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An Interview with Alexandra Jardvall about Springsteen, Endometriosis, and Performing in Asbury Park For The First Time


By Gary Wien

originally published: 08/20/2023

An Interview with Alexandra Jardvall about Springsteen, Endometriosis, and Performing in Asbury Park For The First Time

(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Swedish singer-songwriter Alexandra Jardvall will headline the Endo Warrior Benefit Show at Asbury Lanes on Sunday, September 10, 2023.  The music begins at 2:00pm and also includes performances by New Jersey artists Jake Thistle and Chris Fritz. The benefit is presented by Spring-Nuts and will raise awareness and funds for Endometriosis Research and the Endometriosis Foundation of America.

As an artist who lists Bruce Springsteen as her greatest influence, Jardvall is looking forward to performing her first shows in Asbury Park. As a woman with Endometriosis, she's always looking to spread awareness of the disease and help play a role towards its cure.

Endometriosis is a chronic disease that affects roughly 10% reproductive age women and girls globally. It is a disease in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus. It can cause severe pain in the pelvis and make it harder to get pregnant. It is generally associated with chronic pain and there is no known cure; treatment is aimed at controlling symptoms. As is often the case with chronic illnesses, it took Jardvall a long time to figure out what was happening to her.  In her case, it took 21 years before she received a diagnosis.

Tickets to the performance at Asbury Lanes are $25 and available for purchase online. The show is open to all ages. Doors are at 1:30, showtime is 2:00pm.  Asbury Lanes is located at 209 4th Avenue in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

Jardvall was raised in a small suburb in the outskirts of Stockholm. Here early days in music including singing competitions followed by talent shows, touring major Swedish entertainment parks, and eventually winning Folkparkernas Talangjakt, a show similar to American Idol, at age 16.



 
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Unlike many artists who try building a fanbase in a particular area, she set out to create a more expansive fanbase from early on.  This was accomplished by playing on tour ships where she would play covers of artists like Elvis Presley, Robbie Williams, Live, Pearl Jam, Tom Petty, Emmylou Harris, and Bruce Springsteen.  In addition to the covers, she included her own original songs in the set.  Eventually, people began asking for her to record an album.

Her catalog now includes two albums: As Good As It Gets (2011) and Aurora Skies (2016) to go along with several singles. All of which can be found on most streaming services.

Jardvall spoke with New Jersey Stage via email about the disease, her career, and what it means to her to play a show for Spring-Nuts - an organization of Bruce Springsteen fans around the world.

One of the main symptoms listed for endometriosis is chronic pain.  How is performing for you? Are you able to take any medicine/treatment to reduce the pain or do you have to just fight through the performances?

It all started when I had my first period at 11 years old. I didn’t tell my parents, but I asked my three year older sister, how she managed the pain. She had no idea what I was talking about. Very, very long story short, the pain increased each year. The answer came 21 years later after my first operation - Endometriosis. Endo-what??? I had never heard about it. In fact I couldn’t find a single person that had heard about it and there were no brochures or anything to get from the hospital. "Oh, by the way" the doctor said 'Your fallopian tubes are totally blocked, so you can’t have kids. You’ll need IVF' I was in chock and total confusion. Endometriosis. IVF. What is that, what does it mean? But the words that was said in a by-the-way sentence "YOU CAN’T HAVE KIDS", those I understood.

After my diagnosis was in place, the years of feeling like a guinea pig started. Countless treatments that didn’t work and all kinds of different side effects, three faild IVF attempts and increasingly higher levels of pain killers.

On November 10 in 2017, I finally had the operation I’d begged for for several years - robotic assisted radical hysterectomi. I have been pain free ever since. To me, that’s a miracle. Endometriosis is a chronic disease and the fear of it coming back and the memories of chronic pain is constant, but today, I feel great.



 
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Performing during the years in pain, has been the only time I’ve been able to breathe and feel somewhat normal. I guess it’s the amazing endorphins. 

I did take morphine meds almost on a daily basis the last years up until the operation, but not even that could numb the worst relapses.

An Interview with Alexandra Jardvall about Springsteen, Endometriosis, and Performing in Asbury Park For The First Time

I always admire people who take a bad situation and turn it into something positive like you are doing for awareness of endometriosis and Bob Benjamin does with the Light of Day shows and Parkinson’s disease.  Did you just know after being diagnosed that spreading awareness of the disease was something you wanted to do?  Or was there a period of denial and then acceptance of the disease? 

No, it took years of denial, also cause no-one understood what it was, myself included. And I wasn’t ready to accept that I was gonna keep living with that pain. Every time it got real bad, I said that a person can’t have this pain and still be alive…and many times, I didn’t want to stay alive.

It was when I experienced the lack of knowledge among doctors, the lack of competent treatments, the lack of awesomeness among friends and family and the society, realizing that I was one of many, the gender inequality, that I accepted my illness and decided to start talking, writing and screaming. I got mad, really mad! Imagine if a little boy, say 11 years old, would have unbelievable pain in his balls. Would we let him live with increasing, excruciating pain for 21 years, I don’t think so.

 

In the bio of your website you mention that Springsteen was your favorite artist.  How excited are you to see the places in his lyrics? Is this your first trip to America as well? Is there one place you’re most excited to see?  

How excited? Well, as excited as a human being possibly can be. I’m over the moon! We celebrated my brother's birthday in Florida in 2010. Two weeks became four due to Eyjafjallajökull, the icelandic volcano. 2018 is still what I consider my best year ever and I treated myself with visiting New York and the beautiful Springsteen On Broadway. Third time’s a Charm, New Jersey, here I come!

I’m super excited about everything and as a birthday present Stan Goldstein promised me the Bruce-related bus tour, can’t wait for that. Also the Stone Pony of course... oh and Danny Clinch, The Transparent Clinch Gallery, I need that. Haha, see, soooo excited!

As a guy who grew up about ten miles from where Bruce grew up, I’m always fascinated by musicians around the world who love his music.  What was it about Bruce that attracted you to his music?

My dad introduced me to Elvis Presley which later led to Springsteen. Seeing Courtney with Bruce Dancing In The Dark, my heart skipped more than one beat. At 10 years old, I was in love. I loved his voice and presence and I still do. The way you can read his lyrics as novels, is priceless. Also, he loves music and he’s genuine which makes me believe in what he’s doing, that’s not very common these days. He inspires me, not only music wise, but also health wise. You don’t have to be perfect, you do what you can with what you have and treasure it.



 
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I’ve watched some of your videos online and saw you perform many different songs by Bruce.  What is your favorite song to perform?

Thank you for watching! All of them, but if I had to chose one, it would be ”If I Should Fall Behind” closing my eyes while singing, imagining Bruce, Stevie, Patti, Nils and Clarence being there with me.

Finally, how does it feel to headline a show for a group like Spring-Nuts where you’ll be performing in front of a community of Springsteen fans and be spreading awareness of endometriosis across the globe as well?

It feels totally unreal and I won’t believe it until I’m actually there, but its such an honor and I can’t wait to meet both Howie Chaz from the Spring-Nuts and my fellow musicians Chris Fritz and Jake Thistle.

Performing in Asbury Park has been a dream, The Dream, since 1984 and now it looks like it’s finally happening. The fact that I also get to do it this way, is double the honor and happiness. “The Endowarrior Benefit Show” at Asbury Lanes will hopefully bring lots and lots of money to The Endometriosis Foundation of America. I am one happy Enowarrior! 

I hope to meet many Spring-Nuts there, but everyone is welcome to the concert. Also, If people wanna donate even though they can’t come to the concert, they can.

Regarding performing in front of Springsteen fans. I learned during the pandemic that I was accepted among the fans. I did live streams called LIVE AT HOME and through that, I got to know lots of amazing Nuts and they assured me, that I did ok covering Springsteen. This summer, when I did pre-shows in Gothenburg and Oslo, on and around the dates when Bruce and the band were there, I was even more convinced. I’ve been touring for 35 years, but those gigs I did, especially in Gothenburg, were among the coolest things I’ve ever experienced. That audience…we laughed, we cried and we sang. The audience were from all over the world and lots of Spring-Nuts that I finally got to meet irl. The audience, my audience, was beautiful, amazing, on fire and they rocked! We can do it again, in Asbury Park.



You can follow Alexandra Jardvall on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Spotify, TikTok, YouTube, and Apple Music.



Gary Wien has been covering the arts since 2001 and has had work published with Jersey Arts, Upstage Magazine, Elmore Magazine, Princeton Magazine, Backstreets and other publications. He is a three-time winner of the Asbury Music Award for Top Music Journalist and the author of Beyond the Palace (the first book on the history of rock and roll in Asbury Park) and Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists. In addition, he runs New Jersey Stage and the online radio station The Penguin Rocks. He can be contacted at gary@newjerseystage.com.

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