MANCHESTER, Tennessee — Regina Spektor should totally rip off Built to Spill and call her next album Keep It Like a Secret, because that's exactly how she's keeping it right now.
It's been a little more than a year since her breakthrough album, Begin to Hope, hit stores. Since then, one of her songs appeared on a top-rated TV drama ("Fidelity" popped up on a little show called "Grey's Anatomy"), her album climbed the Billboard charts, and she toured the world. So you'd think she'd have plenty to get down on tape — and, who knows, maybe she does — but Spektor's not talking.
"[This past year ] has been amazing. It's been one of the best ones of my life," she said backstage at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival (see "Bonnaroo Recap: White Stripes, Police, Lily Allen Bring Heat To Already Scorching Fest"). "My mind is cataloging tons of tiny little things, rather than one big thing, so it's like — it's my own little experiences and interacting with the world. And they're so numerous that my mind starts going through this huge list like a Santa Claus or something. But because I have so much stuff that I've written, I always use some things from before and some things that I've just written and some new things that maybe nobody's heard. But I never really write for a record, so I have no idea exactly what it's going to be. It sort of just comes together into a little piece."
Spektor added that she hopes to begin working on the new album sometime around November, but until then, she's got a whole lot more on her schedule — most of which she's equally secretive about.
"I'm gonna make a video for my next single, 'Better,' " she said of the Begin to Hope song. "I re-recorded it, so it's a whole new track — it's fun to have a new take on something. As for the video, well, it's still a little bit mysterious — which makes it sound romantic. In other words, I'm not sure. But I have some really cool ideas. I already came up with a concept, but I'm not gonna tell you. I don't know if it's the Russian/Jewish thing, because I'm super-superstitious, like 'knock on wood.' So when it's done, it's done, and then I'll talk about it."
She also has tours of Australia, the U.S. and Sweden lined up over the next few months. Plus, you can hear her cover of John Lennon's "Real Love" on the Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur charity album. And — ever since "Fidelity" appeared on "Grey's" — she's been juggling a whole lot of requests to have her music appear in commercials, films and even more television programs.
And what does she think of all those requests? Well, not much. Not because she's some high-minded, super-ethical artiste, or anything. But, rather, because she doesn't own a TV set.
"I'm actually sort of weirdly non-TV-savvy, because I don't own one, but I tour all the time, so there's ones in hotels," she said. "But a lot of the time I'm touring in Europe, so I get to see, like, German MTV, which is great. I didn't get to see the 'Grey's Anatomy' thing, or anything much. Some of my friends and family swear by that show, so they were so excited, but for me, I was just honored."