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Asheville Citizen-Times (US)
April 19, 1996

A talk with pop singer Tori Amos, not-so-fresh from Italy

By Rebecca Thomas

Billed by Atlantic Records as "the Magical Mystery," Tori Amos sometimes tires of journalists constantly probing her psyche.

"Sometimes I think it would be more interesting to just put our feet up and have a chat, you know, laugh and just chat person to person," the singer-pianist-songwriter said from a New York hotel room last week. "I open up more when it's conversational. Otherwise, they're proving how smart they are, and I'm proving how smart I am... I'd rather just hang out and see where it can go."

"I'm still on another time zone, so I'll try not to get goofy," she warned after explaining that she had just flown in from Tuscany the night before. "But if I do, don't take it personally. I just got back last night, it's Easter, and the tour begins in Florida on Tuesday, so I'm kind of scrambling around..."

But being busy, she adds, is definitely a positive sign.

"When it's not crazy, you get nervous," she said. "You start to think of becoming a sewage manager."

Fortunately, the North Carolina native has not yet been forced to explore options like that.

With the release of "Little Earthquakes" in 1992, Amos developed a following that was further established by "Under the Pink" in 1994. Each album sold close to two million copies worldwide. But because her lyrics are filled with dark humor and religious and sexual overtones, she hasn't exactly been designated as a poster child for mainstream pop -- although "Caught a Lite Sneeze" off this year's "Boys for Pele" did succeed in making it on the modern-rock chart when it debuted earlier this year.

This, Amos explained, is her counter to how she has reacted to past relationships, including her recent breakup with former producer Eric Rosse.

"I was living this one as I was writing and recording it," Amos said of "Boys." "It was real tricky. It wasn't separate. I would get off the phone and start recording. That isn't always what's happening (when recording previous albums)."

Another factor that sets "Boys" apart from her first two releases is the fact that it is entirely self-produced.

"There are times on this album when I'd scratch my head and say, 'I wouldn't do this any other way, but could I be Lucille Ball or something?' I just needed another 10 kilowatts of energy. It took a lot out of me."

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