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January 20, 1999

live online chat with Tori Amos

PeopMagMC1: Everyone, Tori Amos is here!

PeopMagMC1: Let's take the first question.

Question: Out of all your records, what is your favorite one to make?

Tori: That's sort of like asking what baby you liked making best. I have 5 babies, and if I say one, then the other record kids are gonna get jealous. Possibly strangling me during the night.

Question: Are you planing on touring soon?

Tori: Definitely not. I'm eating licorice right now, drinking green tea out of a Japanese cup sitting outside. I miss this part of touring. We would be taking the stage right now. I miss that relationship with the people that came to see and hear the music. But other than that, I'm feeling like I need to create at the piano.

Tori: Touring is very external, recording and writing is internal and I have to keep going back and forth between both to keep the scales of Libra in some sort of balance for myself. It's really important I think that you have a balance of both because they feed each other. The energy that I get playing live propels me into a deep well, inside somewhere that I probably couldn't get to with out the shows.

Question: how many years have you been playing?

Tori: Since I was 2 1/2. Long enough to get gigbutt.

PeopMagMC1: We've had a number of questions along this line...

Question: Do the fans of yours get annoying?

Tori: I guess anyone can be annoying. I know that I annoy people sometimes, particularly my friend Beenie. When I won't let her eat sugar. Once in a while, of course there's gonna be someone that pushes something too far. But... I can also find that at a family Christmas dinner. So, a sense of humor is really important. You can't take things too personally. I don't think people really mean to be a pain. I know I don't mean to be one when I'm being one.

PeopMagMC1: One other person online put the question this way:

PeopMagMC1: What part of being famous sucks the most?

Tori: When you walk into a drug store for example, and you just need to get some girl stuff, and you're sitting there with a kinda cute cashier boy person, having you do an autograph over your sanitary napkins for his girlfriend. You just don't wanna get that close.

Question: Who are your influences?

Tori: That's so boring. Also... what I ate that day.

PeopMagMC1: Let's try another one then...

Question: Where is one place in the world that you would like to visit before you die?

Tori: Thailand is calling me. I had a long lay over in the Bangkok airport and I was drawn to get out of the city and get deeper into the country. I'm actually going there before I make the next work.

PeopMagMC1: For those of you just joining us, we're talking to Tori Amos.

Question: Don't you sometimes get so tired and want to give up?

Tori: I get tired of having to remind myself that this is a funny time in the industry. This is a time where a lot of people that make music don't really sing right or play anything musical. So, you have to remind yourself who are you serving, are you serving the muse or the collective. I mean that as the collective consciousness. When you serve the collective, you start walking into fast food territory. I have moments of fast food cravings so obviously yes, there is a place for that. But artists have to be clear on are you making something for the quick hit, the quick reaction, or are you trying to create something that burns in your soul. whatever rejections you get from the collective or the industry. Everyone else is standing around you with a raincoat on. So, I get tired when I get negative and what I need to do is see the diversity and then gain strength again.

Question: What makes you happy?

Tori: Tricky question. But, I think investigating my little lies.

Question: What were you like in high school?

Tori: No boundaries. I couldn't say no if a mosquito wanted to nest in my bushes.

Question: Is it hard to write songs all of the time?

Tori: I don't write songs all the time. There are dry spells as a writer for me anyway. When it isn't kinda creative time, you have to almost, if you can imagine, you're a huntress, but you can't chase the songs down. Right now I'm hanging with some girlfriends on the water and it's warm. I guess you could say I'm writing all the time. It's not like you separate writing time from other times, your writing is your life. Even when Beenie's telling a dirty joke, on some level your pores are drinking that in. The way she told it, the honey suckle is winding around and you can almost touch it with your tongue. It's almost like breathing when the songs come. You can't control when they decide to come out.

Question: You say that you find a girlfriend on what you have in common with them, how do you meet strangers that are out of the celebrity cliche?

Tori: I don't hang out with many celebs on a regular basis. I'm a very close circle. I think I'm really hard to get to know on a personal level. I have a few close friends, but not many. I think it takes patience to really let a friendship bloom and blossom. I think my closest friends have always been the pianos. I always turn to them. Spend a lot of time with them...

PeopMagMC1: Speaking of pianos...

Question: Question for Tori? How, Where and When, did you discover the Bosendorfer -vs -Steinway,Walter,Baldwin etc.. What did this piano bring to you, that another did not? Thanks MB

Tori: I played a Bosendorfer when I was little. I felt a difference in the presence of this instrument. It was like it had a ghost protecting it. Sometimes it was sinister, others alluring. It was like the soul of it came from the underworld. I've played some Steins that I've had a relationship with For the most part, the Bosendorfers are hand made, you get the personality of the maker. It gives you more stuff to work with as a player. They're live things, they really are.

PeopMagMC1: We're going to have to wrap things up...any closing thoughts? What are you working on now?

Tori: We go into the studio the end of Feb. and start putting the live part of the double box set together. The guys are gonna fly out and work with me and the tech crew I work with on putting part of the second CD together. It includes B-sides and some others you can't get anymore. There'll be songs that I kept, that I wasn't ready to finish. It's got a lot of different things on it, it'll be out Christmas 99. I haven't decided what to call it yet.

PeopMagMC1: Thanks, Tori, for joining us tonight.

PeopMagMC1: It's been a pleasure for all of us to talk to you.

PeopMagMC1: And thanks to our audience for all your great questions.

PeopMagMC1: Once again, thanks to Tori, and to everyone in our audience.

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