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Tegan And Sara Interview: Gay Rights, Public Service And The Music Industry

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Identical twin Indie duo Tegan and Sara have been busy winning awards and producing work across genres since they first burst onto the scene in Canada back in 1995. Since then, they have been vocal in their support for various causes, including gay rights.

Causecast's Brandon Deroche recently caught up with the twins to discuss their take on Prop 8, civil marriage in Canada, community service, the Love Unites movement and being out in the music industry.

CC: What are the causes you're passionate about?

Tegan: Well, obviously most recently, our last American tour kind of fell at the exact same time as the American election. Obviously the election itself was extremely important to us, but the whole Prop 8 thing was very close to home for us as gay artists; we were obviously really hoping that Prop 8 would not pass in California. I was here for a month and a half after that, so I went to all the marches and you know, blogged online and tried to get people to support. Sara and I both did the Love Unites posters. We really tried to get involved and sort of wrap my head around how that happened. Like how California itself wasn't supportive of gay marriage just didn't seem to make much sense at the time. It was very anti-climatic to hear that President Obama was President, and then to hear that Prop 8 passed - it was like "ehh, I'm sad and happy all at the same time." So confusing...so Prop 8 was kind of the last thing that we got involved in. We're obviously still monitoring all of that and doing what we can to make sure that people know that still needs to change obviously.

CC: How do you feel that music can play a role in creating social change and pushing things forward?

Sara: Obviously, there's not been some huge wave of political music which is tough because and sometimes I find that political music is usually is so marginalized because it's political, that it doesn't have the impact that say, a pop band, like U2 being political, but still making pop music, with the occasional political song, how impactful that can be. So I'm thinking that, currently, though, you have really articulate, well-spoken musicians who are out canvassing and talking about things that matter to them. You know, for us, obviously, we talk a lot about gay rights and being gay and sexism and feminism, and all of those kind of things. But you have tons of people who are talking eloquently in the press right now about things like health care. And, in Montreal, for example, I'm really aware of, I love that the people in the Arcade Fire are constantly talking about Haiti and the things that are going on in the countries that are important to them, or where they're from or whatever. So when you see people not just talking about themselves or their music, I find it inspiring. I love it. And I never think when I see a band talking about something that is important to them that they're preaching, or that they're trying to push something down, you know, your throat. After the end of a long day, to be honest, it's nice to kind of talk about other people's problems, and other people's issues, and not necessarily just talk about, well, like, on tour relationships, and it didn't work out, I'm sorry, I wrote a bunch songs about it, and it's kind of nice to know that you are here for some other important reason, and I think a lot of bands are just chomping at the bit to talk about something that they care about, you know?

Read the full Tegan and Sara interview on Causecast.org