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Mix Underground Lounge (US, radio)
KMXB, Las Vegas (Mix 94.1 FM)
December 14, 2002
Tori Amos interview and live performance
songs: Crazy, A Sorta Fairytale, Landslide and Strange
(Tori plays Crazy)
Leah Granberg: Wow! Here at the Valley's Mix 94.1 Tori Amos live at the Underground Lounge. Tori thank you very much here. This is unbelievable. Welcome back to Las Vegas by the way.
Tori Amos: Thank You.
Leah: When was the last time you were here?
Tori: That's a very good question. Um, this is the thing. I don't really know when the last...I seem to be here more than I can remember.
Leah: Las Vegas has a way of doing that to people.
Tori: I know! But I have belongings here.
Leah: You do!
Tori: I have things scattered all over the place.
Leah: You have some that are showcased here actually.
Tori: Yeah I saw my shoes... Do you know I didn't know where those had gone. I had been looking for them for a while and I saw them in the window and I said, "Thank God!" I had been so worried about them. (Audience and Leah laughs)
Leah: Yeah..Those are very nice shoes by the way, and the top is pretty cute so if your going out tonight you might want to get that stuff back.
Tori: I know... they were popular with um...
Leah: Uh yeah...
Tori: I don't know if they were popular with my husband but they could be. (Leah laughs)
Leah: How does that come about? Does the Hard Rock say, 'Tori uh, we need some of your clothes, maybe a pair of you shoes.
Leah: How does that even happen?
Tori: Yes something like that. Yes.
Tori: You get a call from somebody who is on the line with somebody, you know they conference them in. (Tori laughs) And then they fly in and you have uh wardrobe gal to kinda of, you give them the keys and they deal with it.
Leah: That's pretty amazing.
Tori: That's kinda how it works. But you don't give them, its not like you say to them here's my closet.
Tori: You say, here are some performance things. This was on tour. And I'm really lucky to have such a great team so with ever tour they kind of have a system. They put things away. It's not like I go to Safeway in whatever I was wearing at the piano. Except my shows see... that's the thing... not that anybody cares... I can't believe I'm talking about this... but my shoes, I usually don't put them away. They become a part of my life and yes I do go in Safeway in those.
Leah: Are you talking about Safeway, like Safeway Vaans?? Like the grocery store?
Tori: Yeah Yeah.
Leah: Sister! I'm' all about Safeway. They don't have it here they have Vaans.
Tori: Do they?
Leah: They do. No Safeway.
Tori: Well the point is wherever were going we have to, you know, you wear your favorite shoes. I can't go shopping unless I like what's on my feet.
Leah: Absolutely! There's a new mall here... it's called Fashion show...well, its been here for a while but they just re-did it! It's pretty amazing if you're looking for shoes.
Tori: Well, no no... Let's break into that window (Leah laughs), get my shoes and you and I will go to this place together. Blow off the show tonight.
Leah: I think so!
Tori: And we'll have just fun...you and me...
Leah: I think so!
Tori: I like your hair!
Leah: Thank you VERY much... (Tori laughs) Coming from you that's amazing. I can go home now... thanks for coming out everybody... Actually we have some questions from some listeners... Bill sitting right there in the front. He came in all the way from Boston just to see you.
Tori: Hello Bill... (Leah laughs) How are you??
Leah: And Bill was just wondering...
Tori: Well you can go shopping with us to then... if I blow off the show we'll take you to. But you have to help me break into that window though because you have Braun.
Leah: You know I think Bill could do it for us. He's a big guy.
Tori: That's what I think.
Leah: Just get him to do it. (Crowd laughs) (Something happened from Bill here... but I do not know what... crowd kinda boos...) That goes for me too... all right, Bill actually wanted to know if you ever wished being in the spotlight so much, that you wished fame could go away. If you could just be artist and do you wish the fame could go away?
Tori: Well, the truth is if you want it to go away then you just don't create havoc. You just go into Safeway and you just don't announce yourself by the oranges.
Leah: Right... (Cell phone rings)
Tori: I wonder who's calling? That's fantastic.
Leah: I don't know but I think there probably fired. I'm assuming right now.
Tori: But the thing...No honestly, there have been people come up to me and unless your Madonna or J-Lo or whatever
Leah: Or Tori Amos...
Tori: No but I mean really. You can go out and if you don't create spectacles you'd be surprised. People just want to go about their daily life and if you kinda have calmness about you, I find a lot of people I've had, mentioning no names of course. I had people say to me, 'Oh God... My life is such a mess. I can't go anywhere without people trailing me," and you sort of look at them and there's nobody trailing them. (Audience laughs) I mean your there at Starbucks, the two f you, no one cares. Everybody wants their own biscotti and they're mad that I took the last vanilla. They don't care.
Leah: Right. So needless to say you're not wearing a big Tori Amos sign, welcome, hi.
Tori: Well this is the thing. If... You gotta worry about those people that are walking around because the truth is that they are sad that you don't recognize them so I really think the truth is that um its' not such a big deal. You know you live your life, you drop your kid off at school and that's ok.
Leah: Is that been easy for you or have you had any nutcases coming after you?
Tori: Sure you have those but you deal with them. And they're always there but there are so many other people that aren't so to give them all the energy. You deal with them but I've found that you empower people sometimes if you make them the center and instead of doing that again, you knowledge things, you deal with things, you have a team,you draw your lines. And um, I mean, there were people digging up my plants and it was really making me mad. I was pregnant and there were people taking my plants. And so I was going to have... I was going to tie little black things around my plant's eyes and I was going to put them on the internet and say my plants have been taken hostage, bring 'em back. That's not fair.
Leah: That isn't right.
Tori: They get a bit nutty you know.
Leah: That's absolutely... Is there another song that you wanted to do?
Leah: That was my nonchalant way of asking.
(Tori plays a Sorta Fairytale)
Leah: Wow! We are Mix 94.1 Las Vegas'...I can not believe this...Live at the underground lounge with Tori Amos. Unbelievable! Ok, so I gotta go back to the shoe thang. It's the holidays.
Leah: Have you received anything strange past holidays? Have you bought anything strange? Strangest gift you've given or received.
Tori: Wow... (long pause) You first.
Leah: OK (crowd laughs) I'm prepared to answer this.
Leah: When I was in the 7th grade, my mother, it was a cold winter and I'm from Portland Oregon. My mother went to Mervyns's and bought me 9 turtlenecks. 9 turtlenecks in lavender, pink, white yellow. I went to a private school and they just like said ok everybody can wear turtlenecks now. Yeah I call that the big turtleneck turbockle of 1990. I'm serious. 9 turtlenecks... You can call my mother right now and ask her. (Tori laughs) (Leah laughs) And I also asked for a chia-pet one year that I could not get to grow for the life of me. A chia-pet. I've given you two Tori, come on.
Tori: Bibles. People give me bibles all the time as if I don't have one of those. As if my father doesn't have my whole house. It doesn't matter where you look, there be songs of Zion on the piano. You'll see, ya know, I'll just be circling around my little place and there there will be another bible. The saint James version. The good news bible. The bible this and that and I'll say dad why are you putting all these bibles in my house... (dad voice)... "I, I, I am not doing that." (Everyone laughs) So the cleaning lady is obsessed with putting bibles in my house.
Tori: No, this is... My father's a minister
Tori: And he never admits what he's up to. He's very cute but he just wants to make sure that incase I reach out for one of those...
Leah: He wants you to know its right there next to the bed stand.
Leah: Drawer... just like you were at the Hard Rock.
Tori: That's right... oh do you have Giddiens bible by the... in the...do you?
Leah: They they... ya know I do that... That's the first thing I do when I go into a hotel room. I don't' know why I always check to see if it's there. It usually is in most hotels.
Tori: Funny that. I never check that. (Audience laughs)
Leah: Because you know you got 12 in your suitcase. You dad's like, "She's not going to notice these" cramming them in there. Alright, Amy and Norm wanted to know what, cause your known to bust out a cover song at your shows. They wanted to know what is your favorite cover song to play in concert.
Tori: Well (long pause) Probably Landslide by Stevie Nicks. (Claps) But I was covering that in 1991, '92 So it was just one of my favorite songs growing up. And I know a lot of people love that song and its just one of those songs that people play. You wanna hear it?
Leah: I would love to hear..I think...would anyone else? (Claps)
(Tori plays Landslide)
Tori: We are the Valley's Mix 94.1 Live in the underground lounge with Tori Amos. By far the coolest version of that song that I have ever heard. That's unbelievable.
Tori: Well so many people grew with that it was just one of those things you made out with your boyfriend to it and then you broke up with them and listened to it and called your girlfriend and cried together and ah yeah..
Leah: Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac, is that something that you listened to when you were growing up?
Tori: Um, some things but truthfully when I was making this album I was more of a Zeppelin freak but that's just because to me Robert was just making it all make sense and I didn't know why my dad and some of the men at church didn't want their daughters to listen to Led Zeppelin of course until I understood why they didn't want us to do it.
Leah: What is your favorite Led Zeppelin song... do you have one that sticks out?
Tori: Well so many but probably Thank You... yeah... because it so beautiful.
Leah: Ok so I've already broke into your little pseudo closet here at the Hard Rock. If I were to go to your house right now and sort through your CD's what are some that I would find?
Tori: Mary Poppins... The princess sing your favorite songs... My daughter is a, you know...
Leah: She controls the music at your house.
Tori: She controls everything right now, yes.
Leah: Have you been introduced to the Wiggles?
Leah: Oh, I went home for Thanksgiving and my nephew is addicted to the Wiggles. I almost lost my mind.
Leah: You're lucky you just have the Mary Poppins there
Tori: See, Mary Poppins is great... I mean that stuff is classic and that's really...I love all that. I mean when I hear the Wheels on the Bus for the 17th thousand time...
Leah: That's when your borderline..
Tori: Psycho mommy...
Leah: Can't take it any longer.
Tori: I just say Tash I can't I can't do this anymore. I've been a really patient kind loving mommy. 17th thousand times NO
Leah: No more wheels on the bus.
Tori: I can't
Leah: So I have to ask you this too because a lot of women deal with this. You obviously have a very demanding career. Has there been anytime where your like I just can't do this. My daughter comes first or has it been hard balancing your life and your daughter life? What is that like?
Tori: I think the hardest thing was when you've just taken somebody out of their home. We live in England because my husband's difficult and so arsenal whatever. My child could say arsenal before mommy. I don't think that's right.
Leah: That's a little bit crazy.
Tori: Yeah so I'm saying arsenal rubbish. Anyway, so the point is you take her from her home. You bring her on tour. She's on the bus and she looks at you and says I want to go home mommy. And that gets tricky especially when you have 9 months left and you have to say well were going to go home. But we need to make this really like um, wheels on the bus. Can you believe it? I resorted to that.
Leah: Alright and our last question comes from Sean. Do you have a favorite place? Is there anywhere in the world, obviously your from America, your husband is from Europe... Is there anywhere in the world that you really enjoy playing, a specific venue maybe or just any city?
Tori: Well yeah there's certain places you love but its, it can be the craziest reasons why you like that. It's usually the people. And its hard to explain but more than anything I like being in somebody kitchen.
Tori: Yeah I like being in somebody's kitchen if it's a cozy.
Leah: Kitchen is nice.
Leah: If you were in a kitchen right now what would you make? Could you make anything cause I can't.
Tori: I'd make my well chefs appear.
Leah: Do you really have a chef?
Tori: Of course! Are you kidding?
Leah: I could use one.
Tori: Yeah you could... (laughs) I mean that's why. I mean I don't know if you could cook or not but that's why... I mean lets face it folks... Yes I work a lot... And I sleep about 5 hours a night but come on I have a chef. I have a crew of about 50 people and I'm very fortunate. We run a very tight ship but for us to do this so many shows a week then you have to have a great team. But you know some working mothers that have no help, I don't know how they do it frankly because I just wouldn't eat.
Leah: You'd starve and then where would we be?
T; No I wouldn't starve but I would... do you know... I don't know what I would do but I don't know how they do it and so...
Leah: Absolutely. I completely agree with you. I see women doing it and I can barely manage myself. And you have a very demanding career so I just...It's amazing you can do both. To me..I don't have children so.
Tori: I couldn't do it though without help. Ya know it's about having a great team.
Leah: Absolutely. Well your friend Joe, this is going to be my last question. Joe said to me now Leah, don't give her anything to crazy. She a funny gal, she's a funny gal and I saw the wine bottle out there. So if we were going to have cocktail right now. If I were going to fix you something what would that cocktail be?
Tori: What wine bottle...where??
Leah: There's a wine bottle with your shoes...
Leah: Not only did they snag your shoes they stole your wine.
Tori: Did they? I'm sure it is a empty bottle.
Leah: Do you like wine?
Tori: I like good wine. If it's not good I'd rather have Evian.
Leah: OK so here the situation...I drink Franzia..I'm not sure if you... It's very very nice. It comes in the box with the....So what is a good wine... I do not even know!
Tori: What's Franzia?...
Tori: Oh my God!!
Leah: Now they sell it at Safeway.
Tori: No no no..I don't get wine at Safeway.
Leah: All right see because...
Tori: I'm sorry but I'm difficult. Now when it comes to that...there are just a few things in this world that, it's just non-negotiable. Bosendofer pianos they're the greatest in the world... That's just what it is. You can not sit there and just think, "OK, I'm going to just make this Kimball be a Bosendofer." It ain't gonna happen, never in a million years. And that's because they make it by hand. Somebody sits there. There's a little man. He goes to the tree. Knock knock knock knock knock. They find the trees that sound right. I'm not kidding you, this is what happens over in Austria. And they bring them in and they sit for four years and they weather. And then they get brought in and you have the craftsman. They have women's bodies all over the, pictures of course, pictures of these beautiful women's bodies all over the wall and they design the piano and they touch the wood and they look at these women's bodies. And it's quite a beautiful thing. It's not low rent ok. It's, they're beautiful. And so it's one of those, what would you save, it's a craft and I think when people make wine and they do it with love and you have a families tradition and you have people that their lives are in the wines. That what were talking about.
Leah: Is there a specific wine that you like to drink?
Tori: Yes. It depends on the day, and I guess um, Margo 89 is one of my favorites. Hard to find.
Leah: They don't make that in Franzia, I don't know. (Tori laughs) It's not a Franzia flavor. All right one last song. Can we ask you to do one last song?
Tori: OK. This is um, a little song. Someone asked me to play this song. Here you go.
(Tori plays Strange)
Leah: At the Valley's Mix 94.1 Live from the underground lounge thank you so much Tori Amos for coming out.
Tori: Thank you.
Leah: Her new CD is Scarlet's Walk and is in stores right now. And her show, if you are lucky enough to have tickets to see it live here, otherwise its sold out at the Joint. Thank you so much Tori.
[transcribed by Heather Mayes]
t o r i p h o r i a
the World of Tori Amos