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HFS Café (US, radio)
WHFS, Annapolis, Maryland (99.1 FM)
November 11, 1992
Tori Amos interview and live performance
Pat Ferrise: Tori, I wanna say thank you so much for stopping by today, I really appreciate it.
Tori Amos: Thank you, Pat, thank you.
Pat: And I know you've been by before, actually, on Bob's show, on the Modern Rock Morning Show. So, I hope you like the food.
Tori: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Pat: We'll wait until you play. But I've also got some people waiting on the phone right now. 1-800-321-WHFS, if you'd like to speak with Tori Amos. So let's go ahead and go to Daniel in Annapolis. Hi, Daniel, you're on with Tori.
Daniel: Hi, Tori.
Tori: Hey, Daniel, how are you?
Daniel: Good, how are you?
Tori: Pretty well.
Daniel: Um, I was wondering if you've read the book Women's Reality by Anne Wilson Schaef?
Tori: No, I haven't, but should I?
Daniel: Do you have the book?
Daniel: Ok, because um, I gave you a copy at the New Jersey concert.
Tori: Did you give it to me personally?
Daniel: Well, sort of. There were bodyguards keeping you away from the crowd.
Tori: Well, let me write it down and make sure that -- my tour manager has a load of stuff for me.
Daniel: Oh, ok.
Tori: And let me make sure that I get my hands on this. Ok, I'm writing it down right now. Ok, help me out, Daniel, it's Women's Reality?
Daniel: Right. By Anne Wilson Schaef.
Tori: Anne Wilson S-H-A...
Tori: S-C-H-A-E-F. Well, thanks. I'm gonna go into the box that he's got for me and um, thanks for that. I haven't really had time to read the books or things, and I apologize, it's just, I've been working 17-hour days, honestly, and um, I've been passing out. But, thanks, and um, I'm gonna really check into that.
Daniel: Yeah, it's been a really important book in my life and um, I don't know, it just says a lot of things about how destructive the society is and um, it just, I don't know, it points out ways that things don't have to be that way.
Daniel: Um, I don't know, it seems like it's a similar message to what you're bringing about and um...
Tori: [inhales deeply]
Daniel: I don't know, it tells me a lot, and I really thought you might enjoy reading it.
Tori: Well, thanks for that. I think it's great that you as a male have picked up a book called Women's Reality because um, I don't know if a lot of men would do that. To be honest with you, I think that we need to get in touch with the opposite sex's perspective. I picked up Iron John -- 'cause I'm interested. I think that we need to keep our communication lines opening instead of blaming each other.
Tori: So thanks for that book, I do appreciate it and I'm gonna go check it out.
Tori: Ok, well it was great talking to you, and I'll see you tonight.
Tori: Ok, Daniel.
Pat: Ok, thanks for the call. Brian in Rockville, hi.
Brian: Hi, how are you?
Tori: Hi, Brian.
Brian: Hi, how are you?
Tori: Pretty well.
Brian: Welcome home.
Tori, doing a Pee-wee Herman-esque voice: Thank you.
Brian: I'm sorry to hear that you had a late flight.
Tori: Yeah, I know, it's kinda crazy.
Brian: I wanted to ask you um, I used to go down to see you downtown in the early '80s and the bar that I remember seeing you at most vividly was The Lion's Den.
Brian: And I was wondering if you'd ever considered incorporating some of the songs that you wrote before either of your albums into any future albums.
Tori: Like, which, which one?
Brian: Like, the one that I really remember was called "A Married Man."
Tori: Oh, right.
Brian: And, you know, and I realise that um, most people haven't heard of your first album, but there were a lot of songs on that album that I think you could rework and would be really approptiate for your real style instead of the style that you were kinda forced into on your first album. And I was just wondering if you had ever considered that.
Tori: Um, well, because it's five years later since the first album, and I've changed a lot as a person, and I'm writing new things and I have new thoughts, it's kind of hard to go back, just because I'm trying to give attention to the things that are relevant to me now.
Brian: Right, and what's most important to you and what you're feeling now.
Tori: What I'm feeling now. It's not that the other stuff, like when you came down and heard those songs at The Lion's Gate are um, it's not that I disown them, but it's just, they helped me to develop where I am now. But that's not where I am anymore. I don't think the same way and um, I feel like I've gotta keep growing instead of going backwards. But thanks for that because those songs, without them -- and without the last record, to be honest with you -- I would have had the guts to go back to the piano. I mean, it's taken me a lot of guts.
Brian: And we love to hear it.
Tori: Well, thanks.
Brian: And I love your first album, I really do, I still play it.
Tori: Well thank you, Brian. I liked my hairspray.
Brian: Yes, yes, that was great. And the bustier on the cover.
Tori: Yeah, yeah, I was in much better shape, then. I can't pull that look off anymore.
Brian: I'm gonna see you tomorrow night, and I look forward to it.
Tori: Great, thank you.
Brian: It was great talking to you.
Pat: Ok, thanks for the call. Tori Amos is with us at 99.1 HFS. Tori, we have a couple more people on the line, actually, if you'd like to go for it.
Tori: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Pat: Ok, let's go for Jason in Annpolis. Hi, Jason.
Jason: Hello. Um, I met you in New York a couple days ago at HMV. I had the Cat In the Hat hat on.
Tori: Oh, right, my mother wanted that hat.
Tori: She was going on and on about it. Where'd you get that?
Jason: Just downtown Annapolis at a store.
Tori: Oh, right.
Jason: Nothing big. Um, I was wondering if you were gonna play Humpty Dumpty anytime soon, like tonight.
Tori: Interesting that you ask that.
Jason: Or now, or whatever.
Tori: I haven't played it since, since I made that disc. It's a b-side on um, the English CD, for those people that don't know Humpty Dumpty. And I had to put an extra b-side down, and they were pushing me for time so I just sat down at the piano and kind of came up with a silly song. And um, do you know, I don't really know it, I'd have to learn it.
Tori: Because I just like, did it and threw it down, and I do that sometimes.
Jason: Oh, well.
Tori: But maybe if I have time at soundcheck I'll try and work it up, but if you don't hear it it's 'cause it was crap, ok?
Jason: Alright. Um, and is Y Kant Tori Read ever gonna be re-released.
Tori: Um, I don't think it will. You know, there were maybe ten thousand copies made. I'm not exactly sure, to be honest with you. But um, I don't think they'll re-release it just 'cause there's so many b-sides from England. I've had ten pieces that have been out just in one year, including the CDs from England, so I think that they would release those more than they'd go back five years.
Jason: Right. Ok.
Tori: So we'll see you tonight.
Jason: Yeah, hopefully.
Pat: Ok Jason, thanks for the call. Tori, that's interesting, a lot of people have actually asked about the Y Kant Tori Read album.
Tori: Isn't that funny?
Pat: It's become highly coveted.
Tori: Nobody asked for it when it came out, which is so funny.
Pat: Would you like to see it be re-released?
Tori: Well, I don't mind. It's, in those years, um, I was making choices not for the sake of music. I'm not gonna bad rap that album at all, because that album taught be more things about myself than anything I've ever done. But I wanted to be famous so bad, because um, I just felt like that was my self-esteem. And instead of making music like I used to, like when that guy talks about at The Lion's Gate, coming down to hear me play, those songs I was writing in my house because I loved writing songs. And then, after I was in the band -- the band was actually pretty progressive, but we split up after we'd signed to Atlantic because of the wars that were going on with all the, with the producers and with all the opinions and um, it's not as if I was forced to do something, because I'm pretty strong-willed. I convinced myself that this is what I wanted to do. And um, I just didn't have any conviction. So um, you know, that's what that album's about. I wasn't doing it for the sake of just expression.
Pat: It seems like there are so many fans that would like to get their hands on it, so um...
Tori: Well, they need to find my father. My father has a few copies. [laughs]
Pat: Well, if you don't mind I think everybody, we've got the piano set up if you're in the mood to...
Tori: Ok. What do you want to hear?
Tori: Pick something.
Tori: Yeah, yeah.
Pat: Ah, I'd like to hear China.
Tori: Would you really?
Pat: I'd love to hear China.
Tori: Are you serious?
Tori: That wasn't what we planned, Pat. [laughs] But I'll play it. [whispers] Crucify, remember, Crucify?
Pat: Oh, Crucify.
Tori: But forget it, we'll do China.
Tori performs China.
Tori: Thanks, guys.
Pat: Ah, that was great. 99.1 HFS. Tori Amos live with us at the cafe, and adoring fans outside bowing there. Tori, that's something that in Baltimore and Washington you do have, fervent, adoring fans.
Tori: Well look, it's great to come home. I'm gonna tell ya, I've been, I don't know how many shows, 200 shows I've done, more than 200 on this tour. I feel like Metallica. Just because of the stamina level, you know? I don't know what I was getting myself into when I said, "Yeah, world tour, let's do it." I wanna do America properly. That means no, not just the big twenty cities. You go out and play to people. And um, I didn't know that -- even though I've played clubs for fifteen years -- what kind of stamina that takes. But to come town to a home-town audience just, it just means a lot.
Pat: We're glad to have you back.
Tori: Thank you.
Pat: Um, a lot of calls, actually, people asking if you have a fan club. Is there one yet?
Tori: Uh, one is just forming... by a really, really cool person. And um, that's all I know. [laughs]
Pat: Ok, so...
Tori: She's in Florida and um, my manger knows more about it.
Pat: Ok, if we could get an address, if there is one...
Tori: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'll get you, I'll get you stuff.
Pat: Ok, great. Let's go ahead and go to Becky. I believe she actually, she knows you. Hi, Becky.
Pat: Hey, you're on with Tori.
Tori: Hi, Becky.
Becky: Hi, Tori. I don't know if you remember me from high school, a long time ago.
Tori: Ok, help me out, Becky.
Becky: Well um, I knew you also because our dads knew each other. Uh, he's a minister, Reverend Pointer.
Tori: Oh, right.
Tori: Is your dad still preaching?
Becky: No, he just retired. But your dad is the same profession, is he not.
Tori: Yeah, and he's still preaching.
Becky: Yeah? Yeah.
Tori: Yeah, he's really, he's into it. [laughs]
Becky: Well, yeah, he just retired this year but um, I think he gave me the uh, your first album from your dad.
Tori: Oh, right. I think my father was giving them away for free.
Becky: Yeah, I think so.
Becky: And I really enjoy your new album. I get the feeling that some of the songs are from your upbringing. Is that true, from being a preacher's kid?
Tori: Well, it does have a bit of an influence.
Becky: I can relate to a lot of the thing I think that you're saying.
Tori: Yeah, I'm just a firm believer that whatever your choice is, I respect that, as far as what your faith system is. But a lot of kids especially, you know, they really need some room to exercise their own ideas. They need some room to discover for themselves. And so much of it just gets shoved down our throats.
Tori: And I don't believe that that helps anybody, it just makes resentful and um, it's real stifling, so that's what I talk about a lot.
Becky: Yeah, yeah. Well, it was good talking to you.
Tori: Well, thank you, Becky. Nice talking to you again.
Becky: I've been following your career, especially lately, and I really enjoy it.
Tori: Hi to your dad.
Becky: Thank you.
Tori: Play him Leather for me.
Becky: Do what?
Tori: Play him Leather for me.
Becky: Ok. [laughs]
Pat: Ok, thanks. Hi, Tanya, Millersville.
Tori: Hi, Tanya.
Tanya: Hi, this is a real pleasure to talk to you.
Tori: Well, thank you.
Tanya: Um, I basically just recently discovered you. So the only album that I know of is Little Earthquakes, but China, that was beautiful. What album is that off of?
Tori: That's off of Little Earhquakes. There's also a CD. It's um, it was only released in England, the China single.
Tori: That had three extra b-sides, that they're all talking about Humpty Dumpty was on. See, in England, you put out a single and you put like, three extra tracks. They don't do this in America, not the same way that they do in England. But um, China is on the album, on the Little Earthquakes album. But sometimes things just don't sound the same when I just play them at the piano, Tanya, so you know... [laughs]
Pat: That's that hidden track.
Tanya: That's that hidden track, that's right, I'll have to listen to it closely again, I just picked it up recently, so... Um, what is the underlying motive of Little Earthquakes?
Tori: You mean, the whole album?
Tanya: Yeah. It sounds like there's a lot of anger and resentment in it.
Tori: Well, there's a bit of that. It's all about self-discovery and um, instead of going to the gym to work out -- which I guess I should because my thighs, you know, could use some help -- but what I'm trying to do is do some inner work. It's like, you stand at the back of your tongue and you dive inside. And I'll start screaming at people at parties, I would anyway, like years ago, I'd wanna kill this babe. I'd feel like um, you know, why does this person need to be on the planet. And I would have to sit and go, "I want to know why I want to kill somebody. I want to know what my motivations for things are. Why am I cowering in the corner? How come I can't speak up? Or why am I so angry?" And so I just started, with steps and more steps, to try and find out my own mind and why I'm thinking the way I'm thinking. And it just, it's constant, it just takes a lot of work. It's the keys to the subconscious, really, it's going in there and finding out what I'm really saying, not what I, you know, am lip-servicing to everybody at the dinner table, but what I'm really thinking. So that's what this album is about, it's about what I'm really thinking.
Tanya: Um, in the song Silent All These Years, were you with somebody then that you were angry and resentful about? Was that a bad relationship or was there more to it than that?
Tori: Well, honestly I don't really explain the songs because um, what you get out of it, I completely respect. and um, I just allow them to mean whatever they mean to people. Naturally, they mean certain things to me, but for the most part, I really let them speak for themselves, and people relate to them in their own way.
Pat: Ok, thanks for the call.
Tori: Thanks you.
Pat: Tori, something that a previous caller brought up was knowing your father and coming around to the holiday time, your father I understand, it's been a tradition that you sung at his church every Christmas.
Tori: Every year, yeah.
Pat: Are you planning on doing that this year?
Tori: Not this year. I won't be, I don't even know if I'll be in the country by that time. I go back to London after the tour and um, I'm pretty exhausted, so...
Pat: 200 dates is a lot, so.
Pat: Yeah, but actually, I think a little bit later on, if we can get you to hang out, you will be recording some songs for HFS.
Pat: Some holiday songs.
Pat: So I look forward to that. Well, can you hang out for a little bit?
Tori: Yeah, we'll hang out.
Pat: Love to have you hang out. And don't go away, we'll be back with Tori Amos. 99.1 HFS.
Pat: 99.1 HFS cafe, open a little late today, actually, doing a late lunch with Tori Amos. Tori, thanks so much for stopping by. Get your headphones there.
Tori: Thanks, Pat. Ok, we doiing a tune now?
Pat: Yeah, definitely.
Tori: Ok. I'm just getting my seat.
Pat: Just getting all situated there.
Tori performs Crucify.
Pat: It's Tori Amos live at 99.1 HFS, and Crucify. That's very, very nice. Uh, water, water. She's drinking lots of water, now. Tori um, you know today we have a couple, actually, winners with us. Carolyn Sullivan, Scott Striffler and his daughter, Tori. Tori, we have two Toris in the studio today.
Tori: And Tori's in the studio.
Pat: Yeah, I wanted to say welcome, Tori.
Tori: Tori, you wanna say hi? Come here, come here. Come say hi on the radio. She uh, she's a piano player and this is her real name. Not like me who, you know, made it up myself, for me. Come here, say hi, and you can hear yourself say hi. See, listen. Say hi to everybody. You can say hi. Come on, they think I'm lying.
little Tori: [laughs shyly]
Pat: Hi, Tori.
little Tori: Hi.
Pat: How you doin'?
little Tori: Fine.
Pat: Good, I'm glad you could come by.
little Tori: Thank you.
Pat: Ok, we're glad to have you here. Tori, a lot of other people have actually, you know, faxed in a paragraph or so, why they should have lunch with you today, and a couple of them I thought you'd want to hear. This is from Bruce Warden who works at NASA: "I believe that I should be the one to have lunch with Tori Amos because I have a PhD in seismology from the California Institute of Technology and therefore Tori and I could talk about little earthquakes.
Tori: Oh my, there you go.
Pat: So thank you, Bruce, and I wanted to say thanks to everybody that did fax in today.
Tori: Thanks, Bruce.
Pat: Yeah. So aside from touring like a fiend, you're also busy with a couple other projects. You have a songbook coming out from Little Earthquakes.
Tori: Yeah, it's just come out. It came out um, my heavens, I think last week. You know, I don't even know what day it is, to be honest with you, I just get up. I don't have weekends, I get up and do another show. And um, I know I'm in my, you know, hometown, because my brother and sister have like, left messages and stuff. So I at least have enough awareness to figure that out. But for the most part um, it's really funny how you can become such a space case. When you're up on another plane and it's another stage, and I'm not complaining, it's just, it just gets difficult to remember where you are. But the songbook is -- listen to me rambling on [laughs] -- the songbook has all the songs in it, all the manuscripts, and I wrote a poem about each tune. It's like the inception of each song, a little bit. Not to give too much away, but just kind of a different take on 'em. Almost like their own biography. And then there are pictures from backstage shots, shots on the road that aren't anywhere else. I spent months going over the manuscript so that the music is, well I'm trying to make it as true as possible. So we've spent months doing that. That's coming out and the longform video of on the road is coming out. And um, Winter the EP -- it's a little EP of b-sides from England -- is coming out. Within, all within two weeks.
Pat: Yeah. Now, when you actually write songs, I mean like you mention the songbook, do you use sheet music and actually script things out?
Tori: No. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Ghetto-blaster, man.
Pat: I was gonna say, you'd be very, very trained, then.
Tori: No, no. No, I can't, I didn't do it. There was a guy that did it. Frank. He was in his 60s. He'd be calling me up, he'd go, "Tori, what are you doing? You gotta write stuff in the key of C, this is driving me crazy, out of my mind." And so he and I worked with it to try and make it as way-accurate as possible.
Pat: Frank, ok. Tori Amos is with us at 99.1 WHFS Annapolis. And Tori, I want to thank you for stopping by.
Tori: Thank you.
Pat: If you would, I think everyone would love it if you could do one more song, if you...
Tori: Oh, right. Ok.
Pat: I think we have... You're not running off anywhere.
Tori: Alright, alright. We'll do one more, we'll do one more.
Tori performs Winter.
Tori: Thanks, guys. I just want to thank everybody for being so great out there. You've been so supportive and I just really want to thank you.
Pat: I want to thank you for stopping by. And Tori Amos at 99.1 HFS.
[transcribed by jason/yessaid]
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