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105.1 FM, The Edge (US radio)
Detroit, Michigan
July 21, 1998

This interview was conducted over the telephone.

(beginning of the interview is missing)

Tori Amos: I mean, um, you know, if we were doing a show we'd be in the drummer's room just...

Kelly Walker: Doing it anyway.

Tori: Just doing it anyway and we'd get on really well and it's um, challenging me in a huge way, but I think that makes for a good show just because, you know, nobody's falling asleep, let's put it that way (laughing) on stage anyway

Kelly: Right, well, um, you have a huge fan base here and I'm sure you witnessed that at your Plugged98 show at St.Andrews a couple months ago

Tori: Yeah, they're fantastic , I mean Ive always said the Detroit audience reminds me so much of New Orleans, it really does, I know that might sound strange, but the kids that come to the show have this whole, um, I don't know, Voodoo child thing about them

Kelly: No, no, you're right, and it's like that in radio as well, I mean it's a real persnickity market but very, very loyal, very faithful, and you have a lot of those fans here Tori, honestly, god, when you announced that you were gonna do the small club tour, uh, back in , um, the late winter, uhh, it went crazy, ok, I mean, we had guys callin up, we had parents callin wanting tickets for their kids cuz they just dyed their hair like Tori Amos, you know what I mean, and uh, you know (Tori laughing), it was really really crazy. I even got a fax here from a guy who bought tickets kinda to impress a girl to, he quotes "Get in better with the girl" that he asked out.

Tori: Well, I hope that worked out for him

Kelly: No, actually he lost the tickets so hes moochin off us.

Tori: Oh no! Well youve gotta get him some tickets! Poor thing!

Kelly: We'll try to get him on

Tori: I mean he's gonna get anywhere like that if he looses the tickets (Kelly laughing)

Kelly: So what's going on, what are you doing? You just wakin' up?

Tori: No, We've been doing quite a few of these and we're kinda getting to do the sound check, I mean our days start, my days start usually, I dont know, about 11 when I go to the gym, cuz I have to, you know, to do the show, I have to do a lot of cardiovascular stuff so that I don't need an oxygen machine next to the piano during the whole show

Kelly: Thats a nice look too

Tori: Yeah. (laughing)

Kelly: Tubes comin out your nose

Tori: It gets tricky though 'cause um, especially with the heat and stuff, um, you really have to stay fit to do the show.

Kelly: Right

Tori: I can't lie and cheat like I used to at the piano like just make up 16 bars so that I could catch up breathing. Now with the band, its like, you get nailed if youre not fit.

Kelly: How many guys you got touring with you?

Tori: Um, I got a crew of 40 on the road so we have a little ditty (?) going on and um, I kinda like that though because you have, um, you have real independence and it makes you feel like you're pirates on your own

Kelly: Oh yeah, it's you against the world.


Kelly: And you got some support. Thats really great.

Tori: And the crew's fantastic, I mean, some of them are a bit off, well, I have a nudist monitor man who insists on taking his clothes off, I mean, even during some of the shows. We just have to go, now look, you can't do this because you are in full view here, and I know that, that everybody will probably benefit from seeing you but we dont know taht, we cant impose on that, so you just have to keep your pants on

Kelly: Yeah! You got little girls there man!

Tori: Yeah, so the thing is, you know, we do have a few characters, but I think that keeps, you know, keeps everybody with a sense of humor.

Kelly: Well, you know, I do have some faxes here from people that are, umm, just totally in love with you, ok, and one of them, Jen from Troy Michigan wants to know if you're ever going to collaborate with Maynard from Tool anytime soon

Tori: Well, Maynard, I just saw him the other night 'cause he's doing the Ozzy thing, and so he, we ran into each other in Minneapolis a couple nights ago and he came to the show and he was wearing this Free Frances Bean shirt, we're giving everything out to everybody, I mean he, uh, I just adore him, we're just really good buddies, and we sang together, he was gracious enough to do the whole RAINN thing, um, that was about a year and a half ago for the RAINN benefit.

Kelly: You know, he was actually in town the same night you were

Tori: You know, we were trying to find a way, you know, get a chopper, because he goes on at like, 8, and I go on at like 9:15, and we were like trying to find a way for him to get....he was at Pine Knob, right?

Kelly: Yeah, he's gonna be there for Ozzfest

Tori: To get there from there, to do the whole pollins at live aid (can't make out what she says)

Kelly: Thats great, just hop on stage or something

Tori: Yeah, but we, we , we've been talking about it, he wants to do a talk show together if we're cool enough, but I said, yeah, but what about all those neonazis, but, you cant put all those cute girls on pikes, cuz, like, i think im gonna like, cut their heads off. So, you know, they're gonna be like, missing a leg

Kelly: Well, you know, we play you, and we play Tool too, so, I mean, we could be the light Tori.

Tori:Yeah, exactly

Kelly: We could take care of you there.

Tori: We'll see, well, we'll see. Maybe we'll do something 'cause we've really been talking about it.

Kelly: So, you mentioned RAINN and if people don't, aren't familiar with RAINN, Tori cofounded RAINN in 1994, rape abuse and incest national network, and a lot of proceeds from your shows go to RAINN, am I correct?

Tori: Well, I did a benefit for them and then sometimes we'll do a special thing and the proceeds go to them in that way, and we and Calvin Klein joined forces last year and we did a really big campaign and thats how it works, but I wanna get the number out for those people who may want to call it...1-800-656-HOPE, and there are counselors on the other end of the line and its a toll free call just to take the next step if you had a, an alarming situation

Kelly: That's great, and I have the number here guys in case you didn't get it, its 1-800-656-HOPE, and it'll be here at the station as well, just give us a buzz anytime, you dont have to call right now. Uh, Tori, I got another question for you, from another lady, oh, not lady, nice girl named Lindsay from Washington, Michigan, she saw you Sunday night in Chicago and she said that you mentioned that the Rosemont Horizon was the biggest venue that you've ever played , and I was wondering how you liked it and how it compared to playing in the smaller clubs.

Tori: Well, there is an incredible excitement you get from those arenas, you know, because there's so many people charged up and um, the song gets so loud, it thunders, you know, so, it's sorta like a Dionysian frenzy, one of those kinda, um, decadent, first decadent arenas and I loved that about it. Umm, small clubs is a whole nother thing.It's tiny and sweaty and you're rubbing up against strangers and um, maybe getting closer to some of them than you'd like to (laughing), but I think you have to approach every venue differently. One isn't better than the other, but we do change the show, um, and the approach to it depending on the size of the venue, I mean, you really have to...

Kelly: Yeah, like you mentioned before, you, like, when its just you and the piano , you can kinda cheat and take a little break or whatever.

Tori: Well, it is a different show and I think as a musician, you're just challenged, you know, the arenas are just much more like, um...

Kelly: People have much higher expectations to when they go to an arena show

Tori: Yeah, and it's like, you've gotta get them into that primitive thing, you know, that like, primal rhythm and you want people hips moving and you want their (cant make out what she says) pounding in their, you know, in the ba-, in the base of their spine, and it's like, sometimes, you know, and what I hope Im accomplishing in that, people are not feeling guilty with what their hips are doing

Kelly: Right, coming from a preachers daughter, if you can do it, they can do it too.


Kelly: That's great, well, your fourth album, From The Choirgirl Hotel, is an amazing album, and uh, I understand it's real personable for you, I mean, all your music is, but this was a little bit different, you wanna talk about it?

Tori: Uh... the record... sorta was a surprise to me, because I wasn't planning on making a record for a while. I finished the last tour, the Boys for Pele tour, and I found out that I was pregnant and we were really thrilled and I, I knew really early on, so I, I became really connected to this baby, and when I miscarried, it was really... obviously, it was heartbreaking, and it took me, it, it really took me for a tumble, you know when you sit there, and you, you answer hundreds of questions and um, you're still really connected to this baby, yet you can't be the same person you were before you held life and you can't, you know, you're not a mother either so it's a strange no man's land to be in, and that's when the songs started coming and they started coming with all of this rhythm and I knew the rhythm was part of my healing...

Kelly: Well, for everyone who's just joining us , we're, uh, interviewing Tori Amos, who, well, first of all, I know you dont do a lot of interviews , I really appreciate you giving us a buzz cuz this is big and we play a lot of your music and both male and female listeners request you quite often and it's either, it's either, that the guys have a crush on Tori or they're doing it for their girlfriends or what, but I think its at a point now where you've had so many successful albums that you just have, uh, both genders are just crazy about your music.

Tori: Well, that's really important because I'm so not into, you know...

Kelly:Girl power? (both laugh)

Tori: Well, I'm into women's wisdom, I guess. But the idea of, you know, I'm not sexist at all, I'm not interested... (cuts off)

[transcribed by Chris (Pitipur)]

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