home / interviews


The Kevin & Bean Show (US, radio)
KROQ, Los Angeles (106.7 FM)
May 13, 1999

Tori Amos interview

This interview was conducted over the telephone.

KB: Tori? Hello?

Tori: Guys...

KB: Tori Amos, how are you?

Tori: I'm really well, how are you guys?

KB: We're great, thank you for asking. It's almost like we close our eyes and we wish and there she is, she appears on the phone.

Female DJ: Amazing

KB: It's like magic!

Tori: Funny that.

KB: Tori, where are you sweetheart?

Tori: Um, I'm in Cornwall.

KB: That's in England and some junk.

Tori: Yeah

KB: Is that where you live?

Tori: Um, that's where the studio is.

KB: Oh, I see. What are you doing out there?

Tori: Well, we're next to a sheep farm.

KB: Really? What kind of sheep are they?

Tori: Um... Smelly Ones.

KB: Like she knows. She's next to a sheep farm, doesn't make her a sheep farmer.

KB: Well I love sheep, I thought maybe Tori loves sheep. That's all.

Female DJ: She likes pigs.

Tori: Well, they're all right, I mean, I get to chase them around and get em back into the pens because, um, since we live next door to them I always have my Wellies on and I have to make sure that if, you know, they get out in the street the trucks can hit em, so I have to keep, you know, hauling them back ....stopping traffic.

KB: That's a good visual to picture you chasing sheep around. Well, they're very sweet animals but they're very stupid. And they, you're right, they would stand in front of a truck and think nothing about gettin' out of the way.

Tori: Yeh but I've chased guys around, I think it's more entertaining chasing sheep.

KB: (laughs) Some guys are as dumb as sheep. Yep, that's true. So, uh, technically right now, are you on vacation before the tour begins?

Tori: No, we're, um, I'm in the studio mixing.

KB: Okay, what are you, what are you mixing?

Tori: New records.

KB: Check you out with that ! Aww. You never quit, do ya? Wow, that's awesome ! I didn't even know about that.

Tori: Yeh, I didn't either.

KB: What happened, did ya just, did a lot of new songs fall into your head, or what?

Tori: Yeh, it was kind of, um, I was gonna make a live album, and we're gonna do a double cd, one is gonna be a live album from the last tour, and then all of the sudden, I started writing this stuff, it was, um, I don't know, there was this computer near the piano and all of the sudden it just started to, to happen. And um, my crew said to me, you really need to do this new record now, because, they seemed to be into it, so I just said, okay. Let's do it. So...

KB: So, uh, you're not in charge of the songwriting process. It just comes on you and just takes over.

Tori: (short sigh)

KB: Kind of.

Tori: You're making me sound like Linda Blair.

KB: (laugh) No, no, no. No I mean some people sit down, and it's absolute work for them, and they have to schedule out time to create, and some people it just comes to 'em, and they accept it whenever it happens. And it's a gift.

Tori: Well, yeh, but at the same time, you know I think, you can't just accept what comes to you. Or, you know, I'll have Christians, like, you know, wanting to burn things. There are things you have to edit,

KB: Right.

Tori: and there are things you have to pull back and say, I might sing this to my friends, but nobody wants to hear this crap.

KB: I know.

Tori: So you have to sort of sort through, um, you know, what you want to put on tape, with yourself.

KB: Yeh, you got so many ideas coming your way they're not all gonna be worth pursuing. I understand what you're saying. See, the difference between you and us, though, Tori, is we have zero quality control in the Kevin and Bean program.

(laughs)

KB: I mean, if it comes, if we're having a margarita lunch it doesn't matter, man. "Aw that'd be funny !" -- we do it. It's only in retrospect we realize that we could've used a lot of editing. (laughs)

Tori: Yeh, well.

KB: So, tell us about this. Because you and uh... Alanis are gonna go out on tour together.

Tori: Yeh.

KB: Do ya know her?

Tori: Yes. We've met.

KB: What's the...

Tori: We've met before,

KB: what's the...

Tori: We've met before, and she approached me and said, 'Hey, do you wanna go out on tour as a double show?'

KB: Uh-huh.

Tori: and we're in touch right now by letter because we're in different parts of the world and we're just in contact in that way. But it felt right when she asked me, and, mmm, we're doin' it.

KB: It sounded cool. Neither one of you is opening, it's a, co-headlining. I mean, it's just two strong acts...

Tori: Co-headlining.

KB: together, that's great.

Tori: Yeh, our opener's gonna be um one of the artists off the MP3.com. We're gonna have, try and get a few. So that some of the unsigned artists have a chance to be heard by people.

KB: Interesting. I wanna talk about the MP3. Just let me back up from Alanis for a second. Uh, we've been lucky enough, as with you, to have Alanis on the show a few times. And I know how you are about uh, the vibes some people put off; there are some people that are just, you could just tell they're just, they're good people, they're fun people, they're bright people; she, she is just all of those things and more. She's just a wonderful person to hang out with.

Tori: She's really great.

KB: So I think that it's probably gonna be a lot of fun for you guys to be able to do that. I mean, it sounds like it could be fun, on top of being work.

Tori: Well the main thing is really, we wanna put on a show that um, you know, people come to and for two hours and a half walk away and say, that was a really powerful show.

KB: Right.

Tori: And um, we're both bringing our full productions. And plus I'm bringing a, a truck full of wine. (laughs)

KB: (laughs) Truck full of wine! That's great!

Tori: Yeh, I'm bringing the cook. She's letting me bring the cook. I said look, I'll do this but you've gotta let me bring the cook and the wine.

KB: All right but don't feel like you have to drink it all the first weekend, okay? I mean, go ahead and spread that out over the summer.

Tori: No, I'll save some if you guys come see me.

KB: All right.

Tori: I always have a nice bottle of (?) somewhere.

KB: Is there a chance like sometimes on some of these co-headlining shows, that you may come back at the end of her set or vice versa, and do a song or two together?

Tori: Well that didn't work very well for that Elton John and Tina Turner, did it?

KB: No, it sure didn't. No. Well, they were bitches, you know. (laughs) Those two. Those two, you can't put in the same room. It didn't work very well with Hole and Marilyn Manson either, by the way.

Tori: Yee-eh.

KB: Is that the type of thing you have thought about at all, is it just, if it happens, if somebody gets an idea maybe we'll look at it then?

Tori: Well... we haven't talked about it yet. I mean I think, right now?

KB: Mm-hm.

Tori: Trying to get both of our productions up?

KB: Right.

Tori: It's, um...I've got a forty man-woman crew.

KB: Wow.

Tori: And she has about the same, there'll be about ten trucks between us.

KB: Wow.

Tori: And um,

KB: Plus the wine truck.

Tori: Oh yeh. And a lip gloss truck.

KB: A lip gloss truck. (laughs)

Tori: Of course.

Female DJ: I like that.

KB: Now is this, is this gonna be a big deal though? I mean you're gonna do a lot of dates?

Tori: Well, enough. It's called 'Five and a Half Weeks,' the tour.

KB: That gives ya an idea. Okay.

Tori: And I think it's about six or seven weeks I'm not quite sure. But I think um,

KB: So it's named well. (laughs)

Tori: Yeh. And uh, you know I'm gonna blindfold my piano.

(dead silence)

KB: Ex-ex-ex-squeeze me?

Female DJ: I don't think we get that.

KB: What do ya mean you're gonna blind...

Tori: Yeah you do. Five and a half weeks.

KB & Female DJ, all at once: Oh ! Ohh. (a bell dings) The movie. Oh i see what you're...there you go. You're a step ahead of us, we gotta catch up. We don't have Mickey Rourke on the brain necessarily right now. We gotcha though.

Tori: Yeh but you got him on the phone.

KB: (laughs) We got, that's right. If you've just joined us on KROQ, we have Tori Amos on the phone from Cornwall England, we're talking about the tour with Alanis Morissette. I guess this might be an excellent time to say that the Southern California date is going to be September the 25th out at good old Irvine Meadows. September 25th. Monday morning we will have all the ticket information for you on how to get your tickets for Tori and Alanis together. Now you mentioned MP3, they are a co-sponsor of the tour.

Tori: Yeh.

KB: This is a, this is one of those things that, if people do not pay close attention to technology, they've heard MP3 bandied about but they're not exactly sure what it is. Is it, can you, can you explain in just a few seconds what it is, and what the attraction is for you to be hooked up with 'em?

Tori: Well... I'm kind of computer illiterate, so I'll do my best.

KB: Okay.

Tori: MP3 is the technology whereby you can take stuff, music, and download it. And I think the record industry has gotten really nervous about the whole thing.

KB: Because of the quality, I think it's such good quality that the record industry is afraid that some day they might be replaced by you allowing us to just download your music.

Tori: Well...you know, it's one thing to download it, and there's another thing to steal it. I mean, I believe in streaming, that's the term where you can listen to something no different than on a radio. Or, if I wanna try on a dress, and I go, 'God, this dress is really cute, it makes my hips look smaller. Can I just like walk outta here with it?' That's not what you do. You go, 'I like the dress, I tried it on, I wanna *buy* the dress.'

KB: Oh, I see.

Tori: And that's what streaming is.

KB: Mm-hm.

Tori: Whereas, I think um, the industry is worried that all of music is just gonna get downloaded but you see, we can't be afraid of technology. The new record that I'm doing has a lot of computer in it, computer and piano,

KB: Mm-hm.

Tori: sort of married together.

KB: Right.

Tori: And I believe that you know, you have to be involved in the technology if you wanna be a part of regulating it. And there are a lot of people that are involved in the tech-technological side today that don't have a lot of integrity, and there are people that do, and we can't pretend it's not happening, it really is a part of our life.

KB: Oh the technology, especially this MP3, is coming on so fast to the point where some artists like Tom Petty are letting people download songs for, tens of thousands of people are downloading his music for instance, and it's, you're right, you have to be involved in it because it does exist.

Tori: Yeh we can't pretend it's not there. And I think if we find a way to work with it, there's a way that um, you know, musicians are still respected, and um yet the ones that want their music to be heard, can make that choice, in that way.

KB: Right. Some artists, Sarah MacLachlan is one that comes to mind, are offering previews of their coming albums for instance, on MP3s. Is that something that you might be willing to do too?

Tori: Yeh, I think that it's, you know, it's no different I guess from a listening station. But, as a preview.

KB: Right.

Tori: I think it's sort of like movie previews, you know.

KB: Give us a taste and then we'll wanna buy it.

Tori: You know, or not.

KB: Or not, right. Is, is this...

Tori: But you know, I think it's a positive thing. I think people, things are, information's traveling so quickly, um, that, instead of trying to stop it I think you just have to go, okay. How do, how do I find a way to work with it?

KB: Mm-hm. Exactly. Well, I think that this is the coming-out party to the public for MP3 because with a tour the size of yours, the profile that you and Alanis have, everybody's gonna be finding out about MP3 and I guess that's why they're, why they're doin' it. It sounds like a win for everybody.

Tori: Well and another thing is, that a lot of artists, you know, are having a hard time getting their music heard. Especially the new artists. And you know the signings at record labels, there've been so many um artists that have been dropped, as you know.

KB: Right. Yeh.

Tori: And there are really only four big record companies now. That I think it's important that musicians have a way of getting their music heard.

KB: What I hear, Tori, is that there are superstar artists that are doin' things like drivin' around with a truck full of wine? (laughs) So there, so there's no money left to sign any of the new acts. (laughs)

Tori: Hey, I paid for that wine, honey.

KB: Absolutely. All right, so September 25th, Alanis Morissette, Tori Amos, co-headlining, Irvine Meadows is the place, Monday morning we give out all the details on how you can get your tickets. And that may surprise you how that's gonna work. But uh it's always great to have ya on the show and it's always great to see ya in concert and we're excited that you're comin' back. What a, that's a tremendous double bill. That's awesome.

Tori: Well guys we'll come see you when we're there. Great talkin' to both of you.

KB: That'll be great thank you.

Tori: Okay.

KB: All right, talk to you soon Tori.

Tori: Take care now.

KB: Okay bye-bye.

Tori: Mm, bye.

KB: Just a wonderful uh, lady. I just love...

Female DJ: She really is.

KB: ...love talkin' to her. She's great. And that's a, that's a helluva bill right there my friends.

Female DJ: That'd be worth it.

KB: You know what I'm sayin'?

Female DJ: Yep.

KB: Tori Amos, Alanis Morissette. Again, details Monday morning on how to buy tickets.


[transcribed by Kim H.]


t o r i p h o r i a
the World of Tori Amos
www.yessaid.com