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WXPT, Minneapolis (US, radio)
"The Point" 104.1 FM
September 16, 1999


Tori Amos interview and live performance

Tori Amos: Well, ok. So I'm just gonna, we'll start um, song, it sorta wants to just kinda show up. This um, didn't make any of the album, but it made the live album that's coming out. It's one of my favorites.

Tori performs Purple People.


Tori: So um, what's been going on? Like, how's it going? Anybody wanna ask anything or tell me anything?


Tori: Yes.

guy in audience: Um, I was wondering, if you like that song so much, how come it didn't make like, a regular album?

Tori: Well, a strange thing happens when we go into the mastering space. And you have maybe, I don't know, it weedled down to what you think is the record. And I don't know if the songs get shy, certain ones just feel like, "I wanna be a b-side." B-sides are um, they're sorta at the level of cult statis, and sometimes songs don't want, I think, um, you know, for Rolling Stone [magazine] to even have the chance to urinate on them, do you know what I mean?


Tori: Urine-Free Zone songs.


Tori: Anybody else? Hi, yeah.

Carrie: Hi, I'm Carrie.

Tori: Hi, Carrie.


Carrie: Hi, Tori. I'm sorry. It's so much more beautiful than I thought it would be. Um, I wanted to ask you um, with your success and everything, obviously, that changes a person. Um, I wanted to know how you felt it changes you, whether the changes were good or bad, spiritually and artistically, and if those changes come out on your album.

Tori: Well, at first, I was a bit of a dickhead, and then um, hopefully you snap out of it. And I was backstage at the Grammys in 1994 and um, I realised, I thought this was gonna be like, the coolest party, where all these arty people were, like a really creative scene. And I'm back there going, "You know, my accountant's party is more exciting than this."


Tori: So, I had to sort of kind of go, there is a bit of an illusion of what goes on. Um, like, if you cross into that, I don't know what it is, I keep saying this college, art-school, you think it's gonna be. 'Cause I never got to go to art school, I was kicked out of the Conservatory. And I just thought it would be this kind of exchange. And there are some people you meet that you go, "God, I really like this person." And I'm drawn to people now for kind of what they're thinking about and what they've developed as a person than um, that they have all-access area passes to your asshole. You know what I mean? Anybody else? And you can bleep that, don't worry.


Tori: Um, let's see. So this is off the new record, and I rarely do this at the piano because um... nothing really on the new album is just piano, it's kind of piano meets um, high-heel shoes and lots of knobs.


Tori: Um, so this is Concertina, here we go.

Tori performs Concertina.


Tori: So um, yeah, you, with your hand. Hi. So, what's your name?

Noah: I'm Noah.

Tori: Hi, Noah.

Noah: I saw you last night, actually. Very, very good. First off, I was hoping that at some point I'd get to actually talk to you . I brought you a big old bottle of wine.

Tori: That's fantastic.

Noah: That I thought you would enjoy. But um, I was wondering what's going on with RAINN, how things are going with that. Um, if you have any plans um, to do any tours for that later on after you do your solo tour or what's gonna happen with that.

Tori: Well, right now, the good news and the bad news is there are a lot of calls coming in, that's the bad news. The good news is that it exists, RAINN is there. It's kinda shocking that as we get closer to what we think is maybe the next step to light-speed, that um, emotionally, whatever computers can do. For me, the horrifying thought is that we get so many letters and calls from a lot of young women, but some young men that are um, violated by a friend of the family, a perpetrator that has access in, a step-father, step-mother sometimes. Sometimes the mothers don't want to look, don't want to hear. And that, as we are able to talk to each other from here to bloody New Zealand in seconds, we still can't seem to work this one out, as a group of people. So that's kind of what's going on. Somebody else? Hi.

girl in audience: Um, I was just gonna ask: with the tour being sponsored by and everything, um, did you have a hard time like, did you have to convince people to accept that like, at Atlantic? 'Cause they're not very amenable to the internet as distribution sort of thing. Did they have a hard time with it?

Tori: Um, sometimes Atlantic has a hard time with things that I choose to do, but um, then they don't have a hard time anymore.


Tori: [coughs] And I think that, does that clear it up?

girl in audience: I guess.

Tori: Yeah. There's a place as an artist where you just make your choices. What are they gonna do, fire me?


Tori: You make decisions based on, this is right for certain reasons. And I think record companies are nervous about the net because, in a good way, it wakes them up a bit. They get a bit lethargic and think they're above the law. So does radio. And um, I think that's why other mediums are important. And MP3 is not, you know, a pure virgin. It's not like that is a perfect um, plae without its own problems. I'm not, it's not like there is a um, incredible integrity like we've never seen, happening on the internet. These questions get brought up, too, with each medium. But I do think sometimes you need a different medium just to shake things up a bit. And something will shake MP3 up in another few months or a year, and I think that is exciting. That's how things don't stay stagnant for too long.

I'm gonna do another song. Um, funny thing happened um, after I got married, and I don't talk about that much. But um, I started to realise -- this song is called Lust -- that um, lust can kind of happen when you really have trust. And I didn't get that before I got married. So, here we go.

Tori performs Lust.


Tori: Hi. Somebody? Hi.

Amy: I'm Amy.

Tori: Hi, Amy.

Amy: It kinda goes along with the RAINN questions. I know that Steve Madden designed a pair of shoes for you.

Tori: Yes, he did.

Amy: And that you love shoes. Um, how, and a certain percentage of the proceeds goes towards RAINN.

Tori: Correct.

Amy: How did that come about and what is your favorite pair of shoes?

Tori: Well, Steve um, felt like a lot of people that come and buy his shoes have gone through something, some kind of traumatic experiencee in some way relating to sexual abuse. And um, he has his reasons for supporting RAINN. And he was incredibly respectful, and he's been there for a couple years, actually, helping RAINN out quietly. So um, he wanted to, I think, give something back to a lot of the people that come to his stores. So he came up with the shoe, I call it the RAINN shoe. He calls it my shoe 'cause he's funny. But anyway, I call it the RAINN shoe, and he's a wonderful person. Somebody else?

guy in audience: I was wondering if you've ever had producers try to change your music and how you dealt with that, if they did.

Tori: Uh, yeah.


Tori: Well, there are a couple things that you do. I think you... you learn, over the years, how to trust your instincts. And you don't really develop that until it's put to the test. And see, sometimes producers are changing the music because they've got a record company to answer to. And um, the cruel, hard truth is, if a producer doesn't deliver and pieces don't sell under his or her name, then they don't produce anymore. There is a um, you know, artists have to wake up from euphoria for ten seconds because, as much as I'm true to what I do, the reason I get away with what I get away with is because I don't um, owe Atlantic Records any money. And um, I know people don't like to talk about it, but for all those musicians out there, it can be incredibly frustrating when people's fear is greater than their faith. And usually they're trying to chase it. And sometimes you get people who trust, they really trust that if there's power in the music, that it will affect people. But you can kind of think you're um, passionate about what you're doing, and when you've got maybe ten people against you, you have to, that's when you're put to the test. And um, it's not great if you're wrong. So, you have to really think, spend time with the music and drive in your truck and um, it's always good to keep a pair of scissors in your back pocket.


Tori: Ok, I'll play you another song. This was inspired, actually, by somebody who um, kind of blew me away at their depth of love for another person. And this is called 1000 Oceans.

Tori performs 1000 Oceans.


Tori: Thanks, guys.

[transcribed by jason/yessaid]

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