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WHHF, Nashville (US, radio)
"Thunder" 94.1 FM
April 16, 1996


Tori Amos interview

Tori: We've begun. We're going to start with, um, I remember when this record came out. I don't know about you, but I put it on in the car, with a cassette, I wasn't shmoozy enough to have a CD player in my car, I had this beat up old Capri. I was driving in the desert in LA, going out, and I'd never been to Joshua Tree before, but I was driven to go there because of this record. This was probably my favorite cut off that record.

Interviewer: I actually went out to Joshua Tree for the first time on New Years last year, it was incredible.

Tori: Its an amazing place, isn't it?

Interviewer: Yeah, and it's funny because the Joshua Tree cactus is ugly! Those things are ugly! I don't know if U2 went out there and got inspired or what. Ok well I guess we'll throw on your first song and then we'll chat for a bit maybe?

Tori: Yeah.

Interviewer: Per Tori Amos, this is U2 and Bullet the Blue Sky.

Thunder 94, it's Nashville's New Rock, and by Tori's request, our guest DJ today, Tori Amos, Nine Inch Nails from the Pretty Hate Machine CD, is "Something I can Never Have", we also got in U2, also one of my favorites, "Bullet the Blue Sky". So with Pretty Hate Machine, you have a little mention on "Caught a Light Sneeze" you say, "my own little pretty hate machine", does that have anything to do with Trent at all?

Tori: Um, I think yeah, well I think his music's really great, I always have. I think he's a wonderful musician. Neil shows up, do you know The Sandman, Neil Gaiman, Sandman comic book writer, he shows up. Different people kind of come and go, they come, they wave hello and goodbye on the record, show up, um, and then, sorta split.

Interviewer: That works. And with the first single, "Caught a Light Sneeze", you filmed the video in a church, is that correct? What was the inspiration for that?

Tori: Actually, we made the music in a church, the whole record was recorded in a church in Ireland. The videos were recorded elsewhere. But all the music was recorded in a church in Ireland, in Delganey, which is in County Wicklow, about an hour south of Dublin.

Interviewer: That must've been quite an experience. I saw an interview with you somewhere, you were saying the church itself, it wasn't an old abandoned church either, it was still in business.

Tori: Oh, no the ladies were selling their jam and their poppyseed cake on Friday, we had to clear out when there were funerals, it was very much a working church. Which I wanted, I didn't want a quote unquote disco/church, there's so many of those in Europe, where the old churches have been converted to clubs. I really wanted a church that had that energy, where people were really having services, because I was working off that whole Christian lineage.

Interviewer: Yeah I can see that completely, the whole vibe inside. How long were you in that church recording?

Tori: About 6 weeks.

Interviewer: Fairly short time!

Tori: Well, yeah, but then we were somewhere else, and then we went somewhere else, we finished it in other places.

Interviewer: With the new single Talula, you've changed the lyrics up a bit.

Tori: Yeah, well, I was eating linguine in this little restaurant in London with BT, who remixed it. We were just having, um, a bowl of something yummy and a little bit of really good Chardonnay, right. And so, he hadn't remixed it yet, he was going in within a week, and he just said, "Do you have any thoughts?" And I said, "No, knock yourself out. Just make it smoke, because I don't think the album version smokes yet, and I really, I didn't capture it, it's not finished yet, she's terrorizing me every night til she can put on her high heels and dance." And he said, "yeah yeah yeah, don't worry, she's gonna be dancing with heels, Tori." And I said, "Okay, good." We started talking, and he goes, "Do you know about the websites, and you're on these websites" and I said, "I don't know, I don't know anything about websites." And he said, "Don't you know that like people chase tornados, there are pages for people that chase tornados." I sat there with this thing of linguine in my hand, and I'm flinging it all over the restaurant, going, (singing) "he's chasing tornados and just waiting, calmly, chasing, eh, hey..." He looked at me and said, "what are you doing, what's that?" And I said, "I don't know! I don't know, it just came out!" And I sang it again to him and he said, "What are you gonna do with it?" I said, "It's gotta go in Talula!" We grabbed the bottle of wine, we dashed out, jumped in a cab, it was like after midnight in London, it took us an hour to find a tiny little box studio, and ran in, and began recording.

Interviewer: Wow, so now it's going to be the new version, it's going to be in the upcoming releases for Boys for Pele.

Tori: Yeah, it's the re-print for Boys for Pele, which is just happening. You'll never be able to get the old one version again, you'll never be able to find it again within a few weeks.

Interviewer: Because the new one has the inspiration within it.

Tori: Baby, it's got the high heels. It's in this Twister thing, this Twister movie coming out.

Interviewer: The new Steven Speilberg movie, whatever, it's gonna be the big summer hit, we'll see.

Tori: Well the funny thing was, they heard about it, and, this was like a couple weeks after I had done it. I didn't even know that this was happening, and they said, "We really want it in there cause it's the one song." And, it's so funny because if I had ever been asked to write something for the Twister movie, I never would've talked about tornados, that usually isn't my style, so, it was written before I even knew that this movie existed.

Interviewer: Wow, meant to happen.

Tori: Eh, funny hey! It was the linguine!

Interviewer: Can you remember the sauce or anything?

Tori: Definitely, it was a red sauce, absolutely, and it had an eggplant in it.

Interviewer: And it could've been the wine that went with it too, you know the whole mood, it could've been the restaurant too, you never know.

Tori: Always the wine, we love a little bit of wine. It's my, you know, I'd like to think I was a Bacasis cousin in another life.

Interviewer: Wine helps, with the mood.

Tori: Absolutely helps. It helps, I think, also if you listen to this record, when people say "This is kind of a bit hard going, Tori" and I suggest a really good bottle of red, I mean a really good bottle.

Interviewer: Like a good Merlot, maybe?

Tori: Yeah, really good, anything, I mean you can't go cheapy, it has to be yummy, and I don't drink red myself but, the reason I suggest red is because, just the honest truth was, I was on a quest for boy blood at the time, at one of the stages while I was writing this record, when I was at my lowest. And so, it kind of gives you the feeling, it's not as good as boy blood, but it comes close. And, unless you understand how ravenous I was, how over the edge I was, then the record doesn't make sense. I mean I was literally, I was gone.

Interviewer: You were going through a break up, right, I really don't want to get into it, if you don't, but from what I was reading that has a lot to do with the whole record.

Tori: I was just completely, um, well shocked. I mean my whole life at that time really just shattered. I did some real crazy things, that I don't know if they're in character or out of character! That's was the thing I had to figure out, is Professional Widow a part of me? She kind of is sometimes, um, but it's good if Hey Jupiter is hanging out with her just to find a little bit of balance.

Interviewer: And that is, being one of the songs from the album, right, Hey Jupiter?

Tori: Hey Jupiter and Widow, yeah they're all on the record.

Interviewer: And Muhammed

Tori: Muhammed.

Interviewer: Do you think now that you've just started the tour, fairly recently, right, the Dew Drop Inn Tour?

Tori: Yeah it started in Europe, end of February, so we've just started it in the States a week ago.

Interviewer: Do you think that by performing the songs live, and doing them night after night, that brings it to a whole new level? Maybe a cleansing, maybe something?

Tori: Well the songs are really changing, with each night the songs are shifting. I mean I almost see different layers to them that I didn't before. My approach to them is different, just what I'm accenting, within the show, just lines and phrases, um, they're starting to come alive to me. It's almost like before I couldn't see who they really were, and now, the fog is lifting and I'm being able to see, you know the scars on their faces, the little, you know, paintings they have going, and just different parts of them that I never saw before.

Interviewer: It's almost as if you could go back into the studio even after the tour and re-record the album and it would be totally different.

Tori: It'd be totally different, yeah.

Interviewer: But, you know, it is what it is, now, you know, and it's quite a piece of work. Tell you what Tori, we'll play a couple commercials and maybe something from the album, if you'd like, or, something else since you're guest DJ today. Whatever you want to hear! (Break)

Interviewer: So I guess they're dragging you away to our sister station to Radio Lightning,

Tori: Yes Julie, they're dragging me out!

Interviewer: So if you'd like to continue listening, to the magic of Tori Amos...

Tori: (laughs) That's very gracious of you Julie, that's so cool!

Interviewer: I'm going to lose my whole entire listening audience now, they're going to go listen to Radio Light.

Tori: No, I don't think you are.

Interviewer: Thanks for coming by, there's a sold out show tonight and we have a pair of tickets to give away. So do you want to do a trivia question real quickly or ...

Tori: Oh God, oh blimey...

Interviewer: Or you can just choose a number!

Tori: Okay, no, let's do a trivia question. Who's the duet, who did I do a duet with that was never and has never been released? Because we had an argument. He and I didn't have an argument, but we saw it differently than the film studio, so who did I do that with?

Interviewer: You know, I was going to ask you about that, so it's a good thing I didn't, now we have it as a great trivia question. So there you go, if you can answer that question, first person to answer that question, the duet that never happened, with Tori and whoever, give us a call.

[transcribed by Kourtnee Lauria]

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