Charlie: Daughter of a Methodist minister whose songs and performance style can be startling, at times, in its frank sensuality. She's a former child prodigy who spent years playing piano lounges and bars. She was once even a heavy metal rocker in big hair and boots. But these days Tori Amos doesn't need much more than a piano, her distinctive voice, and her songs for people who pay attention. Her first solo album went gold, not from radio play, but by word of mouth, and her latest recording is called Under the Pink. And Tori Amos will perform a song from that album in just a moment, but we have a chance to chat for a minute or two. You have been through some different stages, even though still very young, haven't you?
Tori: I guess so.
Charlie: How would you describe your music?
Tori: Um, kinda like hot chilies and vanilla yogurt.
Charlie: Hot chilies and vanilla yogurt. I don't think many people have eaten that combination, Tori, what does that mean?
Tori: Charlie, I don't, I can't explain, words. I think that's why I write music, 'cause I don't explain things very good, so I write songs instead.
Charlie: There's a seriousness to your music. There's a sensuality to your music. Do they conflict or do they go together?
Charlie: It's like a high school question -- compare and contrast.
Tori: Um, it's really, I think, about the balance in writing. E.E. Cummings is one of my favorite poets, and Pablo Neruda. They had a wonderful ability to make you smell the room, so that you were really in the painting. You were sitting in their description, and that's what I try and do as a writer.
Charlie: What are you gonna sing?
Tori: Pretty Good Year.
Charlie: Pretty Good Year? Like E.E. Cummings, are all your lyrics in lower-case?
Tori: A lot of times. And I hate punctuation.
Charlie: Alright. So do I, that's why I went in television, I'd never make it in newspapers. Here's Tori Amos.