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Tori Amos designs her own dream girls on groovy new disc
By Joey Hood
The mirror has two faces. But on Tori Amos' recently released American Doll Posse, the piano-playing chanteuse boasts five. Working with a hodgepodge of cutting- edge designers, Amos has created a female Ziggy Stardust who pushes the boundaries of politics and fashion. She recently talked to HX about what it's like to be an American Doll in a Father Knows Best world.
HX: Since we're both fem-nazis, let's chat about feminism. Is the record industry coming around?
Tori Amos: Well, how many records do you see produced by a single woman? You almost have to prove you can deliver. I don't work as a woman alone, I believe in teams. I have key people that are in charge of their crews. There is a sound crew; there's a musician crew. Then the record company deals with my management in order to funnel the money so that you don't have Tori Amos standing outside of Sony Studios with her fists against the door going "Give me my fucking masters!" But it's taken years to understand this. I'm not very popular with some of these corporate guys.
I hear your daughter is interested in music. Are you encouraging her?
It's very difficult. She's listening. She's a film buff, so she watches movies and she starts playing the scenes from the movies on her keyboard. She'll start changing it, saying, "I think it would have been better like this." I'm not a good parent if I don't support her, but I'm certainly not Mama Rose.
Speaking of Mama Rose, which American Doll Posse character will your gay fans most relate to?
It's tricky because I think it says a lot about the person who they are close with. Isabel holds this amazing ability to be neutral. She changes how you deal with confrontation. And I could use that in my life. [Laughs] Now, people who already have that in their life might not need that. You might need a little sauciness and some Santa. Santa's not about the defilement of yourself, where you are just cheap as chips for any guy that passes your fancy. The Aphrodite [character] in modern society has become a damaged expression in some people in the West where they think that by being liberal, they just bend over.
I agree. But I read that you were supportive of Sex and the City, and I was like, "Oh no!"
That [interviewer] was hung up on Sex and the City. People want a soundbite and it's out of my control what they use.
Speaking of Sex and the City glamourpusses, which designers were your favorite to work with on the album?
My favorites have become those who have been designing each woman's wardrobe for the tour. La Petite Salope is doing Santa kind of feminine and sexy. The Tori [character] will be in Ashish. Ashish does beautiful hand-beaded gowns, but he's making them jumpsuits because of the straddling and keyboard playing. Those legs have to be flying and going everywhere. So if you're wearing a dress, you'll be doing a West Hollywood coming out of an SUV look.
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