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CFNY, Toronto (Canada, radio)
"The Edge" 102.1 FM
August 30, 2002

Tori Amos interview

Kelly Cutrara: Welcome to Tori Amos who now is joining us!

Tori Amos: Hi Kelly.

Kelly: Hello, we really appreciate it, I know the fans here appreciate it.

Tori: Yeah, they're great. (crowd cheers in background)

Kelly: Some of them have been here since ten! Yeah, and thanks if you are listening worldwide at edge.ca. We appreciate you sticking with us to talk with Tori. Yesterday I got a chance to go by Sony Music 'cause you were in for what the industry call a showcase. That's five songs, five of your new songs, and I was quite literally ten feet away from you and I don't know if you, how much you look at people while you're playing - it looks like you gaze at them directly - but at one point I had to look away because your eyes met mine or it seemed like that to me, and I quite literally couldn't handle the intensity and had to look down at your hands at what you were doing at the piano there. And so I can understand how your fans think of watching you perform as a little bit of a religious experience! How do you deal with your fans that look up to you in that way for maybe something for their soul, to feed their soul?

Tori: Well, its a mutual relationship. I think when you're singing songs that are very intimate, um, you have to feel safe enough to sing these songs, so you are dependent on the people who are listening and giving back because its very much an exchange, it really is.

Kelly: Yeah, I mean, have you had any freaky fans that are like -

Tori: Sure. (laughs a tentative little laugh and the crowd is heard laughing along)

Kelly: Yeah. You don't want to talk about that -

Tori: No, we can talk about it -

Kelly: But you just kinda hang on to the good ones, eh?

Tori: No, you have to, um, sometimes there's no room to run the other way, I mean sometimes you run into somebody and- um, I think one of the favorites of the crew is this guy that says he's Anastasia and he used to come to the shows with a, um, a handcuffed briefcase and said that he really was Anastasia and that he needed to get backstage and had a million dollars that he needed to give me so that I could give it to someone but he wouldn't say who and it was about, you know, really, um, excavating her past and all that-

Kelly: ...And helping that person through whatever - I don't know if that's your job, though, I gotta tell ya. Let's go to this new album that you're, right now you've moved on to Sony, you've moved on to Epic and you've got a new record deal with them - This new album to me, from what I've read, its a little bit of ah, its similar to a Roger Waters Amused To Death -

Tori: (Half laughs)

Kelly: its a whole, you know, concept album where its a story throughout the whole thing. Is it hard to write songs that are a piece of a bigger whole in an album and to know when to end them and when to start them, or do they kind of do it themselves?

Tori: They do it themselves. I mean, you have to know when its time to edit them becasue some of them can go on and on and on - you just have to say no, we get who you are and you get five minutes, Sunshine, that's it!

Kelly: And for the audience, can you tell us a little bit about the new album that is called Scarlet Walk -

Tori: - Scarlet's Walk...

Kelly: -and its based on a character - can you tell us about that?

Tori: Well, she and I are one and the same so maybe I get to hide behind her a little bit, but, my thoughts and feelings are in her, mmm....shoes.

Kelly: Uh-hum

Tori: And so it starts on the west coast in, I guess the porn capital of the world, in The Valley-

Kelly: Uh-hum

Tori: -and I go to see one of my friends who is a, a b-, a b-, a b-, (giggles) I'm not thinking bumble bee here, a b-role porno gal-

Kelly: Okay

Tori: - not good lighting.

Kelly: Right - Amber Waters, is that right?

Tori: Amber Waves, yeah.

Kelly: Amber Waves - I'm close.

Tori: Yeah.

Kelly: So, and it travels through - now, ah, you know, you've done this journey - did you get the idea from travelling yourself alone?

Tori: It started coming rapidly and we were out on the road when a lot of people were cancelling. So, therfore, a lot of people were coming to the shows, hmm, talking about their impressions of the time and it was a time when the masks were down, when people didn't know what tomorrow would bring-

Kelly: You're referring to September Eleventh-

Tori: -and the aftermath-

Kelly: -and you were there, in New York City?

Tori: In New York, yeah.

Kelly: So how has this year - like we're coming up to the anniversary - how is this affecting you, personally?

Tori: Well, its been a - a busy year because, I think, touring after that tragedy happened and being in different parts of the country and then being in different parts of the world, you began to see people's impressions. How they saw the event and how they began to see the world. And that was really the key for me because people started asking questions like, why? Why shouldn't we ask The Question? And in some parts of America that wasn't a good thing - you were made to feel shameful if you said, "What did we do that would create this kind of hatred?" Besides that you have lunatics all over the place who just are malicious and will kill anybody without thinking about it - yeah, that, we know that - but people started asking these questions and so that started to spur on my own questioning. So, Scarlet is looking for what she believes in and who this being we call America is. Not the being that gets pimped out by our leaders or misrepresented - instead of being "Miss America" she gets to be "Miss Represented"-

Kelly: Wow, you know, its amazing to talk with you. The new disc is out October 29th and it is on Epic and Sony and the new disc is called Scarlet Walks-

Tori: -Scarlet's Walk!

Kelly: Scarlet's Walk - because she does, of course, walk-

Tori: Yes, she does.

Kelly: - she walks amongst others. And the new single, the first one is this, A Sorta Fairytale, is that the first single?

Tori: A Sorta Fairytale, yeah.

Kelly: Yeah, I heard you play it last night and it was absolutely phenomenal. I think we should listen to this, and before we get to this, when are you coming back to perform?

Tori: Chels? ...November 22nd.

Kelly: Excellent! We look forward to seeing you, and thank you so much cause I know you've been talking to everybody today - we do appreciate having you here at our street level studio!

Tori: Thank you, Kelly.

Kelly: Have a great day!

Tori: (to crowd) Okay everybody, thanks! (crowd cheers)


[transcribed by Tito Balleste]


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