we’ll be playing on tour, my favorite thing right now is silence. I come home and sit very quietly.
I was excited about Frank Ocean’s record and the How to Dress Well record that just came out. I’m very aware of what’s happening and listen to stuff all the time but I just need silence right now.
Tegan and Sara perform this Saturday, September 29 at the Harmony by the Bay Festival in Mountain View.
Tags: Harmony by the Bay Festival, mountain view, MP3, tegan and sara