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December 2001

15 minutes with Tori Amos.

The quirky singer-songwriter-pianist talks about her new album and her weird fascination with Eminem's lyrics.

YM: Strange Little Girls is an interesting album, to say the least. It's a collection of cover tunes - all by men - but with a female twist. What inspired you to make that?

Tori Amos: I've always been intrigued by how men say things and women hear them, so I wanted to take a look at how men see women, how men see themselves, and how the view changes depending on where you're standing.

YM: The most shocking track is an adaptation on "'97 Bonnie & Clyde" by Eminem. It's a very chilling song.

Tori Amos: Good, that's the effect I was going for. When I first heard the song, the scariest thing to me was that people were grooving to music about a guy who butchered his wife. Half of the world is dancing to this, oblivious, with blood on their sneakers. The wife had to have a voice, so my version is told from her point of view as she lay dying.

YM: In general, do you think artists should take more responsibility for their lyrics?

Tori Amos: I think we, as writers, have to. We can't separate ourselves from what we create. I've heard a lot of people say, "They're only words." But words are like guns; they're very powerful.

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