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The Daily Journal (US)
New Jersey
November 23, 1996

Amos Explores Other Side of Microphone

Tori Amos wears many different hats: composer, singer, pianist, sometime philospher...and now, record label executive? Amos said in a recent phone interview that she enjoys experimenting with different things - especially in her music. The North Carolina native said artists have to continue to grow musically and emotionally in order to reach new goals and keep people interested in their music.

"I have to reason why I am doing what I am doing in my heart," she said, "and it changes every day."

So, Amos has decided to attempt something completely new. She has started her own record label called Igloo under Atlantic Records, and she has signed a band called Pet. Like other big-name artists who have started their own labels, such as Madonna and Trent Reznor, Amos said she sees this as another way to express abounding creativity.

Pet was actually discovered by Arthur Spivak, Amos's manager and co-founder of the Igloo label. He came across a demo tape of the dark, grunge-pop mix of Hole, Eve's Plum and Nirvana, and played it for Amos, who fell in love.

"I've never heard a girl scream like that and have such a beautiful range of fluidity," Amos said of Pet lead vocalist Lisa Papineau's voice. "There is a tear in the soul of the band, like they refuse to be victims. But they've been through a lot, and you can hear it in their music. When Arthur played me some of Pet, I thought it would be sad if another label tried to change that."

Amos and Spivak offered Pet a recording contract, and in about a year, Pet had created "Pet," it's debut album. Amos said Pet recorded the album at her home in Ireland, where she recorded most of her last album, "Boys for Pele." Amos served as executive producer for the release, a role she described as "frustrating."

"I have to respect another artist's viewpoints with their music," she explained, "And when they pick a take, it's their choice, even if it may not be the one that humbled me - sent shivers down my spine. The artists know what they want from their music, but can you be objective enough to know when you've got it?"

Although Igloo is very much attached to Amos's moniker and reputation at the present, she said she is looking forward to the day when it "won't be about me anymore."

"Right now, though, Igloo is still nursing from my left breast," she joked.

In 5 years, Amos said she would like to have 10 to 15 artists signed on the label, who are making what she calls "interesting music." She said she wants bands who are more concerned with creating and playing music with a meaning and a soul behind it, rather than those who follow a cookie-cutter formula to one-hit stardom on the radio.

"If you're here to be a musician, you have to be serious about it. There are things that hit once and then are gone forever," Amos said. "But some bands have a magic that transcends talent. Look at Neil Young. He may not be a great singer, but he has something that ignites things in people... So many bands today are based on a bumper sticker, not a novel."

Amos said she is always looking for new talent, as she is constantly searching for new ways to reinvent herself musically.


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