Regina Spektor: Soviet Kitsch
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Regina rocked New York's Bowery Ballroom for over two hours last March while supporting her record Soviet Kitsch. In between TV spots and overseas junkets she had some things to say to Tweed.
I should start off by stating Regina's show in March was absolutely amazing. I had first seen her perform at the Bowery last January while interviewing Mates of State. She played an opening set and it was 'nice.' But two months, a few shows in Europe, and some TV spots later... Regina's skills have exploded! Her set in March easily trumped that previous performance. She rocked for two straight hours. It was incredible. Her backing band on "Your Honor" was loud and raucous. Softer solo songs, like "The Flowers" were solemn reflections that left the audience motionless in contemplation. My current favorite Regina-chorus: "What's a pound a flesh between friends like me and you."
TWEED: Your celebrity status seems to be exploding. You've had some recent spots on national television. I saw you on Conan and Jay Leno's Tonight Show. There's this cute spark of nervousness and refusal... Like you won't play along with those TV queues of "look this way, hold this pose" etc. Is it scary playing the TV game?
REGINA: Haha... Yes. I am absolutely terrified of it. I get really sad when I'm done because it goes so fast, and I wish I could do it over again, without the fear and badness... Oh well...
TWEED: How did you feel about being followed by Tori Amos on the next episode of the Tonight Show?
REGINA: I didn't know until after the taping, when we did the little pre-show stand around Jay while he tells about tomorrows show--and at that point I was so flustered having just played, during the commercial brake Ashton Kutcher said "That was great!" and I looked at him and said "I think I'm going to pass out." Then Jay Leno, who is so sweet, turned to me and gave me a hug around the shoulder and said "Don't worry kid, you did fine, the nightmare is over." It helps that everyone is so nice at TV land.
TWEED: Do you feel like you're unfairly compared to Tori because you're a redheaded female behind a piano? Is that a sore point? Or is she an inspiration that you enjoy being likened to?
REGINA: I respect her as a musician, but no, I don't enjoy being compared to her. Funny thing, is I get asked that question more often, than I actually get compared to her, so I think people assume I get compared to her a lot more often than I do. Wow, that was a fuckin mouthful...
Anyhow--I think that people should spend more time being in the music and in the moment, rather than trying to associate it with things they already know or assume common threads. I have listened to way more Dylan and Nirvana and the Beatles, but they are not women playing the piano, so their contribution to my music just goes right on by.
TWEED: Excellent point. So what are some of your favorite musicians besides Dylan, Nirvana, Beatles, etc? Do you draw inspira
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