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Music Revue (US)
Grand Rapids, Michigan, free music magazine
November 1998

Tori Amos

Well some people say motherhood changes you, and for me non-motherhood really changed me because when you lose a baby there's a line that's been crossed by the deities and you start to really question everything about how the universe works. In a sense, it was really good because any hierarchy that was left in my religious upbringing, I felt very comfortable running into God on a Friday night and having a margarita and going, "You know, I really don't think much of you this week." It was very liberating for me. And I felt like I had that right. Not because of just you with you, but you not being able to do the most natural thing in the world, that supposedly God has bequeathed us to do as women. So there were obviously a lot of questions that I asked and I didn't get most of the answers. But it was a real, you know it's strange how this inability to protect your young, what it can make you do. What it makes you do aren't necessarily bad things. I think they're very real and very human. I am much more liberated in a lot of ways than I was.

I'm right on the river. And I started to watch the rhythm of the water. This is after I miscarried. And I think I was really trying to find something to identify with, as a woman, because I didn't feel very confident at that point. It's a pretty helpless thing to lose a baby. There's nothing you can do. You're trying to stick a cork up inside you, thinking that might save the life of your child and then you realize that you've lost it. But as I started to see the rhythms, I knew I had to find some primal feminine place within myself that goes beyond anything that anybody can tell you about loss. I had to go to really understand that the earth has loss every day and birth every day and she's a much more speeded up version of us.

And as I started to just try and feel all the rhythms that the earth produces, I started to sort of see rhythm in a way that I really hadn't before. And as I went to the piano, I knew that it was structural now, the rhythm, it wasn't something that would be put on the songs later. It had to be written and built in with the structure.

It was so clear to me. I also knew that I was ready to kind of sort of look at these players as brothers and say I have to relinquish some control here and let the drummer decide what the tempo is. That was a huge thing for me.

A lot of it's unconscious, and that's where your feeling side and your logic side have to come together, because you can feel something, but you've got to be really careful how you get your musicians and your engineers to find that place that you need everybody to go that might seem dangerous. But that's how records sound vital or not vital is that people trust enough that they can go to these places. Sometimes you have to use your brain and how are you going to get them to see this without offending them. Yet sometimes you make a choice to offend them because you know that's going to get on tape.

When I listen to the record it's not depressing for me, because it was really, I appreciated life in a way that I really hadn't thought of (before).

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