Artist: Tegan And Sara
From: Vancouver, BC, Montréal, QC
Sara Quinn of Tegan and Sara is a true Canadian, fun loving, talented and humble. She’s willing to talk about her music but won’t toot her own horn no matter how hard you push. Trust me, I tried. So who will win the Polaris Music Prize according to Sara? Anyone but her, so she says. Good thing it’s not up to her, what do you think?
Kristin Kent: Congrats on being nominated, how does it feel?
Sara Quin: Well we’re really excited actually. Tegan and I have always been so nervous and uncomfortable with prizes and top 10 lists. I don’t even like when people ask us to do them because I want to be like, “can I make it an infinity list?” because I just want to include everyone. I feel very excited, and very grateful for the acknowledgement and we’re really happy.
KK: What do you think of the short list this year?
SQ: I think it’s great. A couple of the records I would have put on my own short list this year. I definitely feel honoured to be included with them.
KK: Other than yourself whom are you rooting for?
SQ: I’m totally not rooting for myself. I don’t know what it is; it’s probably something I need to talk about with my therapist, because I don’t feel like we should win. I feel like being on the list is acknowledgement enough. I hate to say whom I’d be cheering for, but I do really love Owen Pallet and I love the new Caribou record. I just think that everyone that was nominated, even on the long list, it’s such an honour. It’s unbelievable how much great music there is in Canada, it’s just really so cool.
KK: If you had to take one album out and swap it for another, which would it be and why?
SQ: Oh my god. I couldn’t even do that. I didn’t think that we would make the short list. So I’d definitely put someone else and swap myself out.
KK: Really, why?
SQ: I just feel so uncomfortable, it feels weird. I never felt like we totally belonged in any genre of music and I’m sure that’s some kind of reaction to feeling like we were never a critically acclaimed band. We were always the type of a band that people liked and some people didn’t like. Some of the people that were on the list are the types of bands that do get critically acclaimed across the board. So there’s some sort of self-consciousness where I’m like, “Is it a mistake? Is my mom on the board? Is that how this all happened?!” But I feel, I just feel so happy and like I said there are records, you know Owen Pallett’s record and Caribou record I mean those are probably some of my favourite records of the year.
KK: Speaking of the critics… do you think of the critics’ complaints that artists who’ve won in previous years shouldn’t be able to win again?
SQ: The politics of these types of things are really complicated. I mean arguably for a band like us, we’re very established at this point; as we’re well over a decade into our career. A lot of the bands that are being nominated arguably need the press and the acknowledgement, this is a really big deal for them. I can just as easily say that although we haven’t won before, maybe we’re not the type of band that needs to be on that kind of list. In a weird way I would see this prize as being for music that wasn’t as mainstream or wasn’t as recognizable in the mainstream. So it’s hard for me to make a statement about that. I think that if you make a really fantastic record twice, why not? Why can’t you be nominated?
KK: Don’t be modest, why should Tegan and Sara take the prize for the best Canadian album?
SQ: I can’t. I mean, I have no idea. I just don’t know.
KK: I can tell in your voice, you really are reluctant!
SQ: I’m so reluctant. I mean this so sincerely. Just being nominated signifies to me there’s acknowledgement that what we’re doing is cool or is relevant and that maybe we’ve managed to sort of cross onto the path of what people sort of right now are interested in. I’ve always been proud of the music that we made. Right now in our career what I’m mostly excited about is that Faith seems to be the record where there is some acknowledgement of the work and the album that came before this one too and just as a package sort of what we’ve managed to do over the last ten years. I’m just grateful that there’s acknowledgement of that and that makes me really proud. It’s really hard for me to think that it’s a better record than anyone else’s records. How could you even judge our record against the Sadie’s or Dan’s record or even Broken Social Scene. We’re all in really different pockets of music. But I think it’s really nice to be up there with all of them.