Billboard Magazine included a Tori article in their October 19, 2002 issue. A part of the article was posted online at Billboard.com when they made Tori their Artist of The Day on October 15, 2002. Thanks to Lucy for sending this to me!
Tori Amos Surveys Reaction To Sept. 11 On Epic Debut, 'Scarlet's Walk'
The concept of Tori Amos' last album, 2001's Strange Little Girls, was straightforward: She reinterpreted a collection of songs written and performed by men to give them a female perspective. However, Scarlet's Walk, her Epic debut (Oct. 29), is a multi-layered tale. It's about searching for the true roots of America alongside a journey of self-discovery. It's about the nation's reaction to Sept. 11, 2001. But perhaps most intriguingly, it's about a "soul map," as the singer/songwriter calls it, that is imprinted on each one of us and shows the route of the most defining moments of our lives.
Amos' maternal grandfather, who was raised by a woman who escaped the Trail of Tears, often told her stories about Native Americans during her childhood. "He would always talk to me about how people had a map, an invisible map that was etched in, that was part of who they were," Amos remembers. Years later, she "began to understand that certain places in people and events etch themselves into each of us differently, and that becomes in a sense, who we are, what we look like."
A college tour Amos did after Sept. 11 last year played a prominent role in the creation of Scarlet. "I went on the road last year with different eyes and when the masks were down. That means people were telling me things in letters, at the stage door; things that you don't say when tomorrow's coming," she recalls. "Secrets that people were holding were coming out.
"People were asking some questions for the first time and seeing America for the first time as a living being," Amos continues. "The Native Americans always thought that and some people do feel that, but for some people it's an object. I watched people start to have this relationship with this woman called America."
A child prodigy who began playing music at age 2, Amos gained national attention 10 years ago with "Silent All These Years." The lead track from Little Earthquakes introduced her ethereal voice, confessional lyrics, and intense compositions driven by her piano-an instrument she is immediately identified with, thanks to her hypnotizing live performances where she sits anywhere but still upon the piano bench.
Her artistry has yielded a total of eight Grammy Award nominations for her past seven albums, but Scarlet's Walk-with the deep emotional pull of such songs as "Your Cloud," "I Can't See New York," the title track, and "Gold Dust"-is her most cohesive and emotionally moving since Little Earthquakes.
Epic president Polly Anthony says of Amos, "Her stellar body of work, her willingness to take chances, and her ability to continually grow as an artist have already earned her both critical acclaim and legions of loyal fans all over the world. I have every confidence that this album will thrill her long-time followers and reach a larger audience than ever before."
Although Amos has a cult-like following among her fans, strong mainstream radio has eluded her, a challenge Epic thinks this album and lead single "A Sorta Fairytale" will change. "There's been a precious approach to her in the past because she is such a talented writer and producer and has so much artistic integrity," remarks Ceci Kurzman, Epic VP of worldwide marketing and Amos' product manager.
Senior VP of promotion Joel Klaiman calls the marketing campaign "a massive priority for Epic Records; there'll be a complete rollout" that includes print ads and TV appearances.
A limited edition of Scarlet's Walk will contain a DVD of exclusive material, and the album is the key to Scarlet's Web, an online alternative world that will be brimming with interactive elements and updates from Amos when she returns to the road Nov. 7.
By Christa Titus