home / interviews
Rolling Stone (US)
October 6, 1994
Women in Rock Special Issue
Mothers of Invention
by Mim Udovitch
[ Tori-related excerpts ]
. . . Some, like Tori Amos, feel that they write from the womb rather than the head.
ADDRESSING THE WOMEN-IN-ROCK THING, WHATEVER THAT IS
AMOS: I don't really feel labeled. I don't respond to it -- let's put it that way. When you get a letter from a 14-year-old girl that says to you, "I'm coming to your show tonight, can I just come by and say hi, because I know when I'm finished here, I know I have to go home to my stepfather. He molested me last night, he's gonna molest me tonight." When you read this stuff, you don't think about labels anymore, you just think, "Get her backstage, and put on the kettle."
AND SPEAKING OF THE PRESS...
AMOS: Look, no bullshit: The worst are the women journalists, because they are much harder than any other women that I've ever run into in my life. If you don't get into your heart place for 10 minutes, then you are cutting out a part of yourself. It's about the balance of the head, the heart and the spirit and all that stuff. And I can be very hard-ass. Do you think I can't push your ass against the wall right now? Of course I can. But we're talking about vulnerability here.
MUSIC AND SELF-IMAGE, IN WHICH THE SUBTEXT OF A BILLY JOEL SONG IS REVEALED, AND ROBERT PLANT LEARNS OF A MISSED OPPORTUNITY
AMOS: Well, Zeppelin are my biggest influence. I wanted to give my virginity to Robert Plant when I was 10 years old. I was bleeding, babe, I was bleeding. When I would listen to their music, I would feel passionate. I would get wet, and then it all dried up as I got older. It made me feel like a hot girl. "Black Dog." Yummy. Put it on, throw that head back. Rrrrowwww. But my commitment is to being wet.
WHEN DO YOU FEEL THE MOST WOMANLY?
AMOS: When I'm playing.
GIRLS TOGETHER OUTRAGEOUSLY, OR SISTERHOOD IS HARDER THAN YOU MIGHT THINK
AMOS: I run into women who can't handle it as much as guys. It's much more gutting from the women -- it just is. Because I think there's that sense of betrayal when you look at another woman going, "OK, hang on a minute, how can you not be supportive of healing?"
BORN ROBERTA JOAN ANDERSON
AMOS: Joni Mitchell. How great was she? What a great musician, and, you know, Zeppelin, all those guys listened to her. Jimmy Page told me. What an influence, what a musical genius she is.
SO WHY DOES THE MEDIA FIXATE ON GENDER?
AMOS: Because they're so desperately trying to find an answer to something that I don't think has an answer.
AMOS' PERFUME: I don't wear it, but I do use grapefruit soap. Everywhere. And can I ask you a favor? No exclamation points, please!
[scans by Richard Handal]
t o r i p h o r i a
the World of Tori Amos