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June 8, 2005
Q & A
interview by Claire Sawers
From her emergence as a kooky soul-barer in the early 1990s, singer-songwriter Tori Amos has developed and matured into the writer of this year's The Beekeeper, her politicised ninth album. Born in Baltimore, she now lives in Cornwall with her British husband.
You're just back from touring Australia. Is it nice to get home?
Hell, yeah. It's pretty trippy. Going from city to city every night and then suddenly you are in Cornwall, getting on your pushbike. Sometimes you need to come to a standstill. It's the only way to recharge.
Do you enjoy touring?
I love the performance side. The endorphin rush that you feel in your body when you play. It's like nothing else.
Are you a diva on tour?
No, but my daughter has been a road-dog since she was a year old. She gets upset now when she doesn't have a dressing room. She'll go: 'Where's my playroom?'
How does it feel being a mum who's fancied by lots of male fans?
It's funny. When you get comfortable with yourself, you don't think about what other people think. It's a catch-22, when you don't need it from guys is when you really get it. I find that endlessly amusing.
How did your collaboration with Damien Rice come about?
I knew that song, The Power of Orange Knickers, needed a male voice. I heard his voice playing in the kitchen and I said: "That's a voice." It was just right.
I have a feeling I completely misinterpreted this song. Is it about lucky pants or is it about terrorism?
No, it's about both! [laughs]. But terrorism is a part of our life. I needed to address that.
Why orange knickers?
It's a colour with a lot of different meanings. The Guantanamo Bay prisoner outfit; Orange marches. I liked the association of it.
You get described as many things - a poet, pianist, singer, feminist. How would you describe what you do?
I would like to think I'm a chronicler of time.
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