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WHFS, Annapolis (US, radio)
September 14, 1992

Tori Amos interview and live performance
song: Leather


Interviewer: Tori Amos has joined us. Tori...

Tori: Hello, Bob.

Interviewer: Welcome back. And, you know, thanks for coming in.

Tori: I look awful, don't I? (Note hit)

Interviewer: You don't have headphones on, but your keyboard is on.

Tori: Oh, oh! Was I leaning on it?

Interviewer: Hey, can you lean in on that note again?

Tori: Oh, I'm sorry.

Interviewer: You don't have to sing to prove to everybody that there's an actual keyboard here.

Tori: It's not acoustic. I'm sorry everybody. I just lean on key--I didn't know it was on. Maybe I just should have a baby on a keyboard, I'm the most comfortable when I'm like leaning on a keyboard. Okay.

Interviewer: So was it the softshell crabs we shared yesterday at the accidental grill that make you sick, Tori?

Tori: By the accidental grill is nervous right now. I don't know, you know, I only have one meal a day right. I can only sing on one meal so I eat at noon then I don't eat again because when I was in England I tried to eat at like 5 o'Clock and the curry was around my nostril area when I was trying to hit those high notes during a Liverpool show so then I just decided that this isn't a very smart thing to do. So I uh changed the whole diet around February and it's been working out that I stopped eating at at 2 o'Clock. I can't believe I'm talking about my eating habits, but anyway. Um, I I had this little um, melon last night and I think that it's coming to take over my body and I think I'm going to become a melon person invading.

Interviewer: We really thank you for coming in this morning, we know you canceled a couple of interviews later on this afternoon but you managed to show up at WHFS but I appreciate you coming in. Um so what if we didn't pay for that keyboard anyway, right? It was Atlantic Records that had to rent it that baby.

Tori: Well, it's just you know, it would be hard to hit a note right now.

Interviewer: Yeah, I'm sure, but you were great last night and you know, yesterday, over lunch, we were talking about, um, shall we bring up Mobile, Alabama?

Tori: Yeah, we can bring it up.

Interviewer: Yeah, because it was nice for you to be in friendly surroundings last night.

Tori: Yes, it was very nice. I mean, you know, Mobile was just a situation where, you know, they weren't used to what I do coming into the venue I came into which was the lumbar yard and um people were just having a hard time not breaking glasses and you know, making all sorts of noise. And um, they said it was the quietest that club's ever been. So I think that we made a lot of progress together, but you see, my tour manager told somebody to shut uh to shut up we'll say. And he didn't realize that uh he said 'who do you think you're talkin to boy, stand outside.' The Chief of Police of Mobile.

Interviewer: The Chief of Police of Mobile, Alabama at the Tori Amos show at the Lumbar Yard.

Tori: Yeah. And he showed everybody's bullet wounds and he was going to close the show down unless we showed him some respect, so naturally, we showed him a bit of respect. But it's just kind of nice sometimes to go into uh your stomping ground and feel that kind of support.

Interviewer: You know, I think that people uh who have never experienced one of your shows is like um, they really are shocked into submission it seems at times it's like uh your record company Atlantic Records sent out a little mailer not too long ago and they enclosed - did you see it?

Tori: No, I don't know what they're doing. What are they doing?

Interviewer: They sent out a pin...

Tori: Oh, right.

Interviewer: With a piece of paper, hear this drop at a Tori Amos concert, and really, that's what the experience is like. I mean, the silence is deafening at times.

Tori: Well, if you're gonna be an acoustic piano player, there are a couple of ways to do it. One is everybody talks and ignores you or you just rip their heads off just by the intensity of it and there's really no middle ground on that.

Interviewer: Yeah, it's a weird thing because you tend to want you personally rip people's heads off when they are not as attentive as they should be and I think that's one of the things that's really compelling about you. In fact, I was out in front of Unintelligible last night and a kid walked in who was wearing a Rollins t-shirt.

Tori: Oh, wonderful, Rollins is fabulous.

Interviewer: And you know, I thought to myself, this is really cool, and this is what Tori's all about. I mean there is a definite hard edge kind of rock 'n' roll mentality to your performances.

Tori: Well, I just, you know, the only difference is, I'd love to go see Rollins for a therapy session, I could really use it because he's so, um, bold, to the point of, abusive, that you almost feel really good about hearing that from him. And yet my approach is a bit different but yet it's the same kind of giving no quarter um feeling where um like in Silent All These Years, there, I don't find it lightweight just because there's a beautiful melody that's what I think is kind of fun. It's like cotton candy and then um, you know, you have a bit of eel with that. I like that crocodile thing with a honeysuckle, I like my leg getting bitten off when I'm smelling the most wonderful smell in the world. That's how I'd like to go if I'm going to go in a brutal way. Please, have beauty in there somewhere, just a little, you know, at least a little chocolate or something.

Interviewer: Tori Amos is with us and Tori you were also as I found out yesterday over lunch a fan of Trent Reznor, and I asked you about the reference in this song [Plays Precious Things] and you said 'yes, indeed'.

Tori: Definitely paying him a bit of homage here.

Interviewer: Listen for the nine inch nails reference.

Interviewer: I love the ending to that - Precious Things from Little Earthquakes. Tori Amos who is live in the studio and who was most wonderful last night. Tori, thank you again for coming in. I know you're feeling under the weather and uh yeah.

Tori: But I don't want to depress everybody happy happpy happy happy happy happy it's Monday you know.

Interviewer: Happy Joy Joy. So you were out at the MTV Awards and you were nominated in four categories and really you had some tough competition out there. Were you, were you disappointed that you didn't walk away with an MTV award.

Tori: Honestly, I really didn't think I was going to so um I didn't set myself up.

Interviewer: Nirvana was also there. Did you have a chance to uh meet Kurt Cobain and have you spoken with them since the cover...

Tori: The Chilli Peppers actually came up to have a little chat. Anthony decided to have a little chat which was very enlightening.

Interviewer: What did you talk about with Anthony Kiedis? You can't go in shaking your hat, okay?

Tori: We just talked about his tattoos, actually. He told me he has uh Chief Joseph on one arm and uh Sitting Bull on the other. And uh at that point I introduced him to my mother who was standing right next to me.

Interviewer: That was the segue way there to go from tattoos to here's mom.

Tori: No, Anthony's lovely, it's just, I mean, you know, Anthony's, Anthony's Anthony, what are you going to do, I mean, no matter what, I am a repressed Christian girl and I'm standing here talking to Anthony.

Interviewer: And did dad have a chance to meet him?

Tori: Dad was, dad met Anthony and Flea but dad actually was, we were staying in the same hotel as Pearl Jam, and he was going around as he says, 'yeah, I talked to Pearl today and they're really nice boys.'

Interviewer: So 'Pearl?'

Tori: So he was very happy that um they did so well he thought they were great and they were wonderful so that I was, I was really happy to see them. They were inspirational.

Interviewer: You know what I thought we'd do. We're gonna break here for traffic (gives out number for questions directed to Tori)

Jerry: Tori.

Tori: Yes, Jerry.

Jerry: Did you know that Bob is madly in love with you?

Tori: Oh, get over!

Jerry: It's true! It's true.

Tori: In another life, in another life, I stole Bob and I was a Viking and he was a beautiful Maiden on the Irish coast and I enslaved him but we became friends.

Jerry: Maiden on the Irish coast?

Tori: And you were a lovely maiden!

Jerry: Bob, yeah, Bob, you still are! Love your hair. Thank you for answering my question, Tori.

Interviewer: Crucify, which uh, was a number one single in Israel, and in your words yesterday, 'how appropriate.'

So Tori, you know what I thought we'd do is uh, take a couple of phone calls and we've got Beth in Germantown on the line, good morning Beth.

Beth: Good morning.

Interviewer: Hi there. You're on with Tori Amos on WHFS.

Beth: Well, good morning to everybody there.

Tori: Hey, Beth. Beth. Hi. Uh, I saw the show last night. It was really wonderful. Um, I'm sorry to hear that you are sick this morning.

Tori: Thank you, Beth.

Beth: Um, I did get to meet you last night. I have a twin sister, I don't know--

Tori: Oh, right! I remember you, you guys sing, you're both singers, you do a Capella singing.

Beth: Yes, we do a Capella stuff, yeah. Yes.

Tori: Um you want to do some, I was supposed to sing.

Interviewer: You want to fill in for Tori this morning.

Beth: Gosh, I'd love to fill in for Tori this morning.

Interviewer: Uh, you have a question?

Beth: Uh, yes I do. Um, I wanted to know, if you're working on a new album and if so when it is coming out and uh what we can expect from it.

Tori: Um, I haven't started working on it yet, just because I barely have time to uh, get from one place to another right now, but I have some things that's so funny, I was on this plane the other day, and uh, have you heard of a man called, he was opening the show, and they might jump back on the tour, but this guy, Parthenon Huxley, who's in the band, do you know Parthenon, pop? He said to me on the plane, he goes, 'what are you writing about?' and I started winging, about all this stuff, like I had nothing to say and I felt, so stupid because you try and think of something clever and it just is embarrassing, it's so bad. And he said, well, you need to write about what's really happening not what you think you need to write about, so I think I'm changing my whole plans. And I'm going to um, obviously work with the piano but different. I don't think I'm going to have guitars on the next record, I'm going to have pianos do what all electric guitars do. Not, not that I don't love guitar players, it's just that I want to experiment with seeing what an acoustic piano can do if it's affected in the right way.

Beth: Yeah, I, I just am curious, are you influenced by, by any certain, uh, people? Tori Amos: Jimmy Page.

Interviewer: There you go, Beth. Thanks for calling.

Beth: Thank you very much.

Tori: Bye, Beth.

Beth: Bye, bye.

Interviewer: I'm looking at your tour itinerary here--

Tori: Are you? Don't show it to me.

Interviewer: I mean, Tori, I mean, this is, I hate to tell you this, this looks to be like only the third date out of the thirty you're going to Richmond tonight and Fredericksburg and Charlottesville, Norfolk, Raleigh, Charleston, Knoxville, Athens, Baton Rouge, Houston--

Tori: And then I get a day off, I think.

Interviewer: And then you get a day off, and then it just kind of continues on and on. You've got three dates in New York, or two, and they're I'm hearing they're working on a third.

Tori: Yeah, I hear.

Interviewer: And you also uh, had uh three smashing nights in Los Angeles on--

Tori: Yeah, pretty neat-o.

Interviewer: Did you meet any stars?

Tori: Yes, I did, and do you want to know my fave?

Interviewer: Yeah.

Tori: Harry Dean Stanton.

Interviewer: Yeah...

Tori: What, what a wonderful human being.

Interviewer: Uh-huh.

Tori: I mean, he came back--

Interviewer: Fine actor, as well.

Tori: Fine actor, but just, there was something about him that um, I didn't know he came backstage and I just felt like...(phone off the hook) oh is that the phone?

Interviewer: Yeah. It's gone.

Tori: I just felt like sitting down and wanted to have a really yummy pastry with him and talk and there are just certain people you meet that you feel that um, you would love to just spend time with because they, they have such vision, and he really is like that.

Interviewer: Well, perhaps a Tori Amos concert composition on the next Harry Dean Stanton movie.

Tori: Well, maybe Harry will come and sing a bit on it. He's doing a bit of singing I hear right now.

Interviewer: Yeah, he's had a couple of albums out, actually.

Tori: Yeah, so I, he was probably, he, he's made the most impression on me.

Interviewer: (today is...) ...brought to you by Quaker State the big Q is one tough motor oil. That's just a way of kind of blowing off the environmental update today Tori because you know I, I want to let you go and, and go home, and back to the hotel and get some rest, and again, thank you for coming in despite the fact that you are feeling a bit under the weather this morning. It's 8:37 and you know, we could actually, I mean, since we have the keyboard here, can you just touch a note or two to prove to people--

Tori: Should it be lower register, I.

Interviewer: What key is Leather in? No.

Tori: This is my head.

Interviewer: Oh, Tori. (Tori improvises)

Tori: I don't know.

Interviewer: No, I don't want to guilt you into doing anything because you know we can actually--

Tori: (garbled) he was looking at it...

Interviewer: You're going to get me into trouble. They told me that you would come this morning only with the understanding that you absolutely cannot perform.

Tori: And they said you'd probably talk me into it, and then if they did, that uh they were going to blow you up and they were going to like get me in big trouble if I did, so.

Interviewer: So, so you know what I think we should just fake it because what I have here is uh from the last time you were on the show back in April.

Tori: Yeah, use goods everybody, use goods, but tough.

Interviewer: Well, this is how it sounded uh when Tori was here last time around at 991 WHFS.

Interviewer: Leather, recorded live in this very studio back in April when Tori uh was here last.

Tori: Yeah, when Tori was much younger.

Interviewer: And feeling much better.

Interviewer: Tori, since we saw you in uh April when you played The Birchmere, you've uh been traveling around the world, you played Israel--

Tori: Yeah, which was fantastic.

Interviewer: Went to Korea.

Tori: Yeah, Asia. We did Korea, we did, um, Taipei, and um, had previously been to Hong Kong and the Phillipines - actually, I got that wrong, we'd been to Singapore and Hong Kong and um, I love it in Asia. Um, I'm really drawn to going there. And when I heard that the American tour was going to last four months, I said, 'okay, you got to give me a boon.' I commit to four months, which five days day off, five days or four days, it's really - I wanted to do it, but I had to have a bit of a treat before I came - just a break, cause I done Australia a little which was grueling and Europe. And I said, 'I want to go to Israel, and I want to go to Iceland.' And um...

Interviewer: Iceland made quite an impression on you didn't it?

Tori: I haven't, I haven't been the same since I was there. If anybody can go there, if you get a chance, trust me on this, Iceland is pretty lifechanging because um, there's something to that place that is so ancient. We went on top of a glacier and we went snowmobiling on top of a glacier just a few weeks ago. And um, you feel so small that it's the most wonderful feeling in the world because you feel like you're in a womb, you feel so protected, it's the strangest thing. If you have a - I said this also about the Rio Grande Gorge. If you have a big ego it just goes out the window. You don't feel arrogant anymore. How can you feel arrogant when you're standing on top of this glacier or if you feel totally lost and alone, you're so alone that you feel complete up there, and it was just...

Interviewer: Pretty humbling experience.

Tori: Pretty humbling and joyous.

Interviewer: And the musical highlight in Iceland was not only I guess meeting Björk from The Sugarcubes for you, but uh...

Tori: Yes, which I'm a big fan of her so that was wonderful.

Interviewer: But beyond that, Bubbi.

Tori: Bubbi. He's the Elvis of Iceland really and...

Interviewer: I have not heard of Bubbi.

Tori: Well, you know, people, he sings everything in Icelandic. I mean, everything is in the original Norse, so, um, the Icelandic people, speak the original Norse language like the true Vikings uh because they haven't been invaded per se, not like the other countries, Norway and Sweden, so they've kept the original Norse anyway, to make a long story short, I met Bubbi and he sings about social things in Iceland so he's truly like more or less the Bruce Springsteen of Iceland. And um, he was a fisherman. He would work with the fisherman out in the seas and for his first concert, because he uses knives and his hands would be all cut up, um, his hands were so swollen that he couldn't play the guitar and I, that's the kind of, quote, unquote, pop star, that he is. He's from the people. So he was just an inspiration.

Interviewer: Oh we go from Bubbi in Iceland to uh, Sandra in Arlington who has been on the phone holding patiently, good morning Sandra.

Sandra: Good morning, Bob. Good morning, Tori.

Tori: Hey, Sandra.

Sandra: Hi. Um, I met you last night with my friend Helen from Liverpool.

Interviewer: Wait a minute, everybody met you last night, Tori, what's going on--

Tori: Oh! I remember Sandra and Helen. Helen was from Liverpool and John my tour manager was so charmed by Helen that uh he--

Sandra: She's listening right now--

Tori: Hi, Helen. John, he was so charmed because he's from Liverpool and he missed a bit of um home so, how are you, ladies?

Sandra: We're fine, just getting over the show, it was great. Um, I have a question for you about the song China. Yeah, and I mean I think all your songs are really well written but I was wondering where you get your inspiration for songs like that?

Tori: Unfortunately, personal experience sometimes.

Sandra: It is most that?

Tori: Yeah, it's mostly that. I don't think...I think I'm so self-involved that it's um, even with social issue, I apply them back to personal emotions. I mean, if somebody asked me my opinion on the election, all I could go into is, well, why is this guy so afraid of his own sexual feelings? I mean that's how I look at things. I don't look at them with the layers on I kind of peel the onion down to basic emotions of stuff.

Sandra: Do you find it easy to, to write songs, or is it a long, kind of drawn out process?

Tori: Well, each one is very different, you know, it, I think it's like giving birth. Some are easy births, and then some of them, you know, you go on for hours and hours and hours and hours and you'll just do anything to get this thing out of you. So sometimes I walk around with a song for months and months and months and I'm try'na actually was a twenty minute experience just because, um, I think the, the real factors around it made me just ride it immediately.

Interviewer: Hey, Sandra, thanks for the call, and we're going to run here because I want to fit China in before we have to do traffic so thanks for calling and Tori Amos as well.

Interviewer: Tori is still with us in the studio. It's the usual mayhem in the air studio on the Modern Rock Morning Show. I'm Bob West, you don't mind if we blow off the alternative luck.

Guy: Nah, go, go with Tori.

Interviewer: Tori's here and she was good enough to come in and you know I want to get to a couple of more calls because we've got guy from Foggy Bottom standing by and hello guy!

Guy: Yeah.

Interviewer: Hey, how you doing, you're on with Tori Amos.

Guy: Hey, how are you doing, Tori?

Tori: Hey guy.

Guy: I met you last night with my friend Matt.

Interviewer: Oh come on, wait a minute. Who didn't meet you last night, Tori?

Guy: Yeah, I just wanted to uh, really thank you for like what you actually like lined us up and let us into your like little room there. It was really great.

Tori: You're welcome, Guy. I'm glad.

Guy: Yeah, it's like totally cool that you've given something back to your fans and I just want to thank you for like you know--

Tori: I gotta--Guy, I gotta ask you something. Did you eat the melon?

Guy: Did I eat the what?

Tori: The melon. You know, I had melon in that room. Did you eat any of it?

Guy: No, I didn't get a chance to.

Tori: Good, very wise.

Interviewer: Well, then, Guy, can you come in and play keyboard?

Guy: I just didn't get a chance to eat the melon, no.

Interviewer: Hey Guy, listen, I'm going to run here because I want to find somebody who didn't meet Tori last night so let's uh let's see, Dave, do we, do we have another caller? Another

Guy: Tori, is eating the melon a bad thing?

Tori: The melon I ate was not the one to eat. That's what I think.

Interviewer: Hi, WHFS you're on with Tori Amos.

Caller: Hi Tori.

Tori: Hello.

Caller: First of all, I did not meet you last night.

Everyone: All right, all right.

Interviewer: And your name, sir?

Caller: My name is Ted.

Tori: Did we ever play spin the bottle? Just kidding, Ted.

Ted: I wish. I would like to know if you're going to put out maybe a tour video on this uh tour you're doing.

Tori: Interesting, yes. A long forms coming out in October with four videos that I did, um, I did them in the UK. Two of them have been released here. And um, I think seven live performances. A couple of them are from Holland. I did some from the European tour and some from the New York Bottom Line show and some interviews and stuff like that, but uh, it'll be ready in October. Okay Ted, hey thanks for the call, and this would be Sherman, I believe.

Sherman: Hello, yes, hi. How are you doing, Tori?

Interviewer: Sherman, where are you calling from?

Sherman: I'm calling from Baltimore.

Tori: Hello, Sherman.

Sherman: Hi, we were sitting in the front row directly in front of you last night and uh I want you to know we had to drive all the way back to Baltimore in shock. We had to sit inside our car for about a half an hour trying to catch our breath before we drove home, it was an incredible concert. I just want to tell you that.

Tori: I'm so glad you enjoyed it, thank you.

Interviewer: Oh, all right, another satisfied customer, Tori.

Tori: Isn't that nice. You know, I'm really glad people enjoy the show because um you know it matters to me. I do care, I say that I kind of, I kind of lie and say what matters is if it feels right coming off the stage cause you can't control if people like it or not. But it really is satisfied knowing that you shared something with your audience because you know you don't have a drummer up there to go commiserate with. You either turn to your audience or there's nobody else there.

Interviewer: Oh, you know what, we've got somebody on the phone who ate the melon, are you ready for once? Hello? Uh, hello?

Tori: Oh no.

Caller: Yeah.

Interviewer: Yeah, your name, sir?

Caller: John.

Interviewer: John and you ate the melon last night.

John: I was in, I was backstage right at the very end, Tori, when you came out and we had pictures from last time you're here and I ate the melon waiting for you.

Tori: How do you feel?

John: I feel great, but you know.

Tori: Did you eat the yellow melon?

John: Uh, yes I did.

Tori: Oh, wow.

John: So it might be another source.

Interviewer: You'll be puking later.

John: Or it could be allergies thrown up at the concert (?).

Interviewer: Thanks for the call.

Tori: Thank you.

Interviewer: Um, all right, so Tori, I want to let you get out of here and go home and rest. I know you've got another gig and a grueling schedule.

Tori: Another gig. Thank you Bob, well everybody, well you know, if you travel, we're going to be around, we'll be in Baltimore, I think in a little while. WHFS will know it, it hasn't been posted yet, but we're going to go through Baltimore and um I think it's some of the last dates.

Interviewer: Good. Well, I know the tour um, I only have until uh October 20th here, but you told me yesterday December 2nd.

Tori: December 2nd, our last - I go to New Zealand and Australia for the last two weeks and then it's--

Interviewer: Can I come?

Tori: It's gorgeous, if you've, it's fantastic down there and it will be summer so if anybody's nothing to do, come visit me. All right, okay, bye guys!

Interviewer: Bye Tori, and thanks for coming, and uh, hey, you know, the first time we got this record in the mail here at WHFS, this album called Little Earthquakes, it was this song that kind of started it all. Let's say goodbye, let's blow off the show close. (phone off the hook) ...let's play Silent All These Years.

[transcribed by Kristen Loftis]

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