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KDGE, Dallas (US, radio)
December 12, 1995
Tori Amos telephone interview
Alan: Hello, ma'am.
Tori: Hi, Mary Ellen. [laughs]
Alan: Ahh, there we go.
Mary Ellen: [laughs] She switched us around.
Alan: I got the satellite hooked up correctly. I'm impressed today.
Mary Ellen: How are you doing, Tori?
Tori: I'm doing very well.
Mary Ellen: Good.
Tori: And hi to Alan. We have to tell your listeners that we were just talking about Alan's named after a famous footballer in England.
Mary Ellen: And I was saying that he is an amazing footballer, Alan is. This Alan, here in Dallas. You've modeled your complete life after him, haven't you, Alan?
Alan: Hmm, well, tell me about this guy.
Tori: He plays for Arsenal, and he's a, I mean, you know, kids, they, they worship him, actually.
Mary Ellen: There you go.
Tori: He's a mentor for all the young soccer players over there.
Alan: Well, now, Tori, I know that you're a mentor for many people in America who are, I guess you should say, young singer/songwriters, especially young women who just, you know, like to sit down and play at the piano. They love your music and especially many of the causes that you're involved with. Tell us about the new album, tell us all about the music and what you've got coming out this year.
Tori: Um, well the record's gonna be called Boys for Pele. Um, yes, Pele, another footballer. [laughs]
Mary Ellen: That was a question we had, we were talking about it earlier in the week and that's what we were thinking, Pele the soccer player. But someone called and corrected us and said, "Oh, no, it's about the god, Pele." Is that true?
Tori: The goddess, the goddess.
Mary Ellen: The goddess.
Alan: Oh, apologies.
Tori: Yes. She's the goddess of fire. The volcano goddess in Hawaii.
Mary Ellen: Oh, it is Hawaii.
Tori: Yes. Um, I was there when I came up with the title. I was there kind of crawling on my knees, lighting my hands on fire 'cause I'm such a bad pyro. And it was like um, I was in the middle of the Under the Pink tour and all my, my whole life was kind of, on the personal front, going down the toilet. And um, the strange thing about it is, when a relationship ends after so many years, and that's your soulmate, um, you kind of have to, like a part of you walks out the door. So I had to find my own passion, I had to go find my fire. And each song is a fragment of... pieces.
Alan: Is there, Tori, is there one song on the album that is about your, I guess we should say, unnamed soulmate that you lost?
Tori: Well, in truth, the whole album, it's a novel, really. And it's about the descent of this redheaded girl. [laughs]
Mary Ellen: Hmm, wonder who that would be.
Tori: Yeah, wonder. And she goes and visits Lucifer and has a cup of tea and um, basically gets the talisman to go into the subconscious, go to places that she's hidden from herself and tried to get from the men in her life. And she's claimed them for herself.
Alan: Oh, I see. So this is a pretty dark album then? Not exactly the happy peppy Tori Amos we're used to?
Mary Ellen: Oh, are you used to a happy peppy Tori Amos?
Tori: Yeah, I know. [laughs]
Mary Ellen: Come on now, it's death and destruction Tori.
Tori: Well, you know, there's... there's a whole thing about... I guess when you turn 30 -- I'm 32 now...
Alan: Oh, no.
Mary Ellen: Congratulations.
Alan: 32, wow.
Tori: There was this place in me where I said, I don't want to go back. I want to become a woman. And what is my idea of a woman? Not this um... not this part of myself I've created that on one hand can do certain things really, really well, and then on another level, I haven't given myself the chance to explore these things 'cause I thought they were wrong or... just how I was brought up. The Mary Magdalene was not like, a role model. And um, I've gotten to the point where I really believed that the Magdalene, representing passion and fire and compassion, you know, she wasn't just the whore that washed Jesus' feet. So I kind of went after that repressed side.
Alan: Wow. Profound. I don't know what to say to that. That's pretty deep.
Mary Ellen: I'm pretty surprised to hear that, actually, because I mean, everything we've read and I've read and listened to your music, it seems like that was somebody that you were pushing for. "Hey guys, Mary Magdalene wasn't so bad, and it's ok to be free and it's ok to express yourself."
Tori: Yeah, but it's another thing to really let yourself go to those places. To let yourself um... find that Lady Macbeth in yourself. The side that is sitting there going, you know, "I don't want to be the muse. I want to be the creative force." And then you think, "But hang on a minute, I want to be the muse and have him be the creative force and join together." And a lot of times it was really difficult because when you don't feel whole, you don't have those places. You don't allow yourself to explore those sides that you've judged so harshly. Um, you know, there's a side to me that was really manipulative and I gave her some high-heel pink shoes and we had some fun. I got to know her, if you know what I mean. I got to know her and set her free.
Alan: Well, Tori, you're also very active in a lot of causes. You are a founding member of, do you pronounce it "rain"?
Tori: Yes, RAINN.
Alan: The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. And tell us what you do with that and how are things going with the hotline and all about that.
Tori: Um, the number is 1-800-656-HOPE and there should be somebody there 24-hours a day taking calls. Some places in the country they don't have the funding so they're only there 12 hours a day. But the idea is that you get connected to the closest rape crisis center and... they give you hope, they give you sounding board, they give you nuts and bolts information to take you to the next step to heal.
Mary Ellen: And how's it been going? Have people been benefiting from it so far?
Tori: Yeah. I mean, there seems to be such a need out there, that's the sad part of it. The sad part of it is when you hear how many calls have come in.
Mary Ellen: I guess the great answer would be, "We get no calls at all."
Tori: Right. But at least, you know, it's out there. And it's a service and um, we're trying to expand it so that people can be there, you know, around the clock. 'Cause as you know, there's never a good time for this kind of thing. When somebody needs to talk about it, there needs to be somebody there.
Alan: That's an excellent point. Tori, I want to get off on a totally light just stupid, cheesy subject. I want to ask you a dumb question, ok?
Tori: Cheese! Yeah. Go.
Alan: Tori Amos, what do you want for Christmas?
Tori: Um... [laughs] Well, I'd really like to eat everything with butter, chocolate, dipped in caramel. Everything, and not it get on my thighs any more than it already is.
Alan: Yeah! I knew it! Just for some reason.
Mary Ellen: Oh, come on, like you weigh a pound, Tori.
Tori: No but Mary Ellen, the thing is, I'll be totally honest with you. I'm totally honest with you. You will not catch me dead in a swimsuit, and it's not because I believe I'm skinny. I love round, mmm, delicious, mmm, women. I mean, you know, I was a Viking in another life. I look at these women and go, "Mmm, delicious..."
Mary Ellen: That was beautiful then, sure.
Tori: But there's a part that just loves butter so much, and I can't hide it anymore. And that's the way it is.
Alan: Tori, you have so much in common with the American public. I think I have just identified with you but time.
Mary Ellen: Well, and I think it's safe to say that any size, shape or form, we'll still go on loving your music.
Tori: Yeah but um, extra butter, please.
Mary Ellen: [laughs] Ok, we'll see if we can arrange that for you.
Alan: That is Tori Amos. The name of the new album is Boys for Pele. It will be out in January, is that correct, Tori?
Alan: We understand you're gonna be on the road in February.
Tori: Yes, I start the European tour, in the UK.
Alan: Well, get yourself back over here to the states soon, will you, 'cause we'd love to see you on the road again, 'cause you're just a great performer and your music is wonderful.
Tori: Ok, guys.
Mary Ellen: Good luck and happy holiday.
Tori: Thank you, See ya!
Alan: Thank you, Tori, goodbye. 8:29...
[transcribed by jason/yessaid]
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the World of Tori Amos