For her new album, Cho-Dependent (out August 24), comedienne Margaret Cho wrote and recorded rock songs with a star-studded roster of artists, including indie icon sisters Tegan and Sara. Hear an exclusive stream of their collaboration, "Intervention," below!
Cho's been a long time fan of T&S, having first met them some years ago in Montreal. "I love to go to their shows in general, because it's similar to the kinds of shows that I do," Cho tells SPIN.com. "Lots of young, very, very adorable, sweet queers, which is my favorite audience."
When they decided to collaborate on a song, Cho and the sisters discussed ideas for the lyrics, but settled on one in particular. "I have always feared, long before the [A&E] television show, that I would be the victim of either an intervention or a surprise birthday party, both of which seem like the worst thing that could possibly happen," Cho says. "So I was discussing the possibility of this with Tegan and Sara, about how terrible it would be to have an intervention."
Next, Cho went about writing the lyrics, and the sisters worked on the music. In fact, "Intervention" is just the third song ever released that the duo would deem a true joint effort. "Sara and I typically work on our songs [separately] and then collaborate in the studio," Tegan tells SPIN.com. "This year we have been trying to work together more. Its fun!"
Cho was blown away by the initial demo she received from the sisters. "It just sounded so great," she says. "It is really a great Tegan and Sara song."
Later, Cho flew to Vancouver to record the song in a studio owned by "Summer of '69" rocker Bryan Adams, a place Tegan and Sara had longed to record for years. The sisters brought their whole band in to help out, while Cho says she brought along some strange illnesses and parasites from her just-completed visit to Morocco. "Margaret had us in stitches the second she arrived with stories about her trip," Tegan says. "The lice and parasites didn't scare me at all. We're a rock band after all -- we've seen a lot in 12 years."
And while Cho was stretching her musical wings on "Intervention," and the rest of the album, this song finds Tegan and Sara taking their first stab at recorded comedy, in the form of a "skit" midway through the track, where they "intervene" with Margaret, who then pukes into their jack-o'-lantern. "I was really nervous to 'act' with Margaret when she suggested it," Tegan admits. "But she was so hilarious and it was actually really quite easy to 'improv' with her."
"They're very, very funny," says Cho. "Some bands aspire to be comedians, but they're actually funny." Says Tegan: "The fact that she thinks we're funny is more important to me than if she thinks we are good song writers. Seriously."
But jokes aside, the song deals with a serious subject, and both Cho and Tegan considered that while writing and recording. "I know a lot of people who struggle with addiction issues and one specifically gave me the green light to participate," Tegan explains. "It's good to be able to laugh at yourself and the problems you face in life. Sense of humor can save you."
Cho agrees: "Sometimes the only way to deal with horrific things in life is through a dark sense of humor. I feel the people who have endured it or have had drug and alcohol issues will probably find it the most funny, because they know what it's like."
Listen to "Intervention" below and tell us what you think in the comments section. Cho-Dependent is available for pre-order starting today via Cho's official site, where you can also preview another track, "Eat Shit and Die," written with Grant Lee Phillips.
LISTEN: Margaret Cho, "Intervention (feat. Tegan and Sara)"
What do you think of the song? Sound off in the comments below!