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The Other Newspaper (US)
Columbus, Ohio, weekly newspaper
August 14-20, 2003

[excerpts from article]

Columbus Is Spider Town

by Chad Painter

So how does Amos react to her cult-like following of her fans?

"After I became a mother, I threw my computer out the window," she said. "So I'm not privy to that; I don't choose to be privy to that."

"There's a lot of musicians that have people out there that are committed to them. If you're going to be fair, Radiohead has that too. You can choose to focus on it or not."

Instead, Amos is more focused on her music.

"You can really get caught up in that, and then you're not the one making decisions. You're writing songs by committee, or you're choosing songs by committee, or you're letting reviews and journalists determine your next move," she said. "That's not how I play chess."

"I don't think it's any of my business what people think about it. I want people to have their own opinions either way and sometimes I don't think it has anything to do with me."

Amos's new album, Scarlet's Walk, takes a look at America, especially in the wake of 9-11. [It was her fans] that gave her a better understanding of the role musicians play in wartime.

"The tradition is that [musicians] would go from town to town, and it was a place where people could gather and really get the news from each other and start piecing stories together," she said. "The troubadours would also tell stories from what they were seeing from the information they were collecting."

That realization had an impact on the album. "That's kind of what Scarlet's Walk became - this searcher of questions and more like an ear of all these people and what they were voicing at the time."

In addition to the new record, Amos has a role in an upcoming movie; she plays a wedding singer in Julia Robert's new film Mona Lisa Smile.

"They wanted a classical read of these songs, so they called me up," said Amos, who had to gather old records and bone up on classic songs. "It was one of those crazy moments in time. I love it when somebody challenges you to do a period piece like that and you have to study the way that they say the words."

She doesn't think she was the first choice for the role, however.

"My instinct is that they called other people and it didn't work out because they called me two weeks before and we had to turn it around fast," she said. "I had to fly in and do the movie between shows."

When Amos recalls Columbus, her memories aren't music related.

They're of spiders.

"Somebody had a spider in their room and Natashya became obsessed - she associates the place with spiders," Amos said. "Through the eyes of a child, you begin to see places much differently than just historically."

"There's a river there too," she said. "I remember spiders and rivers."

Tori Amos will be at Promo West Pavilion Wednesday with Marc Broussard. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.


[transcribed by Andy]


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