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Veronica (the Netherlands)
February 17, 1996


by Kim Veldema

How tired Tori Amos was, in the Bulletsound Studio where she was invited to play for the "Meter Sessions" of Jan Douwe Kroeske. And how cold it was outside. But the work continued, and also the interviews for her newest CD "Boys for Pele". Sitting on her travelling bag, leaning against the wall, the redhaired singer started, sighing.

It may be obvious, Tori is totally floored when doing this interview. The singer/songwriter, who is famous and infamous for her songs about religion, guilt, sex and molestation, is tucked away half sleeping in a corner of the room. Her first words after the introduction are: "Do you mind if I stay seated on my bag here? I can't get up, every muscle in my body hurts." One can see that. Mostly because of Tori's closed eyes. And the way she grabs hold of a cup of coffee when it is offered to her. She whispers: "I worship you" as thanks.

This tiredness is, Tori states, not the result of the many travelling. No, all the talk about her album "Boys for Pele" is starting to get to her. Bacause that's the only way one can interpret a quote like "I've been interviewed about this album hundreds of times already." And then the start of this interview... It doesn't help the selfassuredness of a journalist one bit. Although you know that Tori is not going to remember much of this interview later. Even this studio, a room that she's visited before for a session [in 1992], does not look familiar to her at all. "That first visit has been erased from my memory. Totally. I saw a picture of myself just now in the hall, the best proof that I actually was here." This does not mean that this American minister's daughter is suffering from a chronical form of memory loss since her CD-debut "Y Kant Tori Read" in 1988. It's the details that don't go past her - faces of fans, memorable moments, flashes.

"I remember the strangest things. Faces in the crowd, like during a concert in Minneapolis. There were people in the audience whose exterior I could describe accurately even now, while they did not impress me at all back there." It's those moments that don't seem logical that are inscribed in Tori's memory. Her eyes are the camera that "registers things and locks them in my memory. That's what it seems like anyway."

Recently things have changed a lot for Tori. The biggest change was her breakup with producer Eric Rosse, the man with whom she had a relationship for eight years That separation is the reason for "Boys for Pele" being called "a search for my own fire." A search without a significant other. "After that unbelievably painful ending I was alone again and I found out that I've always needed men to express my creativity," Tori says while she directs her following where her bags can be put. "That was put into me from a very young age of course: the bible never described powerful, intelligent, creative women. Women that can survive on their own. When you're raised with that 'knowledge', it's so hard to make a fresh start. That's why I turned into a new road 18 months ago. If something feels good to me, I'll do it. Even if everyone else says I shouldn't. I won't try and make that feeling apparent for everybody." But you do need the motivation from people around you, don't you? "Yes, sure, but even then you'll need to know how you fit together as a person."

"Boys for Pele" was recorded by Tori in a church. An illogical choice? Not that. Tori said that there couldn't have been a better place. "The acoustics were great. Even though I was cooped up in a box for most of the recording sessions. I practically lived in it. Me and my piano, where two holes were left open. A German magazine [Keyboards] even made pictures of this. But I, the ministers daughter, had to go back to the church, to where it all began. To get back what I put away, so to speak. My 'womanhood.'"

Some habitants of County Wicklow thought differently. "They liked it. They enjoyed themselves. But there are always some people around making a problem of everything. Most people thought it was very groovy what I was doing. I came with the right intentions." However good the intentions, Tori does manage to lose friends. Mostly because of the difficult subjects of her songs. "There were people in my neighbourhood who couldn't cope with my lyrics. I could never stop that loss. Those songs, my experiences, had to get out. They still do, I can't change that. I keep searching for the truth."

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