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Instinct (UK)
January 2008

SOAPBOX -- TORI AMOS gets the last word

The singer/songwriter looks forward to a year of growth -- and change

This new year will depend a lot on if we are able to open ourselves up to who we are and our possibilities -- maybe we can open ourselves up to a different kind of leader. I think that's what a lot of artists and writers are up to right now, getting people to be more open to the possibilities for themselves. It's time to break these images we wake up with and use because it's comfortable for you or your family. Maybe there's a side of you that you haven't explored and should explore to become better for yourself. With all of this work being done, we will set the stage for political change. We can just be hopeful.

I have always tried to open myself up to different writers and different poets who see things differently and have a very different personal life than I do. I have been inspired by several writers who are gay. As far as one of my American Doll Posse characters, I think Isabel had relationships with other women. She holds to Artemis. And as you know, the archetype of Artemis, the Moon Goddess and being surrounded by all those women, there's probably going to be some sort of relationship in there. But she also has relationships with men too, I think.

Sexuality can be fluid, but I do think that some people are just not into red meat. People are just turned off to certain things. Even though I could have a deep love for a woman, I haven't been compelled to be sexual with one, although I've desired their thoughts and I appreciate them. I have gay friends that have said to me, "I don't desire pussy at all. But that doesn't mean I don't love you." So I think if people understand that deep connections and relationships aren't always about sex, we're good. And we should all be open-minded about other people's choices.

My American Doll Posse characters all started with my reaction to the last election. I didn't understand where the women were. Because if the women were active and aware, they would have seen this particular administration is not supportive of the ideology of women. On whatever side you stand, you have to be honest and care about the generations of women past, present and future. It bothered me that so many questions weren't being answered by the masses, so I started to think maybe women are being distracted. Maybe we are stepping into these definitions and stereotypes of ourselves that have been set up, but set up by whom? We don't know! So, I started to analyze cliches of women. I decided to broaden the stereotypes and went pre-Christian. I thought, Let's find women with complexity. I looked to the Greek pantheon where women were their own authority. This is what really drove me.

My new tour will be different every night, so it's hard to tell who is going to come out. After you see the first girl, then Tori comes out to perform. The show is going to be a little over two hours and bootlegs of many of the shows will be available to download that night. I think they will be called "Legs and Boots." My goal is to make each show unique. I don't like it when each show is not its own experience. If you see one, the next one will be different.

Before I perform, I have to prepare myself mentally and physically because I have to shift the energy of the person whose words you are reading now, to the entertainer. As a performer, you have to become a container, a container of energy from the deepest part of the galaxy. In order to hold it and work with it for two hours, your chakras have to be aligned and you have to be pretty grounded in order to hold that energy, especially to take people on the journey.

I usually write a lot of the work when I'm touring. As I travel, my perception is being shaken and shocked. I'm able to get inspired. And that's usually how the songs begin developing. When we record, so much energy is put into post-production of the record so every nuance is expressed. And, yes, the goal has always been to create these sonic worlds so that if you are trapped somewhere and you can't get out, you can put your headphones on and listen and be transported someplace else without leaving your chair.

Artists have to remember the business is changing every week. Right now, yes, there are some record companies who are doing okay and some artists are able to get their music out through the label, but some can do it without the label. You have to be open to the possibility that in the next few years, the role of record companies could change.

Artists have to be open to new ways of marketing and getting their music out to fans. I think it's good! The record industry has controlled things for so long, and as things change, record companies, as we know them, could become obsolete. In the digital age, the needs will change for everyone. Again, it's all about us staying open to different avenues for everything.

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