Regina Spektor Talks Russia, College Shows, And Her ‘Rock And Roll Lifestyle’

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Regina Spektor is coming to the Jorgensen Theater at UConn Oct. 6. (Shervin Lainez / Handout Photo)

Sometimes, Regina Spektor’s rock and roll lifestyle can certainly take its toll.

On break from tour last week, she recounted what could size up to be a difficult experience. “I used to have this hoodie that I think I literally wore for a year straight, to the point where my monitor guy was like ‘So, what’s up with that hoodie?'” Spektor said with a laugh. “I wore it for a while, and now I can’t [expletive] find the hoodie!”

“Thats the thing with touring. Now I’ve learned not to take my favorite stuff on tour. I’ve lost so much stuff.”

Hopefully this leg of tour will be a little less traumatic, when Spektor plays a sold-out Jorgensen Center For The Performing Arts on Saturday, Oct 6.

She’s become known for fantastical storytelling and dynamic voice, utilized as its own instrument in creating composition. Her latest, “What We Saw From The Cheap Seats,” is no different in its unique wit and whimsy, which Spektor says is part of her continued growing process.

“Some of recording records is constantly the same… Then on a backdrop of that, you learn more and grow as a person, so the next time around you’re in a different place. It’s like a spiral going upward.”

“A lot of it has to do with sound- I feel like i’m constantly learning more about sound and how to use it. Other things have to do more with the ability to capture performances.”

Having played everywhere from gymnasiums to Carnegie Hall, Spektor says college shows have some of the best energy.

“It really is the greatest kind of audience, potentially, because they’re so open and exposed to so many great ideas. They’re not weighed down with the heavy logistics of the world outside. They’re coming out of the parent’s home, and they haven’t had to, for the most part, bust their asses.”

“[Any show] really does depend on the people. Anything is as good as who’s there. It’s like a dinner party- it’s only as good as who’s there.”

Spektor grew up in the Soviet Union before her family moved to New York in 1989. This summer she returned to Russia for the first time since the Iron Curtain fell. She said both her performance in St. Petersburg and returning to her old neighborhood were incredibly emotional for her.

“I think for most people when they visit their childhood it’s emotional and powerful. You can go back to a house you grew up in that’s 5 miles away from where you live now, but if you haven’t seen it then you’re just flooded with your childhood.”

“It’s extra giant when there’s a cultural chasm. To go to a place where all the sounds and the colors and the smells you see for the first time since you were nine. It’s really mind blowing.”

Spektor says she wants to experience more of her home country some day, though it might not be any time soon. “When you’re in a world tour, it’s really hard to picture travel. It’s like talking about creating a menu after eating a seven course dinner- the last thing you want to do is ponder food.

“Ideally, once I’m rested and up for it, I’d love to do it.”

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