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Mountain Music Lounge (US, radio)
KMTT "The Mountain" Seattle, Washington (103.7 FM)
December 10, 2002
Tori Amos interview and live performance
songs: A Sorta Fairytale, Crazy and Strange
Reimer: Welcome to our makeshift Mountain Music this afternoon. We have a full house here in the W hotel - make some noise so we know it's not (audience begins to cheer)... I'm... I'm saying that mainly for the benefit of the people that are listening at home right now because this'll be broadcast this afternoon. We have a group of about -- I dunno -- 50, 60 at work network members who are lucky enough to be invited in on this Mountain Music Lounge session with an artist that'll be performing tonight, at Key Arena. In fact, she'll be playing this exact piano! Which is part of the reason for our delay this afternoon is getting that shuttled in from Key Arena. And, in honor of the performer who'll be taking the stage her momentarily, we're under a couple of pink Christmas trees here onstage here at the W hotel. Please welcome, to our Mountain Music Lounge, Tori Amos!
(long applause, as Tori makes her way to the piano, smiling and waving)
Reimer: So I said this was the actual piano you'll be playing tonight so this is it, this is the baby grand that'll be on stage there -
Tori: No, nonono no, the mommy is on stage -
Reimer: The mommy is on stage? Well we were told this one came in from Key Arena, forget everything I said a minute ago -
Tori: No, no, no it did come from Key Arena I travel with two,
Tori: this is the baby, she comes and does these things, and the mommy's on stage, she's nine foot one.
Reimer: Ah ha! Well... you don't mess with the mommy. Well welcome to Seattle and the Mountain Music Lounge.
Tori: This is very good to be here.
Reimer: Very nice to have Tori Amos here, you're in Seattle tonight at Key Arena, then it's Portland, and then down to California, and then I think a couple of Arizona then a couple of Nevada shows, and um, I saw your tour schedule up to December 21st and then are you shutting down for the holiday?
Reimer: And what are your plans for the holiday?
Tori: We're gonna have fried chicken, my mom's making it, and we're gonna take them out on the boat, I love the boat. So we're gonna have Christmas on the boat
Reimer: Oh! Very nice! And I saw you, you were taking a liking to the pink Christmas trees that the W hotel has set up here-
Tori: Well this is the whole thing, Tash is having the Christmas party this year -- she's throwing her first Christmas party -- and, we asked her, what kind of party do you wanna, you know, throw, and and she said 'pink,' 'pink Christmas' -- so all the crew has to wear pink! It'll be at our second L.A. show, backstage. It has to be, you know, seven o'clock, her bedtime is nine fifteen, so...
Reimer: And so who gets to come to the party?
Tori: The crew -
Reimer: I mean, the invitations are going out?
Tori: Invitations are going out today, it's for our crew and close, you know, close people that she knows and she's making their party bags, Hello Kitty, Barbie stickers... (laughter)
Reimer: That's great! All right! Tori Amos is here in the Music Lounge to play for us, we'll talk to her more in just a little bit. What are you going to play for us first?
Tori: Umm, this is a little song called 'Crazy' off Scarlet.
Reimer: Okay, Tori Amos, on the Mountain.
Tori plays "Crazy."
Reimer: Very nice! That's Tori Amos, here on the Mountain Music Lounge, which we've set up for the sake of our audience here in the W hotel. Playing live is, I imagine, is quite important to you?
Tori: Well that's when magic happens, because you know when you're in the studio it's a different feel. You know, it's a different kind of process. But when you're playing for people there's a relationship I mean you're having a love affair with these people. And sometimes they're telling each other secrets without even having that normal kind of conversation. But it happens, it is a conversation.
Reimer: If it were possible, logistically and financially, to do shows in this setting every night, as opposed to in an arena, would you prefer this setting?
Tori: Completely different. If we did this then it would be -- I wouldn't be doing 'Precious Things' in a room this size, just because to get that kind of power I'd have to blow the doors off. Do you know? I mean, so financially they'd be shutting me down -- the fireman would be coming in, and... so really it's a completely different thing, I mean that's why we mix it up. And I design the sets differently, so if I'm in a cozy place it's a different set list than if I'm in an arena.
Reimer: I noticed that when you were playing that song just then that you were gazing out to some spot in the audience. What do you focus on when you're playing? What do you look at, what are you thinking about?
Tori: Well each song has it's own story and characters and usually when I sing the song those characters get conjured up. That's how they sort of walk back into my life anytime I sing the song. That's kind of the deal that the songs have made with me. It's like 'if you think you're going to sing us, then we're going to show up, whether you like it or not.' So they come. And they - I kind of see them when they come. But it's not like you think, I'm not on mushrooms or anything.
Reimer: Whatever works!
Tori: But he who is crazy, who I'm speaking about, shows up!
Reimer: And every night, shows up in the same way? I imagine every night is it unexpected -
Tori: He wears different things. He - I'm sure he showers!
Reimer: Good, good hygiene, that's important! For guests that pop up on the stage...
Reimer: I want to ask you a whole bunch of questions about the new CD which is wonderful, called Scarlet's Walk, but I'd love to have you play another song as well, so...
Tori plays "A Sorta Fairytale"
Reimer: 103.7 the Mountain proud to have Tori Amos in the Mountain Music Lounge this afternoon. She's performing tonight at Key Arena. How many of you are going to that show? (smattering of applause) You can be a little bit louder about it, I suppose. All of a sudden they are very polite. Umm yeah tonight at Key Arena here in Seattle. Scarlet's Walk -- that was a song off your new CD. The CD is filled with all this American imagery, tell me, how much was the new disc influenced by the events of September 11?
Tori: Well I was touring right after that and I think because a lot of people were canceling we were one of the few acts out there. So, all kinds of people came to the shows who might not normally come. And therefore, you got perspective on how people were seeing things and this was a time when people were questioning our leaders, that they were shamed. But a lot of people I found -- I went across the country -- were asking questions like 'is this being that we call America really being protected?' And that kind of drove me, I began to see that people were developing a relationship with the soul of our country -- which is separate of course as we all know -- and it's more like the Native American view. They're caretakers of this soul, our true mother, if you will. And I saw that, from east to west, in the center, and it kind of drove the story.
Reimer: And who is Scarlet? She's on a journey across the country right? And doesn't each song represent a stop on that journey?
Tori: Yes. So it starts, Scarlet gets a phone call from Amber Waves, who is our favorite porn star in LA. And she's in a bit of a sticky wicket. So Scarlet goes to see her. And she has no idea that she's gonna be taking this road trip that's gonna change her whole life and how she sees the world. But it does. And it starts just with a phone call, and she slowly begins to make her way. One event leads her to another, and she ends up finding out her relationship with the country.
Reimer: Is writing in the third person like this, is it easier is it more difficult than some of the things you've done in the past which you know have been quite revealing of what's going on in your life?
Tori: Well, I mean, you know, I guess my thoughts and feelings go into her. She's sort of my alter ego. And she has - you know, my husband asked me this a couple of weeks ago, he said 'so, how based on reality is this because she has a lot of lovers!'
Tori: I said, 'well, you know, it doesn't have to be in sequence! I mean time is a bit dicey on this,' I said, 'I can't, you know, my feet can't be held to the fire on this!'
Reimer: Did that satisfy him, that answer?
Reimer: You have been described in many write ups - and it's funny, this word gets used often when people talk about Tori Amos -- as being "kooky." Is that flattering to you at all, are you annoyed by that, that term?
Tori: I don't know, I just -- the British seemed to kind of like that idea so I just decided to play kooky for the Brits. They like that kind of thing.
Reimer: Peter Gabriel, you're a fan of Peter Gabriel?
Tori: Yeah, he's a mentor of mine.
Reimer: And as such, give me some advice that Peter has shared with you.
Tori: He said, build your own studio, and then that way if -- heaven forbid -- you ever fall out with your record company (mentioning no names) then they'll have to call you up for the master tapes. And say, you know, we need Tori Amos' tapes. And I can answer on the other end and say "well, you do!"
Reimer: Where were you six months ago!
Tori: Yeah, it was really handy advice.
Reimer: Tori Amos is here in the music lounge, love to have you play one more song.
Tori plays "Strange"
Reimer: Tori Amos! In the Mountain Music Lounge, tonight at Key Arena. Before I let you go so much of the Internet is devoted to Tori Amos have you gotten a computer yet?
Tori: I ditched it.
Reimer: You had it then you got rid of it?
Tori: No, I slung it I gave it to somebody I said "I can't deal with this anymore!"
Reimer: What, what was the problem with it?
Tori: No, you know, it's just you know what I hate? It's, I'm trying to write -- have a moment -- you know, 'mommy, dit dit dit, dahda dah,' so I sit down to just write my little letters, and I get all this instant messaging. Like, 'I don't want to talk to you right now! I just talked to you!' I mean, I get ten minutes...it's like they have an all-access area pass!
Reimer: That's right. I believe there is a way to shut that off, but I don't want to get into tech talk here with you -
Tori: No, I couldn't figure it out so I just threw my computer away -
Reimer: So you just trashed the whole thing...
Tori: Yeah... bye!
Reimer: And once again, Tori Amos -- Offline!
Reimer: All right! (laughter) Have a great time tonight at the Key Arena. Thank you very much for making time for us. Tori Amos!
[transcribed by Dave]
t o r i p h o r i a
the World of Tori Amos