Tegan And Sara Break Down "So Jealous" 10 Years Later
Everyone's favorite Canadian heartthrobs answer a series of questions for BuzzFeed, each based off a song title from that first breakthrough album. The band has announced a special 10th anniversary release of the record this month.
In 2004, people were piling into movie theaters to watch The Notebook and Mean Girls, Michael Phelps was poised to swim his way to six gold medals in the Summer Olympics, and Mark Zuckerberg officially launched a little thing called Facebook. It was also the year that Tegan And Sara released their fourth studio album, which would solidly place them on the path to pop royalty (and make us all fall for asymmetrical haircuts). On December 23rd, the twins will release a special 10th anniversary edition of the breakthrough album, aptly named So Jealous X. "We have been working on a book that looks back on the making of So Jealous, and the years that followed of touring and promotion, and how it made such a big impact on us and our fans at the time," the band announced on their website. The special release will include over twenty songs, including unreleased demos, remixes, and covers.
BuzzFeed spoke with both Tegan and Sara –individually – and had the heartthrobs answer a list of questions, each based off a song title from the album that will hopefully never stop making us feel "so jealous."
1. "You Wouldn't Like Me": What is one thing that bugs you about the other?
Sara: But there are so many! I think that our lifelong conflict will always be who leads. You know, we are both very strong willed, and sometimes one of us wants to be the leader and sometimes conflict arises when one of us doesn't want to be the leader. It might be who has to call the pizza guy and now it's like, who will call the head of the label? We argue about who is going to take charge.
Tegan: Everything I do bugs Sara. I talk too much, I talk in circles. I fixate on something.
2. "Take Me Anywhere": If you could hop on a plane right now and escape for a month, where would you go?
Sara: Strangely I actually would love to just stay home (laughs) for no one to bother me. We travel so much that I just got home and I don't have to go anywhere until Christmas and it feels like heaven ... I feel like nobody knows where I am and I don't have to check in with anybody. I'm already there!
Tegan: I would probably go to Maui. Yeah. I think that would be really nice.
3. "I Bet It Stung": What is your biggest fear?
Sara: I'm legitimately afraid of people I love dying. I worry about that.
Tegan: God, um. Well, beyond the very obvious: death, family death, or someone I love dying…or [being] kidnapped. I would say my biggest fear is that we actually are witnessing a societal implosion because of how opinionated, entitled, and kind of…mean spirited…the internet is making all of us.
The anonymous culture is driving people to behave in a way that they just never would. I'm terrified and afraid that we've forgotten that we are actually human beings ... I'll see my computer across the room and I'm afraid! I'm like, "I don't wanna go, I don't wanna get on it! I don't wanna see anything! I don't want to read a comment on the story." And not even just things that have to do with me — anything on the internet, I'm terrified. Anytime I go to write a tweet right now I'm afraid that people will be mad at me because I tweeted about this thing and not that thing.
4. "I Know I Know I Know": What is one word you use way too much?
Sara: I'm trying to remove "like" and "um" and I think that part of that is just slowing down when I talk, for the way to fill space in the sentence while I collect my thoughts. I'm trying to remove both of those from my vocabulary.
Tegan: It's a tie: "like" and "literally."
5. "Where Does the Good Go": Seriously, where does it go?
Sara: I don't think human beings are meant to actually feel happy for very long ... Probably "Where Does the Good Go" is just allowing things to fall apart so that we can put them back together again.
Tegan: To the internet. Where it's immediately hate-tweeted.
6. “Downtown": We once asked women draw their ideal lesbian bar, since they are hard to find these days — what would yours include?
Sara: Private rooms! I don't like to go out. I think when I'm out I actually feel anxious because I don't want to be around people I don't know. Which I imagine is sort of the purpose for a lot of people? (laughs) That's why I'm really into private karaoke rooms — it's just total social anxiety. For me, I like to go places where if I don't want to be social or talk to people, or look at people, I don't have to. But I sometimes want to get out of the house...so the bar would have to have super-private areas.
Tegan: I think that maybe that's the problem with lesbian bars, there is always too much of a theme! I know that here in Vancouver, for instance, it's always gotta be an event or some high-paid ticket price for gay pride, or a drag show. All of that is for people who are 10 years younger than me. So I guess I would just like a bar where, yes, it was gay-friendly, gay-leaning. It would be nice to have a lesbian bar that didn't feel like it was such a fucking production.
7. “I Won't Be Left”: Since 2004, what is the one fashion trend you wish you didn’t try?
Sara: Hair. My first seven years in the music industry I wish I could erase from the internet. I guess, not to pick on the mullet, but, like, we really went for it. I don't want to say I regret it because there were a few versions of the mullet that I think were really great!
Tegan: I wasn't trying one thing. I had an asymmetrical haircut but also a mullet, I was wearing skintight T-shirts that barely covered my love handles, and then wide-legged jeans. It was a lot of fashion faux pas. But then it kind of made sense? It all works when it's all worn together — at the time it didn't look out of place (laughs).
If I could go back I would say…maybe just dress the way I do now. But I loved the asymmetrical mullet. In fact, I think about it all the time. Robyn brought it back this year and I thought, Yes! She brought it back, it's still here. She's the only one, but it's here.
8. “Walking With a Ghost”: Looking back on So Jealous now, is it similar to looking back on an old yearbook photo?
Sara: It's the one I can happily look back to and don't feel shame or embarrassment. I don't feel super critical of it. It feels very representative of who we were then and what we were trying to accomplish. I think the execution was pretty on the mark.
Tegan: It does feel like looking at photos, absolutely. What I think is so cool, starting with So Jealous, is that we found Tegan and Sara ... We got out of high school and made a record. I'm proud that we managed to get it together and do that. I know people who are in their thirties and they are still dickin' around and haven't figured out how to make a record. I'm like, "Do something else."
I'm proud of us. It can be hard for me to listen and not feel really critical, and then I feel very defensive for myself. Amongst all these different ideas, feelings, clothing choices, sounds, visions, and genres — there was this band that came out with that record. We thought, This is the direction we should go in.
9. “So Jealous”: If you weren’t you, who would you be?
Sara: That's a hard one! I'm really inspired by people who are making change in the world and who are using their power or education to give back positive change in the world. If I wasn't in this band I would want to be working in some type of capacity where I could do... You know, we do it a little bit with Tegan and Sara...but I like having a positive impact on people. I like being a role model ... I would want to be someone making a positive change in the world.
Tegan: I can be anyone? I mean, there are so many people who I think it would be fascinating to be for a couple minutes. Instantly I'm like, I want to be Beyoncé, I want to Oprah, I want to be George Clooney! I don't know why it is that I'm thinking of all these super-famous people.
I think I would also pick people who have a lot of power and have done a lot of work in terms of humanitarian work and stuff. (pauses) Anybody? I just listened to this podcast on time travel and everyone was talking about wanting to go back and change things — I am not that kind of person. I am a future person. If I could be anyone, I would like to be two generations forward, like I'm dead and gone. I would like to be the offspring of my offspring. Future Tegan offspring's…offspring.
10. “Speak Slow”: What is your favorite emoji?
Sara: My favorite emoji is the one where it's just a contemplative blank face. There's nothing happening: just a line and two eyes. Nothing represents me better than that.
Tegan: I like the dancing girls. I use that one the most and after that, the cat with the heart eyes. I'm also a pretty big fan of the "blessed" praying hands.
11. “Wake Up Exhausted”: What keeps you up at night?
Sara: I'm a very anxious person ... I generally worry about pretty innocuous things. Did I talk too much today? Oh my god, I need to deposit that check. Or, Oh my god, I hope I don't die.
Tegan: Currently, my neighbors having the grossest, loudest sex ever. It's completely upsetting for the obvious reason that I wonder how many times everything I've been doing has been so audible and clear to people? But tied for first is that it's just really aggressive and very loud. And — I mean this in a loving way — it's very hetero-sounding? Very man grunting, hard, woman sounding like she is being tortured. A lot of "YEAH, YEAH" It's hard. I like living in an apartment building and I don't wanna move ... I just wake up kinda mad at them. I don't know what they look like either; that might help.
12. “We Didn't Do It": What is the most insane rumor you've ever heard about yourself?
Sara: Um, I don't know. Maybe we're boring. I can't really think of anything. I feel like we're pretty boring (laughs). I've never heard anything too exciting.
Tegan: Oh my god, it would take me five hours! Right now there are countless people online claiming they've had a relationship with me? Someone hacked into my email so they had a lot of personal information and they got a cell phone from the same area code as me and they have been sending thousands of messages — basically just catfishing innocent fans. I had random friends from high school thinking they were communicating with me for the last two years but it was really just some psycho online pretending to be me.
13. “Fix You Up”: What always will instantly put you in a better mood? Makes you happy?
Sara: There is this feral cat that keeps jumping into the window outside of my kitchen and I'm like, nothing makes me happier than seeing that feral cat every day. "There it is! Hello!" And every time I see that cat I think, that cat is just going through life, it lives outside, it's just hanging out, and it comes by the window to say hello. I'm sure if I made any effort to console it, or give it anything, or touch it — I'm sure it would disappear into the wilderness.
14. “I Can't Take It”: What bugs you about the other the most?
Sara: Tegan is a very impulsive person. She will fire off, like, 40 emails, and that is her self-soothing method ... Sometimes I feel like I wish she would be a little bit more — what's the word — I wish she would be a little more patient ... I do think we balance each other to create a really strong team.
Tegan: (laughs) Oh god, I have to pick just one? Actually one of my biggest pet peeves — probably not just with Sara but with all human beings — if she's really engaged in a conversation, especially a group conversation, and she's talking a lot like we have her attention, I hate it when I respond and get excited but she picks up her phone! It's like she's done.
One last question: Any advice to anyone struggling to come out of the closet to a sibling or close family member?
Sara: The biggest advice I can give is that no matter how prepared you are or how you think the conversation is going to go — there will always be time for more conversations.
When I came out to my family, it wasn't great but then you work at it and you hold your ground. For me, there is no perfect way. Coming out and being honest about who you are is the first step, and then working on the relationships after is the second step.
Tegan: It's so hard because every situation is so different. The important thing to remember is: It's your life. Nothing is more crushing, sad, and awful than thinking that you would sacrifice your happiness for someone else's. It's sad to think you might make a family member uncomfortable or disappoint your parents. Ultimately, handle it delicately and be honest — remember that it's about your life. A lot of parents, I try to tell young people too, a lot of parents are just worried. They're worried for you.
My parents were worried! My parents love gay people — they had lots of gay friends, they encouraged their gay friends. When we came out they really struggled with it, you know? We are their babies and they didn't want us to be criticized or hated.
When you're coming out, remember that the people you're coming out to might just be really worried for you. There's compassion on both sides, I think.