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Veronica (the Netherlands)
May 7-13, 1994 (no. 19)

(Veronica is a magazine publishing TV program schedules, from the Dutch broadcasting company of the same name. They publish an article with a pop artist every week, and Tori made it into this magazine, thanks to her recent Dutch tour dates.)

Tori Amos Spits Fire

by Eugene Buitenhuis

"My music is sex, emotion, aggression. It's a way to deal with those emotions." She's already being called the new Kate Bush, this sultry piano virtuoso. But: "Comparisons are unfair," she says, banging her fist on the table. Even fiercer than her red hair: Tori Amos.

Tori is indeed a case on herself. She likes classical piano, but also rock-guitars, is friendly and fierce at the same time, writes poetical lyrics with themes like masturbation and can reach all thinkable highs (and lows) with her voice. During an interview in an Amsterdam hotel she varies her mood as much as her singing. One moment she's smiling sweetly, giving your reporter a lecture on feminism ("Most men are guilty of the suppression of women, but the most important thing is that women stop cheating on each other"), and the next she can burst out fiercely, yelling: "Aggression starts where people suppress their feelings. At some point those emotions force their way out and that results in all sorts of trouble. That is one of the themes in my songs."


"A lot of young people think you can best let out that aggression by stagediving." Laughing: "At my concerts you can also get a good feeling without breaking your arms." A comforting thoughts for those who will visit the already sold out concerts she'll be giving this week in Maastricht, Nijmegen and Scheveningen. Tori will present herself in the already well known way. She sits with spread legs on a piano bench, tells a story with each song, improvises heavily, and calls on a serene atmosphere in which the audience sit and listen in deadly silence, like in a church service. This urge to mission she might have gotten from her father, a Methodist minister from North Carolina.

"I could play the piano at 3, and my father wanted me to go and play classical concerts, preferably all my life with the same orchestra..." She laughs mockingly. "Then I would have been a musical civil servant by now. I've had to fight dreadfully to also be allowed to do popular music and my parents have only just started to acknowledge the fact that I made the choice that was right for me."

She immediately experienced a massive break-through with her first cd: from Little Earthquakes a host of singles were drawn, like "Silent All These Years", and the music press cheered on this selfconscious singer-songwriter. Her new CD, Under the Pink, which brought forth the hit "Cornflake Girl", was received even more enthusiastically. Is it true that she is such a success because she forms the ‘voice of a generation' with her songs? She grins. "Nonsense. I don't believe in the necessary ties between age and a way of seeing life. You have dull young people and wild elderly. The niceness of my work is that it attracts people of all ages; you can see that at my concerts."


Tori is accustomed to playing before different audiences. "I have earned my livings before by playing in cafes, like a bar-girl. Yes, that was just after being kicked off the conservatory. They thought I was good technically, but I didn't want to play the same things over and over again. I like Brecht and Gershwin, but I'd think it boring to play their music always and only their music. When a band would keep on playing Beatles-songs, at some point the audiences would say, ‘Hey, we don't come for imitation.' Wouldn't they?"

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