STARHIT MAGAZINE: “I HAVE TO STICK TO A STRICT DIET SINCE CHILDHOOD”

“Surganova and the Orchestra” concert will take place at “Nashestvie” festival on June 20th. Now the band leader is getting ready for the performance, rehearsing a lot and traveling around the country. According to Svetlana Surganova, she and her colleagues have no serious requirements in the concert riders, however, of great importance for them is that all the instruments  should sound the way they  should.

On the eve of the great event the singer told to “StarHit” how she monitored her health, which public went to her concerts, and why she and Diana Arbenina did not have any misunderstandings any longer.

– Svetlana, you have been on the stage for a very long time. In what ways does your new audience differ from the people who came to the concerts in the 90s?

First of all in number! I recall our acoustic performances of the 90s at such venues as “Chaplin” club or Saint Petersburg Zoo Lyceum with the audience of 20-30, at best 50, people, almost every one of them we knew in person and by name. Now big halls for thousands of spectators are no longer rare for us: our band repeatedly gathered full Crocus in Moscow and the Big Concert Hall in Saint Petersburg. The audience has become, of course, much more diverse! Previously our popularity almost did not go beyond the semi-underground-semi-intelligent crowd of Saint Petersburg, and now those who first heard us playing, say, at “Nashestvie” festival, along with the viewers of “Subbotniy Vecher” and “Vecherniy Urgant” shows come to our concert. Parents with children, students, grandparents from various cities from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok are coming. Nevertheless, I’d like to think that they, as before, have certain features in common: the ability to think, feel, understand poetry and appreciate high-quality live music.

– You are touring a lot. What do you feel about the flights?

Previously, I was afraid to fly,  it was a real phobia. I preferred to go by train or by bus even to some remote regions.  But I had to overcome this fear with time, for the sake of my band at least. I have no right to delay my team for a day or more just because I am afraid if there is a possibility to travel a long distance just in a couple of hours!

– What is there in your band rider?

The accommodation rider of our band is, perhaps, one of the most modest among domestic musicians. Neither limousine at the entrance no collection wines in the dressing room. We include into it only the most necessary things. Some specials are gluten free bread and baby food of a certain brand: it perfectly meets the requirements of my diet. Everything is much more complicated with the technical rider: since we perform only live and there are a large number of musicians on the stage (for example, 12-17 people in our recent jubilee tour), we require a rather complex and powerful sound equipment, not every site can provide it.

– How do you recover strength?

Peter Kelder’s exercises have been helping me for many years to restore strength and keep myself in good shape on tour, at home and on vacation. It is a set of simple exercises for everyone, regardless of age, physical fitness, not requiring any expensive gyms or special equipment, but with a unique rejuvenating and wellness effect. If there is a chance I cheer up by going to the pool or play table tennis. And, of course, the most important is to have time to sleep well before the concert!

– Many of your colleagues after 40 decided to take a more responsible approach to health. Do you often visit doctors and make a full workup?

The necessity to take care of health and regularly undergo preventive tests came to my life long before the age of 40. Some innate features, such as gluten intolerance, made me stick to a strict diet since childhood. A number of surgeries in my youth were one of the most difficult trials in my life, yet they taught me many useful skills: to trust professionals, not to ignore even the slightest symptoms, to consult the specialists in time. Some changes in my body do happen from time to time, sometimes they require close attention, but, fortunately, I am managing to avoid the return of cancer so far.

– How did the heavy surgeries changed your attitude? Did they make you value life more?

I really started to value life more on the one hand, to be grateful for every new day that might never have happened. On the other hand, a more philosophical, fatal perception of life, an awareness of the mortality of everyone has emerged, a young person is, probably, unable to understand it deeply.

– How do you spend your free time?

I don’t have a lot of free time, there are always some new ideas and projects that are not always possible to implement on time … But at the free moments between tours and studio work I try to read – a home library is created and is constantly updated for this purpose, to listen to audio books, lectures of interesting people, scientists, doctors, psychologists. We have been going to  some of unfamiliar exotic places lately, to distant countries, islands and unknown civilization. It happens once or twice in a year. Although all the possibilities for outdoor activities are at home too: a football field, a tennis court.

– Are your misunderstandings with Diana Arbenina in the past?

Back in the beginning of 2018 I received a phone call from Diana Arbenina inviting me to take part in the anniversary concert at “Olimpiyskiy”, dedicated to the 25th anniversary of our once-common band “Nochnye Snaipery”. In November our first joint performance after 15 years of separate work took place. In March of this year we sang together again – at the celebration of the band anniversary in the Ice Palace in Saint Petersburg. So we came up with a sufficient “luggage” of communication to “Pryamoy Efir” show, and there was nothing unexpected for none of us. As for misunderstanding, it has never happened.

– What would you never forgive?

I believe you should always forgive, never store insults. One can learn it gradually. The ability to put yourself in one’s shoes helps, just try to understand one’s reasons, what has made him/her do something offensive. I never forgive those who behave like pigs towards nature: leave trash on embankments, in forest and meadows after rest. We often organize improvised clean-ups with friends, collecting garbage along the river banks, in recreation areas … It’s nice to see that this topic is becoming more and more popular, a whole international movements have arisen already uniting those who are not indifferent to cleanliness of the habitat.

– Everyone is growing up in his/her own way. When did you go into music? How did your relatives feel about it? What about the peers?

Music – or rather the violin, came into my life very early, when I was six years old. Before any influence of the street, the yard, classmates, I was an exclusively home child. I fell in love with the violin from the very first day, it was a very small, “quarter” violin special for kids, I did not want to part with it, even put it in bed with me, like a doll. It really helped me a lot in my emotional and intellectual development. As a child who had spent the first three years of life in an orphanage, I was a little behind in development, I learned to read late, had difficulties in primary school … My violin trained memory, ear, fine motor skills,  it gave me the opportunity to develop, to get smarter and to catch up with peers. When I was older, about 14 years old, I mastered the guitar as well – and that was the chance to show off among classmates. There were school performances and clubs of humor, the first own songs, even the first amateur band “Kamerton”, which we organized with girls-classmates … So, in terms of communication music had an extremely positive impact too.

– What do you spend the earned money on? Maybe you invest in property or for charity?

Of course, charity is one of the significant areas of our activity. There are several organizations and foundations our band has been cooperating with for several years, not only in terms of material support, but also with more active participation: in “Odin Den” festival of AdVita Foundation, in “Lovkiy Myach” football tournament of “Shag Navstrechu” Foundation, other actions and events in defense of children, animals, the surrounding nature. In general, I prefer to invest in creative development and musical innovations. For example, in our jubilee year we finally fully realized our “orchestra element”, I call it “Surganova and there is the Orchestra”! At large concerts in Moscow and Saint Petersburg we went on stage with a variety-symphony orchestra – more than 60 people! In each city of the Jubilee tour we invited local string musicians to perform with us. Our own art-space “Pushkin is near” in the center of Saint Petersburg will be opened soon. It is a sufficient investment of recent years too. About two years were spent on the restoration of the premises in the historic building and its technical equipment … As a result, this art space is going to be a recording studio, a stage for chamber performances and a place for creative experiments of our friends- musicians. Now we are working at new music, recording in the studio and rehearsing a new concert program … We plan to present it to the audience this autumn. So, all the efforts, material or creative, are concentrated on this goal.

– Do you have a song in your career that you could call life-changing?

Once early in the life of “Surganova and the Orchestra” we were selecting a song to sound first at “Chartova Duzhina” of “Nashe Radio”, to present our music to a large audience. Much to my surprise, the choice of the program director of the radio fell on one of the saddest and melancholic songs of our first album “Bolno” (“It hurts”), written back in 1991. This song became our “visit card”, it was very successful in the charts, hitting the top for almost a month … So, it really could be called life-changing and it paved the way for many of our other songs, although the song in its mood was not the most typical one of the debut album.

By Svetlana Komarova

Source StarHit magazine