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Radio 2
January 21, 2003

Tori Amos interview


Announcer: The piano and Tori Amos. [Dutch narration over a collage of Tori's music from Scarlet's Walk and then Winter]

Johan van Slooten (JS): Tori, is this the most natural environment you can be in?

Tori: Well, I guess anytime I'm next to a piano I'm calmest.

JS: Why?

Tori: I don't know (sighing). I've been my whole life I'm usually trying to find my way up, crawling up next to a piano, it just makes me feel like I see things differently.

JS: Hmmm how do you see things differently from behind a piano than in normal day-to-day life?

Tori: Maybe it's about language, she translates for me how she hears somebody speak.

JS: Would we talk differently if we were not sitting next to a piano?

Tori: Probably. Because I think there's something very tender about her. Right now, I mean, she can also be quite ferocious, but you haven't struck that in me quite yet and it's a bit early. I haven't sharpened my teeth yet, that doesn't happen until seven o'clock.

JS: Can you, let's say, play something in which you or the piano shows how tender she can be?

Tori: This is just her saying 'Hello' [Tori plays the piano while JS continues speaking in Dutch]

JS: You refer to the piano as a she, why?

Tori: They're all 'shes' to me. It's the body, the shape of them they just are. All of the ones I've ever played I see the piano essence as a she, yes.

JS: Is that why you love the piano so much?

Tori: I think I love the sensuality of the instrument and I think that it carries life

JS: And it carries music

Tori: Yes, one and the same for me.

JS: Let's talk about your latest album, Scarlet's Walk. What kind of woman is Scarlet? Who is she?

Tori: The reason I called her Scarlet is she's a thread, the etymology of the word is she's a thread, and of course Scarlet O' Hara, so and they happen very close to each other, the fiction and the non-fiction in Georgia. And that's where my mother's people hail from, north Georgia, Carolinas, right in that corner so I guess Scarlet for me is any woman, she bleeds, she's weaving and she's trying to find her relationship with what she believes in.

JS: Is Scarlet's Walk an anti-America album?

Tori: Well, what it is is, it's a reflection of where America is now and the history of how we got there. It's not trying to make it pretty. Sometimes it is quite beautiful because I think that you have to learn how to hold hands with the darkness before you can walk out with it. So, in a way, I crawled underneath what I thought was going on to try and reflect what was going on at this time.

[A Sorta Fairytale (radio edit) is played]

[transcribed by Gene P.]

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