As the 10th anniversary of their dark, introspective 2007 effort “The Con” loomed, the Quin twins — who perform as Tegan and Sara — toyed with potential ways to celebrate it. They decided on two: “The Con X” world tour in which they would play the album, live, from start to finish, and “The Con X: Covers,” a new album with interpretations by other artists, including Sara Bareilles (Floorplan”), Ryan Adams (“Back in Your Head”) and Chvrches (a lugubrious version of “Call It Off”). Proceeds benefit the duo’s new Tegan and Sara foundation, backing LGBTQ women’s rights, adds Sara, who was wowed by the diverse renditions.
”The Con” revolved around the passing of your grandmother, who was like a second mom to you two. Not an easy subject to write about.
When you lose people, it just puts you in this different world for such a long time, and it’s just really hard to come out of that. You just have to let yourself process it for as long as you need to, be sad for as long as you need to, freak out and just go crazy in public if you need to. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.
I just lost my mother. And it was the toughest thing I’ve ever endured.
I’m so sorry. I still think about my grandmother a lot. And actually, we just lost my mom’s sister a couple of years ago, and then last year my grandfather killed himself. So that whole side of the family — besides my mom — is now gone. And my mom is like, living YOLO. She’s in Europe right now on her own, she’s turning 60 this year, and she’s drinking in Tuscany with random lesbians. My mom is so straight. But she’s texting us with, “Everybody dies. So I’m going to live like there’s no tomorrow.” We asked her when she was coming home, and she said, “I don’t know — maybe I’m gay!”
Was “The Con” anniversary a difficult undertaking, then?
I f—- hate the record. I mean, I love it now. But it was so painful, because my grandma dying was so painful. And when that record came out, I went through a divorce and my whole life fell apart. I felt like I had lost everything, and depression really didn’t let go of me for three years. And onstage, at night, I would feel physically ill playing those songs, I hated them so much. So it was clear to me that if we were going to revisit the album in any way, we had to do something that acknowledged that they weren’t those songs anymore. Now they belong to the audience, and to whoever is singing them.
IF YOU GO
Tegan and Sara
Where: Masonic, 1111 California St., S.F.
When: 8:30 p.m. Oct. 25
Tickets: $35 to $70
Contact: (415) 776-7457, www.ticketmaster,com