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CFNY, Toronto (Canada, radio)
CFNY "The Edge" Toronto (102.1 FM)
January 29, 1996
Tori Amos interview and live performance
Kim Hughes: It is so nice to see you in Toronto.
Tori Amos: I love coming here. No, I mean cause this is the one place, you know, this is the only radio station where you can do it like this. Where the kids come into the station. I mean there are a couple I've been to but never where you can just talk to them and hang out for a few minutes. It's never like this at a show. You can't have that contact.
Kim: It's something too with all those people outside as well.
Tori: Yeah, I wanna give them hot chocolate. I feel so bad that they're out there you know.
Kim: Well, maybe we can take care of them a little later.
Kim: So, we have you until 6:30 and we're going to have you play a couple songs for as well which is fantastic.
Tori: Yeah, I've never, this is very strange that I'm going to play this one because it's, um, a harpsichord piece. It's one of the ones on the new record that's played on a harpsichord and she rarely. I mean she wont be played on the Bosey much less, and don't take this wrong, a poor example of a piano. So she's, I don't know what's gotten into her but she's really... what?
[voices in background]
Tori: Huh? Am I playing it now?
Tori: Oh! I'm not playing that now. What am I doing?
Kim: You know if you want to play it now
Kim: Such a good introduction, if you want to play it now, play it now.
Tori: Oh can I play it now! [silence for a bit...] Kim! Keep talking.
Kim: Okay, we're going to go with Blood Roses first.
Tori: Thank You.
Tori: No, he's not lying. They're asking me questions. That I think they hear on the internet. You get this on the net, right?
[People in audience saying something like 'yes']
Tori: God, what a shmoozy thing to say, "on the net." No... is he really? No... they're asking me about a guy that's on the net a lot named Rantz... and when he was like um, blimey, like 10 years ago... he was sleeping with a girl that I used to babysit. Do you see what I mean? So she came to college out in LA, and I um, you know, I took her under my wing. And I met this boy. It went all horribly wrong with them, but Rantz and I became good friends. So that's kinda how it happened.
Kim: Interesting... It is! Actually another interesting thing that I came across is a story about making the album. Of course you mention using the harpsichord and using the more traditional piano, and that I had read what you did was that you put each of the instruments on either side of you and actually put yourself in a box.
Tori: Basically, what happened was, if you can imagine. The box was from here... to from there... as long as the Bosey [Bosendorfer piano] piece... So this length, and from here to here. So the radio people don't know what I'm talking about. You guys are math people, somebody is a math genius around here... How long is this?
[voice in Audience: 'About a metre.']
Tori: This is about a metre... and how long is this?
[same voice: 'About a metre.']
Tori: So a metre and a metre and then it was 6 feet tall and I'd live in this little box and um, they'd give me, hahaha, they'd give me this microphone, right? And um, the idea was that I would play um, the instruments live but that the mike that I was singing wouldn't interfere with the instruments or that the instruments wouldn't interfere with the vocal so that we could cut everything live. So um, I thought it was a torture device personally, but you know, there you go.
Kim: So could you actually see the keyboards?
Tori: All I could see was the keyboard. I could see the double manual of the harpsichord and I could see the boozie keyboard but that was it. I was in this box. My engineers devised this.
Kim: Former engineers?
Tori: No, actually, they're going on the road having to devise something for the harpsichord, 'cause actually the voice is louder than the harpsichord. So for that to read live, they're having to build her a little house. Like a plexiglass house. So just to make these instruments happen live 'cause everythings with microphones, nothing's plugged in. It's a whole different approach to audio.
Kim: Interesting..You could also maybe play some really unusual venues as well if you wanted to. Places that had harpsichords in them. I mean, obviously churches. You could do something like that.
Tori: Well the thing is that um, I'm taking my harpsichord with me. It's real personalized, sort of like the Bosey. You know, I take them out and they're so different from other instruments. No two are the same. So I searched for quite a while to find the right harpsichord because the one I have has a real big butt. You know, a great bottom end. She really bites down there... growls.
Kim: Well, speaking of touring, I had heard April as a potential date in Toronto, so I don't know if that's the case or not. Obviously you're planning on touring..
Tori: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. We start um, February 23rd in England and we do 200 shows... [big sigh] And a -ish. You know, it's always -ish... and um... I think we hit North America first of April so... I don't know exactly the schedule so we'll be here about 3-4 months and we keep going around..
Kim: Interesting... Um, just before you get to another song..you worked primarily as producer on this album, which was kind of a first for you I guess, being you know the artist and the sounding board all at once. Did it...
Tori: The big cheese... Yeah, it was great. Kind of sometimes being the final bottom line. Sometimes it's just good to say, 'erase that - it sucks.' And it's wonderful for them to turn around and go... you know,they all have their own minds and my sound guys are very much the techies, really are... I love them because they're very straight ahead and they'll just look at you and say once, "are you sure that you want to do this... are you quite sure?" And I would say, "I am quite sure," and they'd just say, "fine, it's gone." You know... no talking you out of it. Nothing. Once they know, it's like detinaid... they get rid of it. You know, a bit like Ronald Regan!
Kim: You recorded in Ireland and in New Orleans?
Tori: ???..and..my father was like putting his hands over my eyes and I was going, "I'm gonna have these... why are you hiding my eyes... you're the one that shouldn't be looking." And it's like... it was always that way when I worked in a gay bar... um... and my father has grown alot through these experiences... But when I was 13 he said, "you know I'm gonna sit here and make sure these men don't pick up on you." I said, "I'm not the one they're going to pick up on, Dad." You know, it was always that thing of wrong, wrong, wrong, bad, bad, bad, and I really wanted to have a picture visual. And Cindy [Palmano] and I really talked about it... I just kept seeing these visions of me breast-feeding a pig. I kept seeing this! And I said, "I know what this means to me..." And people can look at it how they want... I mean, I'm like... that's when I think a photograph works... when it brings up a lot of different stuff. But it was a cute little critter... it was just so cute... it pooped all over my skirt... and peed... and it was so... he was having such a good time... he just nustled in... and he did his business... and ah... obviously I'm not feeding now, so he was a bit disappointed... but he fell asleep... and it was really fun.
Kim: Well... he looked content.
Kim: And, uh there's a metaphor somewhere in there.. .but I'm just not going too near... Um, so you mentioned your father... and your parents... and I assume that you've come to a point in your life where um, you know, the relationship is fine and I mean... do you sort of give them the benifit of a doubt with albums? Do you run it by them first or do you...
Kim: Or do you unleash it to them along with everyone else?
Tori: Oh, no well they're my publishers so they do get it... a little before... everybody else... but sometimes it's... I think since they've gotten older, believe it or not, they've gotten more open-minded. I know it works the opposite for some people's relationships but um... sometimes we just agree to disagree... and that's where we've gotten. It's like I'm out of the house now, I can have my opinions, they can have theirs. But it took a long time for me to go. They have to respect that I had my own thoughts on things. But hey, I had to respect that they have theirs... and that was the tricky thing... saying, look, they are very christian and I have to understand them... My father believes that Magdalene is whore... My father has these opinions... and once I began to let go of that, he kind of opened up to the fact that maybe the role for women in Christianity has been a bit misoginist.
Kim: That's a headline... I'm gonna ask you two quick questions, and then let you go cause I know you have to go on your way... Um, but about two of your friends... First of all the writer, Neil, I read had just signed this really big book deal and I'm wondering, you know, what's the future... the future of Delirium?
Tori: I just saw Neil... We had lunch in England about... a week ago. And um, Neil is there doing a special with the BBC... He's written this series [Neverwhere]... which I hope they get over here. It's so fantastic... and it's about life underneath London... So he's just doing amazing. He's writing so many things right now. And yes? The other?
Kim: The other one was Trent Reznor. I know part of this was recorded in New Orleans. Are you... what's he up to? Do you keep an ongoing relationship?
Tori: Well, I'm sure he's doing fine. No, we're friends... and um... things got kind of busy... and sometimes it happens. I mean Michael Stipe's a friend, Peter Gabriel's a friend, Trent's a friend and sometimes, you know, you don't talk for a while but I consider them all friends.
Kim: Fair enough. So it's been such a pleasure having you today. I really really enjoyed it.
[Tori plays another song then leaves]
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