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HX for Her (US)
October 23, 1998



The Choirgirl Sings

with a full band and hit album in tow, TORI AMOS hits the road

by austin downey
photos by darren keith

TORI AMOS Is EVERY WOMAN, FROM ACOUSTIC DIVA TO ELECTRONIC seamstress to intensely personal poet. She is currently in the midst of a yearlong world tour in support of her current album, From the Choirgirl Hotel (Atlantic). While the new material is no less personal than her previous piano-driven work (a popular cut is "Spark," a song about the miscarriage that Amos suffered last year), this album sees the singer supported by electronic rhythms and a full band on tour. Over the phone from a brief pit stop in Ireland, Amos talked to HX for Her about her latest endeavor.

Is From the Choirgirl Hotel a musical departure for you? Well, I couldn't stand sitting alone at the piano anymore. It's clear that rhythm was a huge part of the songs' structure. I wanted to dive into the electronic world. And with the band, it's just exciting to play with musicians that I can respect.

The venues are bigger this time around too. Well, in New York, I played upstairs at the Paramount [laughs]. I just have to wear yellow, my buttercup look, so people in the back can see me!

Your fans are known for being enthusiastic, to say the least. Some of them are pretty intense, and some people just come to hear the music. Myself, I'm really shy. Most people are cool, though. Sometimes, the songs just get people talking. I might be singing about abortion, then the listener takes the ball and runs with it.

Tell us about the song "Spark." Well, it's about a girl having a really bad day, spurred on by the loss of a baby. It's painful, but that's what happened to me. There's a thread of it through the album; it changed my life. Non-motherhood changed me. Yet, after we lost her, the love didn't go away. She taught me how to love; love has to transcend dimensions. So the whole album is not depressing or anything; there are moments of different emotions. It's a celebration of the life force.

How do you handle life on the road, especially for a year? Well, I haven't slept in my own bed since last September, so we're all looney birds around here! But there are things that I love about it. Onstage, the energy pours through you; you're like a lightning rod. Then you get back to the bus and eat a salad and try to do normal things. I know why a lot of bands break up, because you go out of your fucking mind on the road! But I love to tour, I really do. When I started out, I had no idea that I would enjoy touring more than anything else.

What can we expect from Tori and her crew after the tour? Well, we're going to publish a newsletter! Yeah, I'm gonna do the lonely-hearts page! And you can call me for road tips. Here are a few: Travel with a good wine cellar and a good cook. Find people who are wickedly funny. Put the non-showering people on the other bus!

Tori Amos plays at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark on November 25.

[transcribed by jason/yessaid]


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