We caught up with twin sisters Tegan and Sara before their Paris gig to play music from their latest album Love You To Death their 8th album to date is out now.

You came back last year with your new album Love You To Death and it’s definitely more pop than your previous projects. Why move in that direction? 

Tegan: We’ve been making music since 1998 and I think we just want to make something that seems fresh and new. We always picked different producers and themes on each record to sound unique. And for Love You To Death, we really want to make a big change, we wanted to take some risks. And also, you know pop music is very interesting. It can be very progressive.

We were in the indie-rock world for a long time which is generally a white heterosexual man kind of music and we don’t feel like we belong to this. When you look at the history of pop music, it’s so progressive. At the beginning of the movement was queer-friendly, especially with Madonna or George Michael. When we started doing pop songs, it just made more sense for us. So we were like “fuck it, let’s do it !”.

This record, is also a visual album as each track has its own video.

Sara: I think it’s a reaction to how competitive it is now to keep a space in different medias. There’s so much happening all the time like you put something out and in an hour its hits so many people. Also, as an artist it was a nice way for us to take the music and collaborate further with other artists. Like for the song U-Turn, we worked with Seth Bogart who I think is a total genius and visually interesting. It was the first time he directed a video and I remember him thinking “I don’t know how it will look like?!” and we were like “But no, who cares?!”.

Actually, more and more pop artists use their music to promote a political message like the band MUNA or more recently Katy Perry, What do you think about this ?

Tegan: It’s exciting, at the start of the 80’s pop music was very progressive and there was a lot of messages about LGBT, queer people and politics. When U2 became one of the biggest bands in the world, was talking about Irish politics and they were traveling around the world playing in front of thousands of people who have no idea about these problematical stuffs. I think pop has a long history about being political. And now, there seems to be a return and it’s really exciting. Personally, we love Katy as we’ve been touring with her and she’s really great. I think she understands that she has can reach more people than we can. No matter how pop we became, we’re still not gonna be that huge. I think it’s wonderful that she can do this!

Since your last record, you seems to be more engaged with the LGBT community and now you have a foundation, tell me more about how this started? 

Sara: I think that we always had this idea that our music was political even if it was not overt because we are consider ourselves being queer.  It never felt like needed to sing about it, even if the message itself was totally queer. We created this foundation to make people understand that we take it seriously, try to reach more people and help them by telling them that they are not alone.

Men tend to have more visibility to share their message like Sam Smith, Years & Years or Troye Sivan… there’s not so many queer women in this industry having this public and universal message. With this project we were like “How can we get more resources to what is happening to women?” Trans woman, coloured people are so often forgotten so with this platform, we’ll see what we can do!

Do you think this will have an impact on your music in the future? 

Tegan: Probably and I think we are lucky as we are touring with this albumn and we don’t have to panic about what we are going to do next. For example, Katy Perry she’s hasn’t finished her record yet but she need this political situation to release new music to promote the message. Music is an escape and we have to remember that there are many ways to speak out as an artist and I think we have many platform: social media, the stage, our records, you know I think it’s still important to bring joy and happiness to people even with a political message. I still want Tegan and Sara to be a peaceful project.

During the JUNO (Canada’s Music Awards), you had a long speech about how there’s a lack of women in this music industry. Do you think things have changed now?

Sara: I think there’s been progress in certain areas and the message we put out was very specific. As woman can handle this music industry as well as man, but I think you need to be in a certain category if you want to be recognized. Specifically, this message was for some “male jobs” like production, technical, etc. Like rock music, there’s so many amazing female producing good guitar music. It’s so unusual to see this. It’s also about changing this idea of our society that if we are a woman, you can’t handle a guitar it’s considered to be alternative but if a man does it’s normal. There’s been progress but when you look at those examples, it’s little. It’s just white guys, if we don’t talk about it who will? It’s not the JUNO, it’s the system and it’s international. Even when there’s festival, just take a look, it’s always a man or a male band who is the headline.

Love You To Death their 8th album to date is out now.

Photos and interview by Ivica Mamedy