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Amica (Germany)
March 1996

Provocative pop slogans

by Stefanie Wilke

"Jesus was a girl"

Voice prodigy Tori Amos storms the charts with every new song and surprises with wilful views. In March she will tour in Germany.

In the forest with Tori Amos. We have been on the way for a while when we reach an opening. Suddenly the red headed singer utters a barbaric sound and yells: "The vikings are coming." Where? I feel a shiver running down my spine. "Come on," Tori yells. "We are prepared." And I am nearly about to believe what I still cannot see.

The musician Tori Amos, voice prodigy from the USA who has stormed the charts with every of her CDs - she just loves to play. And she loves to irritate people. In Ireland, land of the celtics, ("You only need to dig two metres to find remainders of the past") she has found a new home. And it is there where she has produced her most recent album "Boys for Pele". We have gone to a forest near Cork in order to take photographies. While the stylist is enthusiastic about the thriller "The Usual Suspects" Tori produces a gadget which certainly would have terrified the vikings. On a portable CD player the musician plays her new recordings to me. "Boys for Pele" is captivating and as unusual as the entire work of art named Tori Amos. The London photographer Marcus Tomlinson is ready for shooting, the stylist slips a filmy dress over the artist's white skin. Tori is cold but apparently this doesn't put her out of temper.

The daughter of a Cherokee Indian was born - a genius obviously - in North Carolina 32 years ago. "I was two and couldn't speak yet, but I could already play the piano," she tells us later on when we sit at the fireplace. "Literally I was the instrument. Now I want to be a woman. Thus, I have to get back my internal fire from volcano god Pele." Aha. Tori the amazone is vanishing in Avalon's mists again. Anybody talking with her better be equipped with a myth encyclopedia. And he should be aware that she has just terminated a seven year relationship.

"We put men under pressure too much by expecting them to make us happy. I want to get happy by my inner energy." Tori Amos gets the energy from her art. The piano virtuoso invests a great deal of power in her music. She has got rid of the after-growth-Kate-Bush label. In the song "Blood Roses" she shows herself destructive and draws angry sounds from her voice. In "Muhammad my Friend" she states "Jesus was a girl". "Professional Widow" is a reckoning with her father who forced the childhood prodigy into a music career. "Starfucker just like my daddy, selling his baby". Thorough soul striptease. In "Me and a Gun" Tori Amos worked through the trauma of a rape which happened in 1991. "All my lyrics have existed once," the composer states. "I receive them from cosmos, I'm a medium." Good thing that cosmos is such big so her fans have the impression that they listen to her songs for the first time.

Tori Amos is subjective without restraint and meditative in a wonderful way. She needs that. "You have to do what inspires you, free from any conventions. Only this way you'll get happy."

[translated by Winfried Schmack]

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