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Oslo, Norway, newspaper
Monday, March 14, 2005
History Seen with Other Eyes
Songs also have a kind of power. Tori Amos wants to show us both the beauty and the cruelty in the existence, seen with the eyes of a woman.
"There are strong forces in the society that have kidnapped our holy writings. These forces drives some kind of emotional blackmailing. I was particulary occupied with the thought of how the church's men have edited the teaching of Jesus to their advantage and on the cost of women. What if we all have been manipulated? Me as a Christian woman and a daughter of a preacher couldn't sit still and accept this assault. From these thoughts The Beekeeper emerged," says Tori Amos.
We met her on Thursday at the Grand Hotel. In addition to a new record, she also is of current interest with the book Piece by Piece, co-written with the American journalist Ann Powers. The book is more a portrait of the artist, than a conventional artist biography. The book is dedicated to her thoughts and is built up as a series of conversations.
We get screwed
"We live in a rich country, with plenty of food, but still there are several that starves. The lack of nutrient-rich food is palpable. This paradox can be transfered to society too. We have more and more access to information, but we still get screwed. This is a complicated weave for a songwriter to enter."
Are you a typical womens artist?
"Yes, I hope so. Take for example my last record. If I have been a 27 year old man instead of a woman, the expression and presentation would be polar contrasts."
Tori Amos has been a mother and have today a four year old daughter. That has changed her as an artist. How she's not yet quite sure. She is on the other hand still a glowing feminist.
"You in Norway and we in America have perhaps come longer in the equality between the genders than in other parts of the world, but it's still a lot to do. As a songwriter I'm just a chronicler of what's happening in the society. Some times my field of vision only contains what's between the bottom and the navel. There is where I am at that particular point. Still it's my perspective. I only comment what's going on in my life at a certain moment."
Is it important to create good memories for children?
"Yes, very much so. Husband is a sound engineer, and he and my daughter are joining me on my tours. We are like a travelling circus. It doesn't need to be the big things that counts. It's with participation and the daily contact you set the track. For me was my mother the most important person in my life. She was always present. She gave me the keys to the library. She was engaged with books and the many stories that's been told. My father gave me the spiritual, he was a preacher. Without her I may not be a songwriter, but music I probably would have done anyway," says a smiling Tori Amos.
Tori Amos plays at Norwegian Wood June 16, the same day as the Norwegian band De Lillos celebrates their 20 year anniversary.
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