A few weeks ago I spoke to Regina Spektor over the phone while she was in a Baltimore hotel room. It was a teeny little girl voice she spoke with, a far cry from the super strong projection of her voice during her live show at the Rave yesterday. (Read Justin Shady’s review later today.)
Anyway, she said that:
1. She always freaks out before her own concerts, even though the venues are always different. “Some shows are really connected and doesnï¿½t matter where you are…It’s more of how much can you relax and be in the moment,” she said. Actually, “the freaking out happens prior to the show, once I start I feel really good usually.” She compared it to jumping out of an airplane, where “everything is perfect and everything is ecstatic. It has no logic.”
2. She is fluent only in English and Russian, even though she uses other languages in her songs. When she gets a feeling from language, she uses it as color, “In a very ignorant way. It’s sort of that way when you reference something but you’re not an expert,” she said.
So what language does she dream in? “I think it changesï¿½it depends ï¿½ when I’m speaking Russian, I think in Russian,” she said. Also, she has not written any songs in Russian. “I want to do it… I came to New York when I was 9 and a half from Russia. Iï¿½m a composite, not a true Russian…Maybe someday I will become more comfortable with it. English is how I express creativity, Russian is a home language with family and close friendsï¿½it’s more for life, not for art,” she said.
3. And then there are all those onomatopeic devices in her songs. “I love sounds,” she explained.
“I think a lot of it is just playing around. A lot of it comes out of necessity, like making beats because itï¿½s only me and a piano, and it comes out of the arrangement needing other things. I end up doing things with my mouth. I don’t take anything that seriously, I love doing stuff and kind of reminding myself that itï¿½s not that serious. Itï¿½s playful.”
4. She’s planning to tour until the end of November, then write a new album. “To write I need peace and quiet. (During a tour) lots of things are happening, and you’re using your energy towards something else.”
5. She thinks being named one of the hottest women in music is funny. “I definitely donï¿½t think of myself that way, I’d nominate Karen O. She’s incredible.” Aside from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Spektor also listens to Gogol Bordello, the Arctic Monkeys and her support act Only Fun. “I’m all over the place music-wise,” she said.