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Action (Austria)
November 2001


Superstar of women

German text by Thomas Zeidler

[translated by Silvia Klement]

TORI AMOS. With her cover-cd "Strange Little Girls", the queen of rock goes into the psyche of men. On 14.12. in Gasometer.

Cover versions. What would today's charts be without them? But while charts-starlets like No Angels (There Must Be An Angel), Atomic Kitten (Eternal Flame) or Christina Aguilera (Lady Marmalade) use covers only to turn lack of talent into quick money, Tori Amos - 38year old power-woman of rock - turns the medal with her legendary power of expression. Namely, the neo-mama (daughter Natashya, 1) releases a whole album of covers. "Strange Little Girls" (Nomen est omen) is the name of the conceptual album, on which the rock-fairy reviews the male musical history from a woman's point of view from Eminem ('97 Bonnie & Clyde) over Depeche Mode (Enjoy The Silence) to the Beatles (Happiness Is A Warm Gun), using sound-samples of her priest-father Edison and of President Bush. On December 14th, the "most exciting woman of the rock-business" (so says "N.M.E.") will perform in the BA-hall in the Viennese Gasometer. Solo, unplugged and only on the piano. Here's the ACTION-interview:

Announcement: "My CD is a record about power."

Action: Why an album of cover-versions?

Tori Amos: I wanted to say something. And the best way to do it was to use the words of men. My intention was to show that each statement has two sides - and that so far, with those macho-lyrics the woman's side has not been heard.

Action: Your CD is one of the most discussed.

Amos: Because it is a record about power and about the definition of power. Plus it is the first time that a woman penetrates the male psyche.

Action: How do you define power?

Amos: Especially men are looking for people they can suppress. And the range goes from the Taliban to Coca Cola. Everybody who makes you believe that without them you cannot survive.

Action: Why those particular songs?

Amos: The songs, no matter how old they are, had to reflect the current zeitgeist ("circumstances of our time") , because I wanted to compose a modern mythology.

Action: A mythology without men?

Amos: No, I needed men to do that, lots of men. I had a group of men which I called "men-lab" consisting of heteros, homosexuals, bisexuals, men of different cultures and colours. Because a woman cannot, no matter what, go into a male psyche.

Action: For those men this was very uncomfortable.

Amos: Of course, but we had an agreement. Nothing that had been said would leave the room. And their partners would never be told. It almost was a relgious process, like a confession.

Action: Also a therapy?

Amos: No therapy, because I am not a therapeut and I am not an actress. It was more like a journey into the soul and also a bridging.

Tori Amos on Rock and War:
Eye-witness. Tori Amos was in New York on September 11th.

"On September 11th, I was in Midtown N.Y. only 2 or 3 kilometers far from the World Trade Center when IT happened. At that time, not only the Twin Towers have been torn apart, but also a whole country. Since then, the masks have been thrown off and people finally start questioning things again. Of course, there is a huge amount of patriotism, but this always happens when people are under attack. In America, there has been a movement out of hatred for a long time, and many think that the event of 11.9. now overshadows all the hatred that has been existing before. But this is the wrong approach. I am not talking about the 'good old pure murder', but I am talking about the senseless hatred against homosexuals, blacks or women. Because when all those people now talk so loud against the Taliban, they are nothing but hypocrites. Because the truth is that anybody who exercises power, whether it is a partner, a government or a religion, only wishes that the others remain fools."

Quotes from captions:

Respective rules. Tori: "Men would be poorer without women and vice versa."
FEAR. "If the Taliban win this war, the women will be poor."
CHANGE. "It is time to wake up - but some don't want to at all."
AGITATION: "In some cultures women are nothing but birth-giving machines."

The setlist of the rock-diva: TORI AMOS: 14.12., Vienna, Bank Austria Halle im Gasometer, 20.00 p.m.

The planned songlist:

'97 Bonnie & Clyde
Little Amsterdam
Take to the Sky
Beauty Queen
I Don't Like Mondays
Me and a Gun

Purple People
Upside Down
Space Dog
Famous Blue Raincoat
1000 Oceans

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