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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 22, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 43
Arts & Entertainment
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Spencer Day recommits to music after heartbreak

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN Contributing Writer

When we last spoke with Spencer Day, last year around this time, he was a newcomer on the jazz-pop scene. Now he's a top-10 Billboard artist, thanks to his debut album Vagabond, and he's toured around the country as well as the UK, France, and soon Japan. He might also have an upcoming stint on Broadway, further proving that this talented, once-Mormon, hybrid artist is making the most of his potential. Day returns to Seattle this week for two nights at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley on October 26 and 27 - visit www.jazzalley.com for set times and information on reservations. As he was basking in the sunshine at Riverside Park in his relocated home of New York City, this is what Spencer Day discussed with me in The Music Lounge.

AlbertRodriguez: What's new since we last spoke, about a year ago?

Spencer Day: It's been an amazing year of growth. I had a breakup, and it was incredibly painful and sent me to some really dark places. But I think coming out at the other end of that, it ended up being the most important year of my adult life, too, because there was massive amounts of self-discovery and growth and a lot of writing. It spawned a huge amount of creativity.

Rodriguez: Sorry to hear about the breakup, but on the bright side this means you're back on the market.

Day: Well, I'm taking applications. I've been pretty slow about it. It took me an awful long time. Instead of what I might have done if I was younger, which is go out and serial date and try to distract myself, this time I really wanted to sift through the loneliness to try and understand where it came from and what it meant.

Rodriguez: Are you enjoying the single life?

Day: Yeah, I've been trying to make it all about my work right now. For a lot of people, there's definitely a wishful longing, especially when the fall comes and that desire to hibernate and nest starts to grow. But music is what I'm married to, that's what my life is right now. Out of this breakup that's what happened, kind of a recommitment.

Rodriguez: Are you still promoting Vagabond?

Day: Yes, still promoting that, but actually what I'm excited about is when we come to Seattle I'm going to be showcasing a new band configuration - almost a bluegrass configuration - and a lot of new songs because I'm going back in the studio in December and we're going to be putting out a new record and should have a new single out by the beginning of the New Year. So I'm excited about coming back and premiering some new stuff in Seattle.

Rodriguez: What do you remember about Seattle?

Day: I remember the record heat wave, I remember it being insufferably hot the first time we were there. I'm trying to wean myself off of coffee, but I feel like when I get to Seattle I'll probably let that go. If my work took me there I could see myself living in Seattle, for sure. It's one of my favorite towns, one of my top three in the country.

Rodriguez: When you're at the airport, ready to depart on a new tour, do you often forget things at home or are you a good packer?

Day: I'm pretty neurotic about it, only because I forget things all the time. So when it's something important like that, I usually do like five double-checks and then I might even leave my apartment and go back in one more time to make sure the gas and everything is off. Generally, I'm pretty ditzy. I'm always misplacing numbers and forgetting things, but whenever it comes to work somehow I manage to always pull it together.

Rodriguez: Have you been spotted at the airport or on a plane?

Day: Lately I have, it's been a weird thing. I had two flight attendants who were really excited and brought me some cocktails and had me sign their CD - they actually had a CD with them. And even here in New York, I rolled out of bed and went down to the corner market to get some food - I've got bed head and hadn't shaved - and there are two girls pointing at me and whispering. It's kind of a new phenomenon for me, I'm getting used to it.

Rodriguez: Recently in the news, there's been a series of bullying and anti-Gay hate crimes committed. Have you kept up with this and do you have a reaction to it?

Day: Yeah, I've kept up with it. Especially regarding all the suicides, for as horrible as that is - and coming from Utah and Arizona, I'm no stranger to that - I'm really very happy about the response people have had to it. If these young people's lives were not totally in vain, the one thing that hopefully will come out of it is the rallying cry from people to say 'Enough is enough.'

Rodriguez: So the rest of 2010 and early 2011 will involve more touring, a new album, and maybe some jazz festivals?

Day: Yeah, and maybe some dates on Broadway and the West End as well. I'll keep you posted.

Rodriguez: When might we expect an announcement about you being on Broadway?

Day: I would say within the next month or two.

Rodriguez: Is there anything currently on Broadway worth recommending?

Day: I just saw La Bete with Joanna Lumley, that's fantastic, and Brief Encounter - I'm going to go see that again tomorrow night, a fantastic revival of a Noel Coward musical but very contemporary using a lot of multimedia and projections. It's a great time to go see things on Broadway right now. There's a ton of great shows!

Rodriguez: Okay, last question. Do you have any current addictions, like yoga or books or TV shows?

Day: Well, yoga, I try to do that as often as I can especially when I'm flying and playing piano, which is not very ergonomically correct. I don't own a TV, but the two shows I'm completely obsessed with are Mad Men and Nurse Jackie - those are the two best things I've seen in a long time.

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