Tegan Quin of Tegan & Sara Guest DJ

Tegan Quin, one half of the Canadian group Tegan & Sara, played guest DJ on The Morning Mix with Cindy Howes while the band was in town opening for Fun. at Stage AE.

For the first song on her Guest DJ set, Tegan Quin chose “What I Wouldn’t Do” by Serena Ryder.  Quin recalls playing with Serena Ryder in the past, “What’s real funny is that Sara and I played with Serena Ryder like ten years ago or something.  She opened for us in a little town in Ontario called Kingston.  And I remember thinking she had this really insane amazing voice and I lost touch with what she was up to up until a few years ago.”  Quin comments on Ryder’s latest album and her first choice for her Guest DJ set, “I just think this new record is really awesome and she’s doing really great.  She’s getting a ton of radio play in the states and it’s really neat cause she’s got such an incredible voice.  Out of everything on the record “What I Wouldn’t Do” is my favorite.”

For the second song on her Guest DJ set, Tegan selected “Her Favorite Song” by Mayer Hawthorne.  “We were actually in the UK recently and we were on the radio on BBC in London.  They have this show where they basically bring in all these guests and play new tracks and have them talk about the tracks.  When they played the track “Her Favorite Song,” everybody in the room thought the track was amazing.  I really like this song,” Quin added.  

Tegan Quin chose “Ain’t It Fun” by Paramore for her final track on her Guest DJ set.  “This is my favorite track off their new self-titled album.  The whole record is really great.  I just think this track in particular shows a lot of maturity in their writing.  I think Haley one of the best voices of our current musical generation,” explains Quin.  

For those who do not know, Tegan and Sara have been around the block.  They released their first record in 1999 and have been on a steady climb towards more wide spread recognition.  Cindy and Tegan also had a conversation the musical progression they have had since their first release Under Feet Like Ours.  Tegan comments on the variety of sound from the Tegan and Sara music catalog, “We learned just how to be better writers, better storytellers, better singers.  And I think our music has just evolved naturally over the last fourteen years.  I think all of our records are different.  We each record we try to take a different approach and try to do something different.  I think Sara and I are really lucky, where we aren’t held by the limitations of being in a band.  We’re just songwriters, so we’re able to take on whatever sound we want for each record. That has also given us free range for our sound.”

Tegan and Sara are both openly gay and very political, however their music does not include references to their personal lives and opinions. Tegan shared the story of her and Sara's unofficial "coming out" to the public, "We never really labored on the decision," adds Quin.  The duo was on tour opening for Neil Young, who's manager actually signed them.  "We were doing a lot of press.  We casually one day brought up that a lot of press was asking us if we had boyfriends or what we wrote our songs about.  We wanted to know if it was ok to just be honest and say that we didn't have boyfriends and we were gay.  And I just remember the president of the label being like if you're gay then just say you're gay. You should be able to talk about what your song writing is about," explains Quin.  Cindy and Tegan discussed the lack of political topics and universal love in their music.  “I think we are candid in talking about love and I suppose that our instinct has been to keep it somewhat universal and writing for everybody.  I was able to grow up listening to Bruce Springsteen, U2, and Cyndi Lauper and none of those people are gay but they sang about their relationships and that really resonated with me.  So I think my foundation is that you can write about your relationship without maybe alienating or removing part of the audience by being specific.  I don’t know that we’ve ever deliberately avoided writing about things, I just think we haven’t necessarily gone about writing certain things.  I definitely like to think on Heartthrob we’re more specific than we have in the past but I like to keep things general just for the sake of my own state of mind, the idea that I’m keeping something private.  Rather than having to stay in the lines of one experience, I can sort of place it on whatever experience I want,” states Quin.

Tegan's song selections: 


1. What I Wouldn't Do - Serena Ryder


2. Her Favorite Song - Mayer Hawthorne

3. Ain't It Fun – Paramore