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MSN (US, www)
live online chat
July 23, 2003

live online chat with Tori Amos

DishDiva says: Welcome to MSN Live! This afternoon we are pleased to welcome recording artist Tori Amos back to MSN! Tori, welcome. It's good to see you again!

Tori_Amos_Live says: Good to see you again.

DishDiva says: Tori, by the way, this is probably the smartest audience we have ever had. I think you're really going to like the questions!

Tori_Amos_Live says: Shoot!

Bratness44 in Onstage4 asks: How do you manage to keep your energy for all the touring you do? Most others would submit with exhaustion....

Tori_Amos_Live says: Bratness44, Playing live gives me energy in itself. There's a frequency that music offers if you're able to tap into it and it really is like an elixir that I haven't experienced in any other form.

Putting that aside, I have a disciplined regimen and found what works for me with eating and how to prepare myself mentally. There is a spiritual side to a daily like that can really support you, even if it's a quiet moment you take to take in say how beautiful the day is and the gifts that Mother Nature gives us. It's about recognizing the creative force that is around us and that's inspiring to me because we're all a part of this in a small way.

To be a part of such creativity is a gift. That doesn't mean that I don't have bad moments every day because I do. I have to have chats with myself every day about something that has really pissed me off. But it's about not letting that take over my day.

So better to take 10 minutes and take a walk around the block to decide what you're going to do rather than stewing about it all day because it will take over your day. I do departmentalize things like "I'm putting that arguement with that girl in my underwear drawer and deal with it later." I don't blow things off because they will come back to bite me in the bottom. It is a commitment and maybe because I'm going to be 40 soon I've become mortal and time is slipping away and I know I'm at my peak right now. I don't want to be asleep for it. I'll be asleep in a few years in a bloody nursing home. (laughs)

I've got the band here, they can weigh in on this.

DishDiva says: The band members are weighing in. . .

Tori_Amos_Live says: I'm answering on sound not content.

Tori_Amos_Live says: Band: You have a potty mouth.

DishDiva says: Tori is responding about the sound, not the lyrics.

DishDiva says: The band just said Tori has a potty mouth. (laughs)

Tori_Amos_Live says: Tori: No, I don't! I have a 5 letter word mouth, if you see what I mean. (laughs) I don't cuss as much as I used to live. I don't, I don't, I don't. Everyone knows I wear the same heels in front of Jesus and Lucifer, and you have to understand that.

If you don't want to expose your 5 year old to Magdalene you're not inspired by the woman that I'm inspired by. I do invite right wing Christians to come. This should be about being able to all come together with different views of Jesus. I love Jesus, believe you me.

The engineer says he can come and not have to wear ear plugs, he says it won't hurt him at all. He says it's comfortably loud. Of course if the child were 2 or younger we would have a different discussion. Babies should not be there, it's best not to have infants there, the engineer told me. It would be sensory overload for a baby but 5 year olds should be fine.

my-tool-462 in Onstage4 asks: Tori, I was wondering what are some of the thoughts you have while performing?

Tori_Amos_Live says: My-tool-462, how not to drool and not fall off my piano stool. (laughs) You have to understand that there's a lot happening. I'm having to play, sing, remember the lyrics and music, breathe, keep my lip gloss on, stay on high heels and stay with the band.

So if I have a minute to think, because sometimes I'm sort of realizing the thread that's going through the set, and I'll find words that I hadn't recognized when going through the set. There might be a gold or gun theme and I didn't realize the undercurrent message that I start to see. No different than seeing shadows on the wall in the right light. So often I think of how the story is changing and I get drawn into it. I've always said the songs are alive and I'm really a librarian. I admit I'm a well paid librarian with great shoes. (laughs) You have no idea how unglamorous it can be sometimes but if you think of me as a librarian from a different dimension, these are books that come to me in sonic form and I have to stay focused or I am manipulated. I have to remain neutral and let the songs speak. I'll be talking with the band and they'll ask me if songs will correlate and we didn't, but the meaning is different when played together. Before the show I stop being a mommy and wife and become a container for the music so it can come through. So in that way it's a time I feel most free. I don't think about anything else but that really. Of course you have the moment, "What was cooking" when I smell something but you can lose a show if you get too distracted.

Xastur7 in Onstage4 asks: How did you and Ben Folds hook up for a tour?

Tori_Amos_Live says: Xastur, because I thought it was a good idea and we approached him and he was open and it felt like the right thing to do. I felt at this time an evening with the same instrument, the piano, and accompanying keyboards coming from different perspectives that were both valid. Male and female, there's a lot of intregation instead of segragation. Instead of a lot of men on the bill and only one woman. There's a lot of violence in the world and to have an evening that's powerful but doesn't need to take power from people. To try and take audiences into a dark space and I'm very comfortable now walking into a dark space but you don't do it by disrespecting the audience, you do it by protecting them and getting them to walk into that dark space to see the shadows instead of trying to take their power away. And Ben doesn't do that. I played with that with Boys for Pele and you have to realize what that's like. There's a lot of emotional vampires out there performing.

I don't care how cute some of them look, there's a subjucation to some aspect of some people's show and chant things. So this is another way to tap into the question I've been asking myself, what is a powerful male and what is a powerful female and that's what I'm exploring and I thought Ben was the person to explore that with especially since we play the same instrument. There really isn't a loser, I believe it can be a win win situation.

minxee0 in Onstage3 asks: What did you dream about last night?

Tori_Amos_Live says: I had a couple of dreams over the last week that were very odd. The one I had last night was really strange because I wanted to wake up from it. I didn't want to stay in that dream so I can't remember all the details but I remember it was disturbing. The dream I had a couple of days ago was quite beautiful and I was somewhere, it seemed like I was backstage, and I was running late and there were people that were busy doing their own thing and I was supposed to be doing all sorts of things I wasn't doing.

Then George Harrison walked in the room, but he was young like in his 20's and he said, "There's all kinds of love in the Universe." And something like, "Don't feel guilty about feeling feelings, but you have to realize there's consequences for the choices you make and there is an abundance of love out there. People you may not have had time to meet you will meet on the other side and it's vast and nothing comes close to what it is. There's a kind of love that we don't have on Earth. It's time you start opening up for it." Then he said, "You always liked John and never really gave me the time of day." (laughs)

passionateobsession in Onstage1 asks: I am finaly able to get to one of your shows and I am so excited. I will be at the Charleston, SC show. What can I expect to hear?

Tori_Amos_Live says: I have no idea as far as the set list. Because of what happens in the world and what happens on a day to day basis it's important that the political and personal be intertwined because your belief and my belief becomes who you are. There may have been a time you could separate them, but you can't now. So what happens on a day to day basis effects what I decide to play. I'm trying to sort of go after the effects on the psyche, people's heart, how it makes us get defensive or how we don't want to look at things. A generation must rise, it is about a consciousness generation, no matter what age, raise the torches and become effective. I do believe that when people are changed at the chore, you don't have to worry about this or that issue.

When people are commited to being conscious and being responsible and wanting to walk a spiritual path, like the Native Americans believe, you don't have to worry about the day to day details when the core is changed. That's why I don't go after just one issue. There seems to be a different thing every week needing support generated for that issue. Unless the generation wakes up and realizes that the next generation might not want the world we give to them and ask us where we were? In the shows I go after the core and I feel you have to change yourself before you can change the world and once you do that, you are drawn to the issues that make sense for you. The problem is when you have a mass consciousness that is mostly asleep and is not willing to look at the fact that the people in power want us to stay that way so they can stay in power. The big lie is that there is no power to the people right now. We are at a crossroads, this is no time to sleep, we have the opportunity to be a part of history that generations after us can either benefit or suffer on every level so that propells me. There are many others that feel this way across the country and world. I'm seeing a seed of resolve that has been planted in people and people's loyalty is the soul of the land not the leaders that may be pimping her out.

fuz_bal in Onstage1 asks: Do you sing your daughter to sleep? If so does she like your voice?

Tori_Amos_Live says: Fuz bal, we sing to each other. She wants to sing too and be included. It's something we share. She really likes to sort of have the microphones, those crazy karaoke machines, she's always the one to take the mic.

WhackedAquaman in Onstage4 asks: How did the brilliance of the homemade videos of "Taxi" affect you?

Tori_Amos_Live says: I think that's what took us so long to decide because making choices at that point, once we got down to the last 9, I felt as if it was like splitting hairs. It became about opinions, not about a mathmatical equation where there's a right answer. We all sat around and discussed how songs can be recieved. I'm also realizing how important visual arts are. It's a first stop before the music. Often I get involved with visual arts before I start to write a work and I do get concerned that a lot of people who need to be out there with their short films aren't getting the funding. I'm hoping with current technology we can open this talent to the masses. I'm finding the idea of having to get one of the major studios to put up the funding and support it, I think there's going to be other ways in the next ten years because I think people are tired of movies being decided by market research. As you know I don't make records by committee. That's what's exciting for me, experience. That's what's exciting about Taxivision.

FaerySpills in Onstage4 asks: Your birthday isn't that far away so I was just wondering... what are you hoping for?

Tori_Amos_Live says: I'm glad I've been touring for a while coming into this birthday because I'm in better shape so it's easier to approach this 40th birthday. I think that if I hadn't been active, I don't know how I would have felt. I'm sort of looking at it like I'm moving on the medicine wheel to the next place. I'm moving to the North. If I was at the South when I was young, then to the West as a young woman, now I'm moving to the North. It means my position has changed within the tribe.

So in a way I think there's a relief that my position has changed because there's a time for you to be in the spring and summer of your life but there's also a time to watch others become butterflies. Maybe because I have a little daughter I don't see it as competition, but to see it as beauty. I also think that approaching 40 you can be a strong support which you can't really be at 21. It's not really an age thing, but you're out on the seas trying to find your love and career, you're swashbuckling out there. But there's a time that's not really serving you. Sometimes I go out and swashbuckle, but now being a lighthouse on the shore gives me a lot of fulfillment and I think it's important to be there and make sure all these other ships can get into the harbor safely and then they go back out there again. I've had my time out on the high seas and that's a thrill and now it's time for me to respect being a lighthouse and it might not be as "exciting" but it's important so that's where I am.

DishDiva says: Tori, thanks so much for taking the time to chat with fans from around the world. You have such AWESOME fans!

Tori_Amos_Live says: Everybody now is being called to find out what their contribution is. Not only to their personal life but to the collective and everyone has a purpose that can only be done by that person. It's about finding out what that is and sometimes another person's vision of who we should be isn't who we should be, so now is the time for each person to really think about, not what everyone wanted them to be, but what feels right on, in and under your skin. There's only one person that can answer that, you. Until we meet again, safe travels. Na na na na. (laughs)

DishDiva says: Catch Tori on tour this summer with Ben Folds! Want to win a Flyaway to see Tori Amos and Ben Folds in concert? Check out the sweepstakes at

Tori_Amos_Live says: Nanu-nanu.

DishDiva says: Thanks, Tori!


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