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AnOther (UK)
Autumn/Winter 2007

Tori Amos
Musician Explores her Alter Egos

"Everyone has alter egos inside them. They're dormant in you now."

Text Hannah Lack
Photography Katerina Jebb
Styling Karen Binns
Dress by Viktor & Rolf

"My songs are not just detached musical poems; they're sonic installations. The music isn't from just one voice or personality. The girl group I've created -- Santa, Clyde, Isabel, Tori and Pip -- are my alter egos, different facets of myself. As a minister's daughter, I was brought up with so much religion, and at a certain point I thought, 'Wait a minute, where are the women?' They're either virgin mothers or prostitutes. So, I went back to Greek mythological for inspiration, to get away from those diluted stereotypes. I write separate blogs for each of the girls. They go out every week like a serial, so the girls have taken on a life of their own. When I go on stage, I'll dress differently as if I'm each one of them -- it will be a big production. It's really spurring me on -- the girls are educating me. Everyone has alter egos inside them. They're lying dormant in you now."

Born Myra Ellen Amos in North Carolina, Tori Amos and her many eccentricities have on occasion typecast the songwriter as the fairy queen of kook. But the Cornflake Girl, with an elite music scholarship who rebelled against her east coast training and headed to the rock studios of LA, has proved that there's some iron will in this preacher's daughter. With lyrics that double up as a window into her psyche, Tori has always liked to think big with her conceptual albums, and her recording process is no exception. The 350-year-old barn in Cornwall that now houses a dream NASA-style studio, was where she brought to life her ninth record American Doll Posse. Something of a feminist rallying cry, it is a showcase for not one, but five of her alter egos. "I'm really just an onlooker now," she says. "I have absolutely no idea what they're going to do next."

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