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Reviews - Interview with Tori Amos
"That penis has to get in somewhere"
Nobody sings like Tori Amos. And her ideas aren't so ordinary as well. The singer with the laser eyes about rapes, inner demons, cruel women and frightened men.
Tori Amos sits ducked away in her black coat. No pictures please and actually rather not a conversation as well. There have been too many journalists today. What does she think about being an example for a lot of women?
A little angry she mutters in her coat: "The only thing that bothers me is when women are being cruel to other women. They become that way when their inner self is wounded. They're almost not accessible. You can always seduce a man but a woman will try to break that force. A woman who's harsh is like an animal that kills, like a predator."
Tori Amos went through a lot in her life. She was a piano prodigy, was raped when she was 21 and miscarried two years ago. All this grief went into her songs. Does she feel like these events have a purpose?
"Sure, in the past hundred years issues like rape and incest are being critisized for the first time. Women are allowed to work, have an independent life and can refuse sex. Such an attitude does have its influence on men as well. Sometimes they can't get their penis up for strong women. (She grabs her crotch) But it can turn around in sexual abuse as well. Sometimes after the show children tell me they're in an incestuest situation. When they say it's Gods will, I can cut the culprit's throat. Abuse isn't what God was talking about. Absolutely not. Fuck God's will."
Tori co-founded the RAINN (Rape Abuse and Incest National Network), a help-line for victims of sexual abuse. Since the start a quarter of a million women phoned. In interviews she often mentions women have to fight like lions. What does she mean by this?
"When you're abused there's a time to cry, to be looked after and stop the bleeding. But there will be a time that you have to look after yourself. I believe women have to get more powerful. They are always looking for the prince on the white horse or the dark prince who can lighten their dark sides."
Excuse me, dark prince? By now Tori sits on the tip of her chair.
"Society always allowed men to do what they wanted to do: drink, fight, rape, screw. Enough room for the dark side. At the same time women would wait frightened. When will I be raped, robed or abused? Some of them turn as hard as nails because of that fear. You can't reach them anymore. I was like that as well. But physical I'm in reach of course. I mean, that penis has to get in somewhere. Women shouldn't deny their dark side. Sometimes those demons are frightening and sometimes they're beautiful. You'll have to approach them. Drink a glass of wine with them, take them for a walk on the beach, examine yourself. When you'll think about yourself for 15 minutes a day, very honest and without a lot of criticism, you will get to know your force. Every person is unique. You have to find and respect that unique part in yourself. You can't expect others to do the work for you. I believe a personality is like a labyrinth where you can make a wonderful journey. And that journey can take a lifetime."
Two years ago Tori married her British sound engineer Mark Hawley. They live in Cornwall where they have a studio as well. When she's so distrustful to men doesn't she find it hard to have relationships with them?
"No, I don't find personal relationships hard. Believe it or not I have a sense of humor. Men have their own battles. To be honest, their lives spin around women. Take a look at history. In the end it's always about who can screw the daughter?"
CDs and themes
Little Earthquakes (1992) and Under the Pink (1994)
Songs about female sexuality in relation to God.
Boys for Pele (1996)
About the breakup with her friend and coproducer Eric Rosse.
From the Choirgirl Hotel (1998)
About her miscarriage.
To Venus and Back (1999)
A CD with live material and a CD with 11 new songs on which every aspect of being a woman is discussed.
t o r i p h o r i a
the World of Tori Amos