Tegan and Sara Discuss Performing "Closer" with Taylor Swift
An excerpt from the interview can be found below. You can read the full article here.
How did you meet Taylor Swift?
Yesterday was actually the first time we officially met. I remember hearing through the grapevine that she was a fan. I was like, there's no way! Then her manager called a couple of months ago and said Taylor is obsessed with the record and she'd love to have the girls up. I made a joke that we'd change the date of the birth of our child to make it happen. We're such huge fans.One of the bands that inspired us to want to make a bigger record and cross over to pop was Taylor. She's flawlessly moved [between] genres and she has such integrity and depth in her music. She's proven you can make a pop record that still has an incredible feeling in it.
Was your first meeting to rehearse?
We came in the afternoon and we rehearsed. Her band is incredible. Taylor is the boss, man. You walk onstage and she's like, "OK, here is what's going to happen." She's like, "I'm obsessed with the second verse – I want to sing that." And I'm like, fuck yeah, you can sing whatever you want. She walked us though the whole thing like an old pro.
What was it in the second verse of "Closer" that she was obsessed about?
Initially when we put ["Closer"] out, we were defensive because people were just calling it a pop song. And I was like, "But it's got depth! Listen to the lyrics, look deeper!" On first listen, something like the second verse — "All you think of lately is getting underneath me, all I think of lately is how to get you underneath me" — can seem really throwaway. But I was writing about the idea of a love from a long time ago never coming to fruition, the idea of unrequited love. And even though it can feel really dark and intense and a missed opportunity, there is something fun about romance and looking back.
How easily did Taylor fit into that place?
The good news is that Sara does all the harmony parts, so it was pretty easy whether it was me or Taylor singing lead. When she was singing the second verse, she was like, "I'm gonna walk this catwalk and I'm gonna strut my stuff," and I was like, I would never do that! I've never even sung with a wireless mic before. I'm going to try not to trip and fall in front of all these people. . .I'll skip along next to you. It was her stage. We were just honored to be asked.
Do you think you'll be doing anything else with Taylor down the line?
She's an incredible talent. She writes great songs. She writes very emotionally. I know lots of people that have worked with her and they say she's really fun in the studio and has a billion ideas. Part of our goal with this record was to show off our writing, so I hope in the future we could do something with Taylor. I definitely will see another Taylor Swift concert in the future at a minimum."