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The Kevin & Bean Show (US, radio)
KROQ, Los Angeles (106.7 FM)
August 19, 2002
Tori Amos interview
[A Sorta Fairytale is played]
KB (Kevin or Bean): You are listening to the Kevin and Bean Show on the world famous KROQ... and that unmistakable voice is Tori Amos. I know her! We know her! I know that dude! Tori Amos, yeah. The CD is coming out October 29th, is called Scarlet's Walk and again that's "A Sorta Fairytale." Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome back to the studio, our friend Tori. Hey Tori.
Tori: Hello Bean, hi Kevin.
KB: How are ya?
Tori: Really well.
KB: It's good to see you again.
Tori: Good to see you.
KB: I can't remember the last time we talked to you. We certainly talked to you within the last year, certainly. But I can't remember, it's been a while.
Tori: Yeah, a lot's happened.
KB: Yeah, what's happened?
Tori: Well, the biggest thing is we're potty training, and we've almost...
KB: Sure, and by we you mean you and your husband.
Tori: Yeah, and our almost 2-year old and it's really working, she is doing great and wow. What a... what a trip.
KB: Isn't it funny how two and a half years ago, your life was about certain things and all of a sudden, your entire life is focused on urine. You know what I mean, it's really amazing the transformation there.
Tori: The thing is that people would tell you, having a crew of a lot of guys and few women, but a lot of guys who would talk this talk, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.
KB: Of course.
Tori: And I just don't like talking that kind of talk it's just, uh, uh, um, shh. Don't say it! I don't wanna talk about it! You know, nice things, nice things. I mean, I'll talk about porno, I'll talk about anything but not...
KB: But not bodily functions
KB: I gotcha.
Tori: Lipgloss is where it stops for me. So now can you imagine, now it's like, "Mommy potty in living watching Harry Potter (with English Accent)." Oh my God, it's so complicated.
KB: Wait for a year and a half to two years, when it's their favorite thing to talk about bodily functions, wait til that point.
Tori: She can talk to her daddy then.
KB: That's what Kevin did... it's so much coming with Daddy now!
KB: Tori here is what I was talking to you briefly at the end of your song when you came in, It's weird that, you lived in the US your whole life, right? Pretty much?
KB: And then you're just up and married this bloke and now you're a foreigner
Tori: - ish, foreigner, I'm here part of the time, but because he said to me, "Look, I'd really wanna know what you're like pottering down to the garden when you're 80, but I don't wanna live there." And I said, "Well, what do you mean, because you work there, we met there." And he said, "I just really need to be where there's football, Formula-1 and good tea." And I said, "okay, well love makes you do crazy things." So, I moved to a place where it rains all the time, every day.
KB: Ouch. Now, when did you have the conversation, did you have it before you got married or after you got married.
Tori: We have these conversations, once in a while, which is, "Husband, it's been raining for three weeks, I really gotta go." And he'll say, "Why don't you go and a holiday with Beenie," one of my friends. Because he really loves being there. I mean a holiday for him is being in the rain, walking in the rain, making you a cup of tea.
KB: How long are you gonna be able to take that?
Tori: Don't know.
KB: It's gonna drive you nuts! [everybody laughs] ... What about, because when I travel, I don't get a chance to travel nearly as much as you do, but when I travel, there are so many things you miss the familiarity, the comfort level of how easy things are in United States, it just seems like when you go to other countries, is not that it's better or worst, is just that you are used to, there must be a lot of things about the United States that you miss being gone for months at a time.
Tori: Of course, and people send care packages to me all the time, and that's really good.
KB: What's your favorite item to get in the care package?
Tori: Um, cinnamon toothpaste by Tom's.
Tori: Yeah, I love that... I really love that.
KB: What was it like, I think the last time we talked to you was not long after September 11th, What was it like seeing how seeing the coverage from the other side of the pond, rather than being here, did you feel some sort of desperate wanting to come back here because this is where everything was happening? Or were you kind of glad that you missed it you weren't in the country?
Tori: Well, I was in New York City on the eleventh.
KB: Ouch, bad, bad question.
Tori: No, no no. Because I toured after that. We made a decision to tour because we were getting a lot of emails from people saying, "Look, everybody's cancelling, and even if you just sit up there, lose your voice, whatever, we just need a place to go to see each other." They needed a place to congregate, so we felt like having been there and seeing that the masks came down, the makeup came off for people in New York and people I think for maybe the first time in a long, long time were um, talking about things, asking questions that I haven't heard in my lifetime in the United States. My mother tells me during World War II, there would be questions like that, because there, we were attacked and there was that feeling that people felt in Pearl Harbor, you know, everybody says that. But when I went overseas, um, Europe was really with us, their heart was there, they were very much almost like a good sister. But then, as things started to get to a place of, "We're moving to other countries," not mentioning any names right now, but, the feeling was, "Hey guys, we stood by you on this one, but don't take advantage and say, now let's beat up everybody that we don't like - we don't feel good about that." And you know, they have a huge Islamic community in Europe, and people have to understand that the foreign policy there, people read about it in the papers everyday. And we don't really get that here, not that kind of coverage, and that's the thing that fascinates me. That's a big, big difference.
KB: But the impression I'm getting from countries like England, is that they're starting to look at the US like a big bully.
Tori: That's right.
KB: And that doesn't seem like it boats well for what's ahead.
Tori: No, but don't you think, Bean, that a generation has to rise up and whether it's the one behind us in college, and just say, "Hey, we gotta take part and figure out what our country is doing. How they're pimping her out." Because you know, some of these guys are either gonna be dead or senile, when this country is given to the next generation. And people are gonna wake up and say, "We didn't know this was going on."
KB: Tori I gotta tell you, we, uh, we have the opportunity to see a lot of our listeners. I don't want them running this country... I don't know who needs to be there instead, but please, not the wake and bake club. Somebody else.
Tori: But I have faith in them. I do.
KB: Yeah, but your fans are different that ours. I don't mind your fans running the country. I don't want our fans running the country.
Tori: Don't you guys think that your fans might be better than what we've got in there now? At least they can put a sentence together.
KB: Oh God, now, you haven't met our fans. Listen, we have to take a quick break, Tori Amos is in the studio, we kind of got out of the topic we wanted to talk about, which is Scarlet's Walk, we gotta find out all about that, you got a brand new record label this time, which must be very exciting for you.
Tori: Very exciting.
KB: And I know you have big plans for the future once this record comes out. I wanna hear all the dirt when we come back. Once again, Tori Amos in the world famous KROQ.
[commercials, then Cornflake Girl is played]
KB: This is the world famous KROQ, 106.7, it's the Kevin & Bean Show and during that record we found out that Tori Amos hates Alaska.
KB: That was really disappointing that she feels that way about one of our greatest states.
Tori: Oh, if you all believe these two quacks,
KB: They've learned by now, not to believe everything we say.
Tori: Tell them what we were talking about Scarlet, my character, goes to all the states, because she's taking a road trip.
KB: The name of the new album is gonna be Scarlet's Walk.
KB: And this is a character that you've created named Scarlet.
KB: And the character goes from West to East?
KB: Throughout the United States.
KB: She's road tripping but not the you know, all night truck-stop, beer-bong road trips they were used to. This is like a mission a searching the soul kind of thing.
Tori: Yeah, but she passes a few truck stops. There are cute people there, too. You know, she covers a lot of ground, yes.
KB: How did you come up with the idea?
Tori: Well, on the road last year, in the wake of the twins going down, and um, deciding to tour, starting to see the country in a different way.
KB: Well, did you get a completely different reaction from the audience after that when you were performing?
Tori: Every night, different. Depending on what the city, um, what they, I guess what their background is, if there was a military base, certain cities would be more aggressive about the whole thing, and certain cities, say Seattle for example, is a little more left-wing. So they would be, "Hey, why isn't anybody asking the question, 'why does everybody hate us so much?'" But then you go to another place, say, where there is a different sort of tone, and people would be, "Go, kill, go."
KB: Like San Diego or some place.
Tori: Well I'm not mentioning any names because...
KB: Like San Diego or some place.
KB: Plus you got cities that would be affected differently, like Los Angeles for instance, because what, 3 out of 4 jets where on their way to Los Angeles, from Boston where they took off, or whatever, yeah.
Tori: Right, yeah. Well, the thing is playing New York, playing Boston, playing DC, uh, very uh... the audience was in mourning, you were dealing with people that had lost somebody, and so the set-lists were different, I approached it differently. And it was much more of a candlelight vigil concert.
KB: You don't even do that Macarena medley when you're those cities, right?
Tori: Have I ever done that? Have I ever done that?
KB: You should do it Tori.
Tori: I don't know, how does it go?
KB: Everyone would freak out.
KB: I don't know, how does the Macarena go? Lalalala Macrena, that's how it goes.
KB: But as you go across the county, and you're the type of person who meets a lot of your fans and talks to them about a lot of things and they seem to open up to you, and you noticed there was something in the air that you felt like you wanted to capture that you wanted to write about.
Tori: Yes, and there was a seed that was planted after the eleventh, which was that people started seeing America as a soul as a being. Whether it's their mother or a love or a sister, whatever it was to them.
KB: They were actually people again...
Tori: She was a being, as the Native Americans have always thought of her, she's a living essence who has a past that goes back before, you know, the colonists. And so Native Americans would come and visit me, too, and they would be saying things like, "now is the time when the people that hold the land and the people that own the land need to come together and try and take care of her." And I kind of sat back and said, "wow, things are happening here on so many levels that I don't understand and I just need to keep traveling and need to keep taking information," and this story started weaving itself. Scarlet really is a thread, that's all it is. And it goes through me for a lot of it but then it sometimes leaves me, particularly when my character goes to the Boston airport and I take a little flight into New York and I get in and the thread has followed another woman on another plane that ends up going to New York and the plane doesn't make it. So, the thread comes back to me and um, it's very painful what I've learned from this other woman's experience.
KB: You know what I haven't done in a long time, I don't know, ever, is listen to a whole album as one piece. I find a song I like and I just fixate on it until I'm tired of it. Do people in general do that and are you a little worried that they will miss the whole story line and treat it as a whole piece?
Tori: Well, I kinda recommend... go driving with it because that's how it was created. It's a road trip. And you can make it to Palm Springs and back, it's a long record, it's long.
KB: You may have to go back to Palm Springs half way and then turn around.
Tori: I mean, it's a long record but it is a story so it's sort of like skipping around in a book. Let's just start with chapter four. So, you know.
KB: I'll have to listen to it that way. I'm just, that's not the habit that I am in, is treating the entire album as a story or as a through-line or as a whole thing.
Tori: But what about when you were a kid? 'Cause I think it was different then. See, I listened to albums top to tail when I was a kid.
KB: I was never that kind of person, but I know Bean is a whole picture guy. October 29th is when it comes out, Scarlet's Walk and you are on Epic records now. Any difference being with a different label? Were there reasons why you wanted to leave or did you just get a better deal at Epic or what happened there? Because you've been with Atlantic since day one, right?
Tori: Yeah, fifteen years. And it was one of those things where some of my dear friends are still there but um, the suits - Those Who Are They - and I saw things differently and the marriage got to a point where you know, there were no more conjugal rights.
KB: Irreconcilable differences?
Tori: Yeah, and the funny thing is that the label can have all these love affairs with these other people but I'm sitting there and I couldn't even get the pool boy. You know, you can't do anything with anybody. I couldn't sing for anybody but my mother if I would have left so I had to, I had to do my due diligence.
KB: You gotta do what you gotta do.
Tori: And Polly over at Epic is just great, but she's a woman's woman.
KB: And you feel that they are excited about you and making you feel like a priority again and that's enough of good news for you and your fans.
Tori: You know what they said to me, when she came to visit me she said, "You know what, just do what you do, that's all I ask." And she looked at me and said, "But you know, can you do it well?" I said, "I'll give it a go."
KB: Try not to suck in other words? [laugh] So they don't mind all the fairy BS and they're down with all that?
Tori: Well, wait a minute. The thing about the fairy BS, is have you been to Ireland and started dissing the fairies 'cause they will kick your behind.
KB: Yeah, they will, that's true.
B: No, he doesn't usually go to Ireland and start...
Tori: Why don't you, you know, I dare you. Go to Ireland, go in a pub about midnight and start saying fairies suck. Let's see what you look like once they are through with you, baby.
KB: Well, if you put it that way, I am on board with the fairies BS. And one more thing, but we're kind running out of time, tell us about the extras that are the CD, this is awesome, the maps and stuff.
Tori: Well, this is how it works. So when you get the CD, I kind of figured, you know, you can't change technology. I mean, people are doing what they do...
KB: The cat's out of the bag?
Tori: Yeah, they're doing what they do. Yeah, so you change it's function. So the CD becomes a key and then you put it into your computer and it will take you to Scarlet's Web. So that's the only way you can get there.
KB: Can't type it in, you have to have the CD.
Tori: No, there will be a code, and I am sure somebody will break it within eight months but I've got eight months and I kind of know that, but once you get to Scarlet's Web there will be extra tracks which in the old days would have been B-sides but because we don't , you know, do that anymore...
KB: Oh, there's extra songs?
Tori: Absolutely. And this is part of her journey, too, but I just decided I can only fit so many on. Um, and the maps where she went come alive so you can go visit them in detail, you know where she went, you just don't know who she slept with or where. [laugh]
KB: Beautiful! That's a good idea.
Tori: It's been fun. A lot of research but big fun.
KB: Why are you making us wait until October 29th? That's a long time.
Tori: Why? Well, I'm still doing the maps.
KB: You're still working on it?
Tori: I mean, every state, every road.
KB: Except Alaska, because you hate them (laughs)
Tori: I love them. Ok, that's the only state I haven't been to
KB: That's all I am saying...
Tori: And I am going to go there, so I had to research this because I haven't been myself, but I would like to go.
KB: Alright, Tori you are one of our favorite guests, listen to that, she is giving me the raspberry, I'm saying nice things about her. You are one of our favorite guests, we always enjoy spending time with you, it's just that time goes by way too fast. You're such a smart lady and a nice lady and a powerful lady...
Tori: Thank you guys
KB: You are a smart lady and a nice lady and a powerful lady and really, we love you. We do - Scarlet's Walk, is the name of the new CD and it out October 29th. Thanks for coming in.
Tori: OK, and you both are very naughty! Goodbye.
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