My Week - Regina Spektor
When I’m at home, I spend a lot of time catching up on my life. I will always go to the Bronx and see my grandparents and my parents. I make a lot of soups. Russians don’t ever go a day without eating soup. The thing Russians have in common with the Brits is the amount of tea they drink. I never met people who drank as much tea as I did until I studied abroad in London for a semester. I realised I wasn’t insane. I have endless cups of tea during the day.
Yesterday I arrived in London and I was really jetlagged, so it was my see-my-friends/recovery day. It was so amazing walking in the park. London is so full of parks. In New York, we only really have one beautiful big park, but I always seek it out. Even 10 minutes in Central Park, with the leaves rustling, changes something inside you. As a city person you need that or else you become hardened. All the people who are pissed off walking around New York just haven’t been to Central Park for a while.
I watch a lot of movies on my laptop. I’m always playing catch up with pop culture, having come from a country where western pop culture was non-existent. I was on tour when I finally saw the original Star Wars – I was in my late 20s and finally got all these cultural references. James Earl Jones was the guest speaker at my graduation. He gave an amazing speech and I thought it was so smart when he said: “May the force be with you.” I only realised years later what it meant.
I’m definitely politically engaged. I’ve played for Obama twice, which is pretty f**king cool. I actually met him when he was a senator. I thought he was a rare bird in politics. Bush knocked a lot of hope out of a lot of people. When I went to the White House [to play at a reception honouring Jewish American Heritage Month] they gave us a tour of the whole place – and having seen every West Wing I recognised lots of it! I asked one security guard, who’d been in the White House since Bush senior, and he said the atmosphere was absolutely unique under Obama.
By nature, I would probably be going asleep at 9pm, but that’s not the way my life is structured. I’m doing BBC Breakfast tomorrow morning – 3.45am, I have to be there. That’s so unnatural. Or sometimes a show won’t finish till midnight and my heart is racing until four in the morning. But when I’m home, if left to my own devices, I’ll be in bed by 10. Like an old granny.
Touring has changed a lot for me. When I was first touring it was just me in a car. There were really yucky dressing rooms where you couldn’t sit down or touch anything. I will never, ever take for granted having a cozy bed or a dressing room with food in it. I bring slippers on tour – it makes such a difference. And I always bring my own pillow.
Photo credit: Mike Chapman/Rex Features