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CNN WorldBeat: The Flipside (US, TV)
June 20, 1998

broadcast on CNN and CNN International

Tori Amos interview


Steve Wright: As you can see today we're at London's famous Royal Albert Hall. This is Tori Amos, the child prodigy singer/Songwriter famous for worldwide hits like Silent All These Years and Cornflake Girl. Now a resident in the U.K., She's here in London to appear at the famous Royal Albert Hall.

Steve Wright: How many times have you played London before, because this is a very important venue, isn't it, the Royal Albert Hall?

Tori Amos: Really special to play here. It's a feeling more than... I don't know all the history, but when you come out and look up at the boxes and stuff, think, you feel ghosts and you feel different people's personalities that have come and gone, but you don't know who they are, and you know, it's just rich... this place.

S: Are you still the cornflake girl at the piano? [Note from Mikewhy: GROAN] Is that image still very much you?

T: I never was the corn...I was the raisin girl. [Interviewer laughs in a "I don't know what you are talking about" kind of way]

T: We don't like cornflake girls. They stab their friends in the back.

S: Do they?

T: Yes they do.

S: But you know what I mean. Are you more out front now, or are you still there at the piano?

T: I think it's about balance. You know, I'm really connected to the piano. Not just as an instrument, but I love her... as a soul, as a being.

S: Did you say you love her?

T: Yeah, I love her. The concept of piano I see as a her.

S: Do you?

T: Kinda like people see ships as hers.

S: Do you think all pianos are hers?

T: Yes, but some of them I think are dykes. (Laughs)

S: How would you describe yourself, if you had to, professionally?

T: Um... well it's tricky because the only problem with singer/songwriter is... it does seem... it does get categorized that you know, you couldn't open for Metallica you know, and I'm very comfortable with the idea of opening for, um, Rage Against The Machine or any of those bands that hold that kind of energy. I mean, it might not be right just cause I don't... I don't want people, um, spitting as their way of showing their affection. That's not going to work with me. I'll just, you know, tear their jugular out.

S: Especially from the balcony.

T: Yeah, no, but I'd go after them with my baby tooth. I don't accept any of that kind of... crap.

S: How do you think people see you?

T: I think that everybody's made up of a lot of different things and um, I like to observe a lot, and I think people aren't aware that I'm really observing them, they think I might not be there, but that's how I actually observe more.

S: What do you think of the drug culture?

T: I think that... you know anything that becomes an addiction..anything can be, when it becomes destructive, that's a problem when it's running you, when you're not running it. I use alot of different tools to get to consciousness.

S: Do you think that any tragedy that you've had in your life, which is well documented, comes to life in your songs?

T: Yeah I do. I think it's..

S: Do you want it to? Is it a release?

T: It's how I work things out really. I think the music, the music, um... does something that nothing else that I've experienced can do with a heartache... which is um, we go back to Alice In Wonderland... you know, the music takes me down a rabbit hole. And I see the problem or I see, you know, the sadness, or the experience in a way...

S: Yes, I know what you mean.

T: I see layers to it, in a way, it becomes, yeah in a sense it does become a fairy tale even though sometimes it's a dark one.

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