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KPNT, St. Louis (US, radio)
KPNT "The Point" St, Louis, Missouri (105.7 FM)
June 12, 1996


Tori Amos interview

DJ = Alex or Eric

DJ: Well, it's nearly 4 o'clock and we are opening the Vinyl Vault at The Point, brought to you by Village Vinyl, and Tori Amos is joining us. How are you?

Tori: Hi, Alex, I'm good.

DJ: We put this off, waiting for your arrival here. Today we are going to play something from this Winter EP that was released in 1992. Now, this came out overseas, this version that we have here.

Tori: Yes.

DJ: It's got Thank You. Actually, it's got Winter and three cover songs -- Angie, which was a Stones song, Smells Like Teen Spirit, the Nirvana song, and of course, Thank You. Do you have a favorite amongst these three? We were gonna play Smells Like Teen Spirit, but if you'd like to...

Tori: Well, it puts me in a funny position sometimes when people ask me...

DJ: "What's your favorite?"

Tori: ...especially when I've covered all three of 'em, 'cause they mean different things at different times in my life. Um, play what you want.

DJ: Well, we'll go ahead and play Smells Like Teen Spirit. Did this ever appear on anything else?

Tori: It appeared in America as a Crucify EP.

DJ: I have that one.

Tori: You can get it in the States. I don't know if it's been discontinued, but it's Crucify.

DJ: It was actually, I think, I used to work in a record store when that came out, and that was like the most popular, I think that that point, that was one of the most highest, it was like the highest selling b-side available, like in the US, at least. I know it was for you, and we had to like, it was a constant... The man in the corner from Atlantic is nodding his head and saying it's still in print. So you can get this out there. Smells Like Teen Spririt, Tori Amos on 105.7 The Point.

[the CD recording of Smells Like Teen Spirit is played]

DJ: It's Tori Amos on 105.7 The Point and her version of Smells Like Teen Spirit. Can I say that? Your eyes kinda bugged out there like... Well, it was your interpretation of the song. That works, doesn't it?

Tori: That's fine, Eric, yeah.

DJ: Ok. And, as I was telling you, that was the first time I ever understood what Kurt Cobain was talking about in the song. So thank you for that.

Tori: Well...

DJ: For translating a beautiful piece of music.

Tori: I had help from the internet.

DJ: Did you, really?

Tori: Oh, yeah. You can get anything from the internet, this is what I'm learning. Absolutely anything.

DJ: What have you found that's most interesting?

Tori: Um... I find out information about myself that I didn't know.

DJ: [laughs]

Tori: No, it's true.

DJ: What are the best rumors that aren't true.

Tori: Well, that's a whole different conversation, isn't it?

DJ: Oh, wait, but they are true.

Tori: I don't know if we can go there, no, no, no, no, no. But like, for example, when they say that I recorded a certain song and I was sure that I didn't record it that month, it had to be a different time. And yet, they come back and say, no, we have information that says she recorded this with Al Stewart in 1990, da-da-da-da-da, or Stan Ridgeway when she sang -- and you go, "Jesus Christ" -- when she sang backup for Sandra Bernhard, and you go, "That's right, I did do that, didn't I?"

DJ: You don't have to keep a journal anymore.

Tori: No. They'll tell you. They'll tell you you're wrong so quick. You don't know your life, that's what they'll tell you.

DJ: You're mistaken. That didn't happen.

Tori: It's quite fascinating, knowing that they know better than you do.

DJ: It's a bit scary, a bit disheartening. And you deal with this. You've got, we've got right now, I think, outside of the building, there are a couple of Tori Amos fans. And Tori Amos fans are pretty notorious for being so enamoured by you, I guess, is the word. They follow you around, they're terrific fans, I'm sure, and then this is also the subject of, is it Dateline or Prime Time Live? Prime Time Live. Are they following you around with the cameras?

Tori: They were. Prime Time Live was following me around, yeah.

DJ: And was that the basis of the focus of the, of the camera, was on the fans, or was that on your tour? It hasn't aired yet.

Tori: I don't know what they're going to cut together, Eric. We'll see what they have planned. I have, obviously when they do hours and hours and hours and hours of footage, it's hard to know what their slant is going to be. But, truly, when you hang out with the people that come to the shows, they're a lot of different, I think you'd find the fans to be different in a lot of ways. Some of them come for the music and go away, and some of them want to talk about philosophy, they want to sit down and talk about religion. Some of them have really been brought up in serious Christian homes and feel like, "Hey, you understand what I went through -- all this domination and control -- so that my belief system was so," shall we say, "suffocated." And a lot of times that's who I get showing up before a show. They really want to give me their letters. They want me to hear their story. They want to tell what they've been through. That's really kinda what it's about.

DJ: It is, it's an incredible... before you got here, the amount of phone calls that we get. Actually, I know that our lines just overloaded again. And people calling up saying, "You've gotta find me a way to get backstage to meet Tori." And it's fifty people, and they've all got incredibly touching stories. And that has to be difficult for you, and also in the level that maybe there are times that you can't get out and meet these people when you get a letter from someplace in Nebraska and they say, "Tori, I really need somebody to talk to." But you've got, in the case of RAINN, the rape-line.

Tori: Yeah, we set up a hotline so that you can call and talk to somebody that will say more than, "Oh, I'm sorry." Which was really important to me and Arthur, my manager, because he was seeing a lot of the letters. And you start to feel helpless at a certain point. Sometimes, though, people just want to say, "Hey, I just need to connect with you." And if I'm honest with you, a lot of times I'd like to sit down with a lot of them. You know, not all of them, because sometimes you go, "Uh-oh. This is a bit uh, maybe I'll pass this one over to Hannibal Lecter." But um, for the most part, you want to sit down and just have a cup of tea. But if you do that, it's hard to say "no" to the next person because you want to sit down with them, too, and you're doing seven-eight shows a week, and you're just trying to keep, really, from collapsing. So, it's not an excuse, it's just there isn't always the amount of time that you have to sit down with people.

DJ: It's a terrific thing. The number, is it 656-HOPE?

Tori: Yes.

DJ: It's 800-656-HOPE, just to get it out there on the air. Uh, the new movie, Twister, which is huge, you know all about it -- have you seen it yet?

Tori: No.

DJ: You haven't.

Tori: No.

DJ: I gotta be honest with you, the soundtrack is incredible, the movie sucks.

Tori: Does it?

DJ: They're running on foot away from a tornado. Like, ten feet away. They're running.

Tori: At least they could have a Harley, right? You know?

DJ: But anyway, you've got a song on that -- Talula.

Tori: Talula, the Tornado Mix. It's funny because I didn't even know about um, I was just doing the Tornado Mix because I was eating linguine one night with BT, who is a great dance remixer. And when I say "dance" it's British, so it's very different from the American concept of the dance world. And, although they have that, too, um. Brian reminds me a lot of Brian Eno. BT, his name is Brian. And um, so he and I just hooked up and he was gonna do this remix. I was eating linguine with him with a fantastic bottle of Chardonnay and we were in London, and he said to me, "Do you realise what the internet can do?" I said, "Well, a little bit. I know that there's information there about anything." He said, "No, do you understand that there are pages where people chase tornados?" I said, "Nooo." He said, "Yes, people literally do this, they really, you know, the real McCoy, not the Hollywood version. And I said, "Come on Brian, you're not serious." He said, "I am." And I put down my linguine and I started singing to him at the table, [Tori sings] "He's chasing tornados, I'm just waiting calmly, chasing her, hey." He said, "What is that?" I said, "I don't know." He said, "Well, let's do it." I said, "It must go on Talula." So we ran to a studio that night at 2 o'clock in the morning with our bottle of Chardonnay and recorded it, and here it is. And it's the second cut, I think. It's the...

DJ: We've got the Tornado Mix edit and the Tornado Album Version.

Tori: Album version.

DJ: Album version's better, okay.

Tori: Okay.

DJ: I wanted to make sure. This came about having nothing to do with Twister, then, it was all prior to?

Tori: Nothing, absolutely nothing. And they heard about it through Brian.

DJ: Wow.

Tori: They were calling him about, you know, 'cause he's a hot remixer, "Have you heard anything, anything that we should know about?" He goes, "Well, Tori did this thing that you might be into." And then they listened to it and called us up. So, we had no idea that this movie was happening.

DJ: Ok. From the Twister soundtrack, it's Talula on 105.7 The Point.

[the CD recording of Talula (Tornado Mix) is played]

DJ: It's Tori Amos on 105.7 The Point, and Talula, that is the Tornado Mix, and a perfect song for the Twister soundtrack, as it turns out. Speaking of soundtracks, we were just gonna talk about this. You have something on the soundtrack for the new movie Escape from LA?

Tori: Escape from LA, the sequel with Kurt Russell, is that it?

DJ: Escape from New York is the original.

Tori: I never saw... Yeah.

DJ: It was actually, Escape from New York was actually filmed in east St Louis.

Tori: Was it?

DJ: Yeah. Not many people know that. They couldn't find anyplace downtrodden enough.

Tori: [laughs] Fair enough.

DJ: Oh look, it's right here across the river, look at that.

Tori: Well, did they do the sequel here then, too?

DJ: Ah, no, I don't know where they did it.

Tori: No, I guess not.

DJ: I think Detroit was a better place for the sequel.

Tori: [laughs] Oh, Eric.

DJ: Hey, I picked on St Louis, I can pick on anything.

Tori: Fair enough. I don't really know much about it, I just know that it's um, it's um, it's kinda just funny for me, because the Twister soundtrack is a whole different group of people, with K.D. Lang, which is thrilling 'cause she's a good acquaintance of mine, and I really like her. And then the um, Escape from LA, what is that? That's like...

DJ: Tool, Gravity Kills from St Louis is on there, White Zombie...

Tori: All, yeah, all those fun guys.

DJ: I think I've got a list here somewhere, what's on the new thing. Uhh, Butthole Surfers, Toadie, Stabbing Westward, Gravity Kills, Tool, Ministry.

Tori: So, it's kind of, for me, it keeps it like well, you know, two different parties going on. I just change my shoes.

DJ: So, this would be the boat, or the boot soundtrack.

Tori: I don't know. I don't know, definitely a heel, though. But maybe daisies on it beause Maynard would probably love daisy shoes with heels on it. I don't know, I just have a feeling that Maynard would understand that.

DJ: I, I'm gonna have to go with you on that one.

Tori: You'll have to ask him.

DJ: Uh, quick question. We'll see you, we've got MTV Unplugged coming up.

Tori: Yes.

DJ: It's already been done, right? They taped it already.

Tori: Yes, it's been done.

DJ: Uh, then you've got, the 26th is Prime Time Live, and Tonight Show on the 27th?

Tori: I think so. I just go where they tell me.

DJ: Yeah, well, actually the guy from Atlantic Records gave me this, I... artists never know where they're gonna be. Do you know where you are tomorrow?

Tori: I'm in Kansas City.

DJ: Kansas City, lovely. Where are you playing?

Tori: I don't know.

DJ: Well, ok, nevermind.

Tori: Well, Eric, that's the way, though, it happens. You know, I know that my Bosendorfer's at the Fox tonight, I know that nobody is doing anything nasty to it or they're gonna lose their head. I know those things.

DJ: Do you have one for the tour?

Tori: I have one on the road with me and another one um, somewhere else, that's a bit more, well let's say, not as durable.

DJ: Is that back home in London?

Tori: Um, that's with my parents, actually. They're looking after her in the States. So this one goes with me, she's a bit more durable. We have two harpsichords on the road because it's very easy for one of them to break down, so we always have one that's ready to go if the other one gets hiccups. [laughs]

DJ: Speaking real quick of the house in London. One of my staffers told me it's like, on a bridge? Is it something like this, it's over a river?

Tori: It's over a canal, so it's, it used to be where they paid the ferry boat man, I think. But I don't live there anymore.

DJ: Oh, you don't?

Tori: No, I'm a... I move from place to place.

DJ: You're kind of a gypsy then.

Tori: Yeah. I was there for awhile, then I split.

DJ: Are you still in, do you still have a place in England.

Tori: I always go to England um, usually when the tours end, I cruise through there. But I'm really a nomad.

DJ: Hmm, ok, I can live with that. Well thank you for stopping by real quick.

Tori: Absolutely.

DJ: And tonight we will see you at the Fox. Let's see, Caught a Lite Sneeze, is that ok?

Tori: That's ok.

DJ: I really, really love that song.

Tori: I'm so glad.

DJ: Question about this. Somebody told me there's a line in the song, "Mr Saint John." Somebody said, some listener called me up and said, "That's about my friend and he's from St Louis, and she wrote that for him." I'm like, mmm, I don't think so." Is that true? That's not true, is it?

Tori: Well, whatever... I gotta tell you, I let people think what they want, 'cause um, because I just think it's better that way.

DJ: That's the diplomatic way around it and that's the best way to handle it.

Tori: It's the only time you'll find me being PC, with my songs.

DJ: It's Tori Amos, this is caught a Lite Sneeze, thank you so much again. Tonight at the Fox, and we have a pair of front row tickets I want to give away right now.

Tori: Good, that's fun.

DJ: If you want these tickets, caller ten... This is Caught a Lite Sneeze at The Point.

[the CD recording of Caught a Lite Sneze is played]

[transcribed by jason/yessaid]

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