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Anthony Horan (Australia)
(not a publication)
Phone Interview
November 2, 1994

Interview conducted by phone on November 2nd, 1994, 4:30pm Melbourne time.

This transcript is copyright Anthony Horan 1994. No reproduction in whole or in part for any commercial purpose, however small, is permitted unless permission is obtained. Free electronic distribution is fine on non-commercial facilities.

Tori Amos: Hi Anthony.

Anthony Horan: HI TORI, HOW ARE YOU DOING?

Hangin' in there, Anthony.

IS THIS INTERVIEW NUMBER 27 FOR THE DAY OR SOMETHING?

Almost... I just did a show tonight.

WHERE ARE YOU THIS TIME?

I'm in Canada, I'm in Kichener, Ontario. So I did a show last night, one tonight, one tomorrow night, and then a double show and then a day off.

YOU MUST BE EXHAUSTED BY NOW - LAST TIME A SPOKE TO YOU YOU'D DONE SOMETHING LIKE 100 SHOWS AND STILL HAD ABOUT 90 TO GO...

Yeah I know, and I've done 60 since then, so it's 160 tonight. I've got 25 left.

THE END IS IN SIGHT - IT MUST BE QUITE A RELIEF.

Uh-huh. It is a relief, I mean look - when the audience is great, I can completely get it up, but at this point, when they're a little reserved, it's hard for me to instil life in them at this point. But when they're open, then I'm all... I'm that little train that goes "I think I can, I think I can." (Laughs)

DOES IT ALL BECOME A BLUR AFTER A WHILE - DO YOU END UP NOT REALLY BEING AWARE OF EXACTLY WHERE YOU ARE ON A PARTICULAR DAY?

No, you definitely know where you are. People are different in the different regions you go to. You definitely feel a different vibe. You can tell a lot by where you are. You know - I was doing colleges in America last week, that's a very different vibe from where I am now. It's more of a reserved vibe. They're still young kids and stuff, and they're open and they're respectful, but they're just not as expressive. Whereas I was at Ann Arbour playing to 4000 kids and there was mayhem. They're very... (brief conversation off phone) ...that's my tour manager. My tour manager's amazing. Will you write that, he is amazing, I'd be dead without him, and he's very funny. He was wearing a Russian hat with nothing else on.

THIS IS THE LEGENDARY JOHN WITHERSPOON?

The legendary... but with big furry socks, nothing else. He tries to cheer me up.

IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FALL IN CANADA? HE'D BE FREEZING.

It is freezing - and you'll never guess where I'm staying.

OKAY, WHERE ARE YOU STAYING?

You'll never guess.

I'M NOT EVEN GOING TO TRY AND GUESS.

I'm staying at the Valhalla Inn, right - the Valhalla Inn, and I'm staying two doors down from the Odin Suite.

THAT'S NOT BAD FOR A FORMER VIKING.

It was booked. Some businessman got it. I should go fucking cut his heart out because honey, I should get the Odin Suite, who the fuck are you? What, do you work for IBM, give me a break. Spreadeagle. Blood eagle, dude.

IT'S PROBABLY BILL GATES OR SOMETHING...

No. He's not a viking.

A LOT OF REPORTS APPEARED ON THE INTERNET ABOUT YOUR SHOW IN MADISON ABOUT A MONTH AGO, WHERE YOU COLLAPSED AFTER YOU CAME OFF STAGE - THAT MUST HAVE BEEN A WEIRD ONE...

Yeah, it was weird. It was very weird. I had severe pains in my chest. Did you ever hear what it was?

WE HAD VARYING REPORTS - THE OFFICIAL RECORD COMPANY LINE WAS THAT IT WAS EXHAUSTION, AND I THINK YOU SAID ON STAGE THE NEXT NIGHT THAT IT WAS THE WRONG TYPE OF PEANUT BUTTER THAT CAUSED IT...!

Well, yeah, I did eat the wrong kind of peanut butter, but the truth is that it's Caustocondritis, which is an inflammation of the chest wall cavity, so that when you overwork those muscles, it was like running into my ribs, there was a bit of a train wreck happening. It felt like I was getting stabbed, like my ribs were puncturing this muscle. I felt like I was having a heart attack. So I didn't know what it was, I just couldn't breathe and when I breathed I felt like I was getting stabbed in the chest, so I just had to...

IS THAT FROM OVERWORKING YOUR VOICE DURING A LENGTHY TOUR?

Overworking my piano playing. I'm playin' heavy, meaning the way I breathe and sing and play at the same time, very few people do that. If you're just a player you don't have to use the same breathing, and if you're just a singer you don't have to use the same power from the chest as when you're playing and singing. I mean, those muscles all at the same time - the doctors even said to me, it's like, you have to specifically kind of be you... they said, I don't even know if Elton John uses the same amount of energy force. It depends how much he's using, you'd have to monitor it, but they said, you and Elton and maybe... I don't know... do you know what I mean, the less you play and sing, the less you use these muscles. So they really said, it's not like you can go 'yeah we see this every day', because it's very specific. I mean, people do have Caustocondritis, but how it got developed is specific to what I do.

SO HAVE YOU HAD TO MODERATE YOUR PERFORMANCE A BIT TO STOP IT HAPPENING AGAIN?

No, I was put on a heavy anti-inflammatory, I got the biggest shot in my ass you've ever seen.

ONE OF THOSE BIG HORSE NEEDLES...?

Yeah, totally. But it was a dyke doctor who gave it to me, and she was kinda cool, so I was into it. And she was into it too, so it was cool. It was very funny.

NME IN ENGLAND REPORTED YOU WERE DOING SOME SORT OF SOUNDTRACK PROJECT WITH MICHAEL STIPE - WHAT'S THAT ALL ABOUT?

Yeah, we're recording it in two weeks - it's for the Johnny Depp/Marlon Brando thing.

IS IT GOING TO BE INSTRUMENTAL OR VOCAL?

No, it's a song. We're writing it together. We were talking on the phone earlier tonight, trying to put it together. The music's written, we've written the music. He was in Madison with me when that happened.

HE'S GOING TO END UP IN AUSTRALIA ABOUT A MONTH AFTER YOU...

Yeah. That little dog. He's following the sun, that's what he's doing. No he is - you look at his tour schedule, he's not going to be in anywhere horrible if he can help it. He's a smart boy, that boy.

WELL YOU'VE PICKED A GOOD TIME TO COME OUT TO AUSTRALIA - IT'S GOING TO BE THE START OF SUMMER BY THE TIME YOU GET HERE.

Yeah, but I'm fucking freezing my ass off in Ontario. This is crazy, at the Valhalla Inn, it feels like I'm in Valhalla.

HAS THE SHOW CHANGED MUCH SINCE THE START OF THE TOUR? AFTER 160 SHOWS YOU MUST GET A LITTLE BIT BORED WITH DOING THE SAME THING CONSTANTLY.

Yeah, I'm really dependent on that audience. If they're kickin' then it breathes new life into the show. It just does. I mean, I do know these songs backwards and forwards. So if they bring something - an openness or a vibe, then yeah, it really changes things. I change the show every night, I put in a lot of different covers that nobody's heard me do, and I try and switch it around so that it's a different experience.

YOU'VE BEEN DOING "PURPLE RAIN", I HEAR.

Mmmm. Mgdebobabowem (Tori is eating at this point - Anthony)... Bad Company, I'm On Fire by Springsteen... I mean I'll come up with one every now and then. You never know what's gonna come out. The main thing is to keep it as fresh as you can.

PEOPLE HERE ARE SPECULATING THAT BY THE TIME YOU GET OUT HERE YOU'LL BE COMPLETELY KNACKERED, AND IT'LL BE A CASE OF "LET'S JUST GET THESE SHOWS OVER WITH AND THEN GO ON HOLIDAY"...

Well let's hope not. I mean, some of my best shows were last week. I played Smith College, you know, near Boston, where Sylvia Plath went to school... that was kickin'. I did Ann Arbour just a few weeks ago, just a couple weeks, 4000 kids... one of my best shows I've done on the whole tour just a couple of weeks ago. So you can't say that; to be honest, some nights are happenin', some nights aren't. It depends really what everybody ate for lunch.

IT REALLY DEPENDS ON THE AUDIENCE?

Yeah, it just depends. I mean, I think if you've gotten laid, it's gonna be shit, 'cause you're too relaxed. So, you know, come a little hungry, come a little frustrated, and then it'll be alright.

HANDY ADVICE THEN WOULD BE GET LAID AFTER THE SHOW...

After the show. I have a very cute crew.

YOU'VE BEEN WORKING WITH ROBERT PLANT AS WELL...

Yeah, I did a duet with Robert. On the tribute, can you believe that? He sang on his own tribute. That's a hoot. He just decided "Look, this is a tribute to the Zeppelin songs, and I think I know how to do it." I said "Okay, I'm with you, no arguments".

THERE WAS FILM THAT HAD ITS PREMIERE TV SCREENING HERE AT 3 IN THE MORNING CALLED "CHINA O'BRIEN" WHICH MAY RING SOME SCARY BELLS WITH YOU... ONE OF YOUR SONGS WAS IN IT, ALTHOUGH YOU DIDN'T WRITE IT...

No I didn't write that song. Yeah, I did it to pay my rent that month. I did that for 300 dollars and I paid my rent. But it didn't have Tori Amos on the credits.

IT SAID "ELLEN AMOS" THOUGH.

No. It said Ellen Amos?

YEAH, IN THE "ADDITIONAL VOCALS BY" SECTION OF THE CREDITS, AND THE ACTUAL SONG WAS CREDITED TO SOMEBODY ELSE.

It's credited to Tess Makes Good. Yeah, I made them sign a contract that they couldn't use the name Tori Amos. I hadn't made it yet, but I just knew it was gonna haunt me one day. And I wasn't wrong. See, so I knew what I was doing. I made them sign a contract - I wrote it myself, too. I couldn't afford a lawyer, are you kidding? I just made them sign it. I said look, the only way I'll do this is if you can't use Tori Amos, you have to use another name. I think Y Kant Tori Read had bombed, but I knew that I didn't want to do anything that would come and haunt me and I needed the money.

AND Y KANT TORI READ HAS CERTAINLY COME BACK TO HAUNT YOU IN A BIG WAY.

Yeah, but you know what? I really wish I could fit in those plastic snake-pants again, but I can't. That's the drag. I can't fit into those clothes, my hips are just, you know... too much ice cream, Anthony.

THE Y KANT TORI READ REVIVAL JUST ISN'T GOING TO HAPPEN...

Mmmm, I can't fit into the pants.

WE WON'T BE HEARING A PIANO VERSION OF "THE BIG PICTURE" ANYTIME SOON THEN...

Yeah, forget about the music, let's talk about the wardrobe. The way I see it, the men that I'm with, whoever they are, it's like "look, you have to accept that I like ice cream, and I know it shows up on my hips but if you can't accept that, then leave. Go away. Toodles." It is non-negotiable.

SO WHAT IS THE PINNACLE OF ICE-CREAM EXCELLENCE AS FAR AS YOU'RE CONCERNED?

You mean, the greatness of it, how great?

NO, WHAT IS THE BEST ICE CREAM.

Okay, I'll give you a couple. Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia.

WHERE'S THAT FROM?

Well, they're from Vermont. They're Deadheads. And Cherry Garcia is in honour of Jerry Garcia. So it's cherry with chocolate chips in it. Yeah, it's awesome. And then Haagen-Daaz coffee is brilliant.

HAVE YOU GOT THIS IN YOUR CONTRACT FOR THE TOUR, HAVING ICE-CREAM SUPPLIED?

No, because I'm so conscious about what it's gonna do to my body. And I can't sing with so much milk in me, so much cream products - terrible for the voice. So while we had Mrs Fields in the rider - you know Mrs Fields cookies? Well one time I ordered six dozen, 'cause I was just in a mood, and I ate, not two dozen, I ate two cookies in, like, two minutes. And then I was on my third one, chomping down my third one, and right as I finished the third one, I had to sit down, and I felt like Humpty Dumpty. I had to go on in an hour, and it was the hardest night of my life, trying to sing. Every time I tried to hit a note I felt like Mrs. Fields was gonna go all over the piano. It was

disgusting, gross. I can't look at a Mrs Fields cookie. (Off phone: "C'mon Johnny, I haven't had a Mrs. Fields cookie since then"). Do you know what they do at chocolate tear factories? They say to you, if you are starting to work there... no this is true, they go "Have as much as you want". 'Cause guess what? You do. And then guess what? You get sick, you never want it again. And that's how they deal with it. Intelligent, huh? That's what my tour manager did with me, he just said "Let her have as much as she wants, so we'll have one horrible night. It'll make our lives much better."

BUT THAT HASN'T WORKED WITH ICE-CREAM YET...

No it hasn't worked with ice-cream. They don't allow that backstage before I sing because I wouldn't be able to hit my notes, and my sound guys would, I don't know, walk off.

I'M GOING TO HAVE TO BE CAREFUL ABOUT PRINTING THIS NOW, IN CASE EVERYONE STARTS THROWING YOU ICE-CREAM ON STAGE...

Yeah I know, but mmmmmmmmmmmmmm, mmmmmmmmmm.

SO YOU WALK OFF STAGE COVERED IN ICE-CREAM, WHAT THE HECK.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

SO WHAT HAVE YOU GOT PLANNED FOR AFTER THE TOUR IN PERTH - ARE YOU GOING TO HAVE A HOLIDAY?

I'm gonna pass out. No, Auckland's our final date, in New Zealand. But I'm gonna go pass out. I'm gonna go to London, and then I'm gonna travel around, I really want to do some hiking.

AND THEN WARNER WILL RING YOU AND DEMAND ANOTHER ALBUM.

Oh, they're not gonna bother me. Warner's got so many problems, they gotta deal with their own stuff. No, Warner doesn't bother me. You need to know a little secret. I really don't have to answer to any of those people.

WHICH IS A GOOD SITUATION TO BE IN.

Well, it's a situation I created, it's called "unacceptable". Piss off. You can't just write because somebody says do it. It has to happen, or it doesn't happen. You know, Max Hole, who's head of EastWest London, he understands that. I get along with him very well.

BUT THE AMERICAN SIDE ARE A BIT MORE GO-GO-GO, ARE THEY?

Well I try and avoid them. I mean, they're good for some stuff, right, but from the beginning of the creative process, I think the Brits are better because they just know when to back off. They still want the same thing, which is a record, but they know they're gonna get it sooner if they just shut their mouths. It's like look, if you're a parent and you don't say, "Oh, I hate that boy, I never want you to see him again" - if you tell that to your daughter she is gonna be gnawing on his knob so quick. You just have to understand that. If you say "You know what, it's your life, do what you want, if you wanna see him, go see him, you're the one that has to be with him", she's gonna dump him within two weeks if he's a scumbag. I'm telling you, fathers need to wise... it's like, wise up papas, you're being pathetic.

SO THE ENGLISH RECORD COMPANY GUYS ARE A BIT WISER THEN?

They're wiser, they know how to deal with it. But I know what they want. They still want a record, but at least I can acknowledge that they're being, you know, they're being really manipulative, which is kind of great. So they're letting me think I'm getting my way. And that's OK, we can all pretend.

HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING NEW SONGS WHILE YOU'VE BEEN ON TOUR?

Oh, a few. I don't know if they're any good, I'm not sure yet. I won't know until I get off the road, I have no objectivity. You really don't know until you... I mean, I could probably play them back in Odin Suite and dance the night away, but I don't know.

YOU MIGHT HAVE WRITTEN THE NEXT "STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN" AMONGST THOSE.

Yeah I might, you never know. Two doors down from Odin. But this is the thing - oh, they're telling me I've gotta split now. I really enjoyed it Anthony. Will you please not use exclamation points, 'cause I know I've been a bit wacky with you.

I NEVER USE EXCLAMATION POINTS WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR STUFF, I KNOW THE DRILL!!!!!

Thank you so much, thankyouthankyouthankyou.

YOUREWELCOMEYOUREWELCOMEYOUREWELCOME.

Listen, it's been really fun talking to you, you're so much more fun than most of em, Anthony.

THANKS, IT'S BEEN FUN TALKING TO YOU AS WELL.

Cool. See you later, bye.


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