Circus Magazine
September 1998

Added September 16, 1998

shawn.the.little.masochist reports that the September 1998 issue of Circus magazine contains a 2 page article on Tori. (Billy Corigan is on the cover.) The article includes a black & white photo (the one from EW's It List) as well as a full page color photo of her at the mic. Toriphile Danica has sent me the entire article below as well as the color photo from the magazine. Gina Reinert also sent me the article. Thank you all!


"My songs are like friends"
By: Gabriella

Born August 22, 1963 to a Methodist minister father and a part-Cherokee mother, Myra Ellen Amos' lifestyle was grim in her hometown of Newton, North Carolina. She was pushed by her dad to become a concert pianist, soby age five, was enrolled at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland in a piano scholarship. By age 11, Amos was expelled after professing an interest in Led Zeppelin and playing by ear.

Simultaneously, she was battling her own personal demons. Breaking through these ideals has always been a priority for Amos and was a theme in her songwriting. "The problem with my grandmother - and a lot of Christian women from the Calvinist side - was that there was so much shame for a woman, with all of the self-righteous and the guilt and the finger-pointing," she told Q magazine recently. "It was very hard for them to claim the dark side of their femininit." A blossoming girl with enough beauty to be crowned homecoming queen at Maryland's Richard Montgomery High School, repressing her natural beauty could be difficult.

Against her father's wishes but with his financial backing, the teenaged Amos gigged at bars around Washington, D.C. Disconcerted, Amos relocated to Hollywood but failing to nake a name for herself musucally and on the tube (she guested in several TV commercials like Cornflakes and Crystal Light), she decked the traditional ripped-up jeans and big hair and joined a pop-metal band called Y Kant Tori Read. The outfit, also including future Guns 'N Roses skindsman Matt Sorum, played only one show, and disbanded after recording one album.

When she moves to England for a while (where she recorded her most recent album, From The Choirgirl HOtel), Amos repaved her musical direction and went solo. She may have lacked musician manpower onstage, but her well-anticipated shows - where she wouls resort to Elton John theatrics like tinkling the ivoriesstanding up - were passionate and critically acclaimed. She earned her big break in 1991 when signing on to the EastWest imprint in the U.K. and developed a huge following in Europe. Her first-ever release was a four-track EP entitled "Me And A Gun," whose title song was blunt, autobiographical portrayal of a rape incident that occured in Los Angeles six years prior. She became an outspoken rep for supporting rape victims in 1995, sponsoring an organization called RAINN (Rape Abuse and Incest National Network).

With From The Choirgirl Hotel, Amos has put asside her one-woman persona to play with a set of like-minded musicians. The songs reflect themajor milestones in her life over the last couple of years; she married studio engineer Mark Hawley in February, but on a tragic note, suffered a miscarriagein December of 1996. On standout tracks like "Spark", "God", and "Cruel," Amos adopts a more aggresive edge with hints of electronica and harder rhythms.

On the road this summer, Amos seems to fill out her counterpart as the mystery woman to perfection. She is not exactly what people would call your girl next door. OK, she has those wholesome looks and a smile that would make her perfect for any cereal ad, but there's something about her thats's somehow disturbing. One moment she focuses her whole attention on you, the next minute she seems to be somewhere far away, probably in her on mythological world, playing with the fairies.

Having a conversation with her is a bit like watching someone through a stained glass window, the colors seems to change with every movement and she's as easy to pin down and to define as fog over her chosen home in London. Amos answer all your questions, but every one of the response seems to create more questions.

CIRCUS: You're famed for the strange locations where you like to record your albums. From the Choirgirl Hotel was recorded in a barn in Cornwall.

Amos: I liked the feel of the barn, the vibes and I was persuaded to record this album in an enviroment where it's a bit easier to work with people, to record...So it was the perfect location.

You walk around and decide "Yes, this is it, I like the vibes, I want to record here" and jsut start with an album?

Not always, sometimes the vibes, the feeling, the atmosphere is already there and sometimes you have to create it. Sometimes you ahve to create your own atmosphere, you have to invest time and work to make it happen.

CIRCUS: Your new album is a bit more beat focused than everything you did before.

Amos: I let the rhythm take over, it wasn't really easy because I'm a control freak, but I thought if I want good rhythms then I have to feel them, get cuahgt up in them. This is the first album I recorded with live percussionist, the first album where there was something like an interation with other musicians. Usually I recorded the vocals, the piano and the rest of the insturments were somehow places around it.

CIRCUS: Were you influenced by the remixes from Boys for Pele?

Amos: Maybe, I just knew that I wanted beats. My Beats. Beats I created not beats someobdy else created, I wanted them to be part of my music and not the other way around.

CIRCUS: What made you decide that you want to record with other musicians?

Amos: I wanted to capture a certain atmosphere, that was only possible with drums, not with additional drums but with real life drums, I needed the interaction with a dummer. I want to grow, personally and musically and to grow you have to move on, you have to experiement. Otherwise it becomes far too static.

CIRCUS: HOw do you think your fans might react" After all this album is different from everything you've ever done before.

Amos: If you're trying to ask if I regret one of my former albums - no I don't, certainly not. But as I said, I want to move forward, I want to grow and in order to achieve it, I can't concentrate on what my audience expects or wants from me. Each album reflected acertain phase and I just couldn't repeat it, I really couldn't.

CIRCUS: From the Choirgirl Hotel sounds far more positive and cheerful than all your other albums. Were you more relaxed or just felt happier?

Amos: It started with a very tragic incident. After I finnished the "Boys for Pele" tour, I realized that I was pregnang. I was very happy about it, I was looking forward to becoming a mother, but then I lost the baby I had a miscarriage and that was really tragic for me. I felt so empty because I had lost a life and so I stated to create something else, put everything into the songs and tried to create something else.

It was very sad but I'm not afraid of grief, you might cry, you might even cry so much that there are no more tears left inside of you, that you feel you've become dry, but still your grief lets you make decisions and lets you grow as a person. Everything depends upon how you handle it, if you accept your grief, your loss and your mourning or if you try to push it away. I think you ahve to live through it, that's my personal beliefe - because it has consequences.

CIRCUS: So your current album is a result of the grief?

Amos: In a way it is. I lostthe baby and I had one thought in my mind, one thought that repeated itself "Why can some women be mothers and others can't?" So I stated to create something else, I created new songs. I realized that I might be a mother one day, but not anytime soon. The experience was too painful to take that rish again anytime soon. Someday maybe...At the moment I'm still healing, I'm not whole right now, I'm getting there but it takes time. For the time being I decided to concentrate on music, to dissolve in music.

CIRCUS: Your music is very intimate, somehow I can't see you playing inhuge arenas.

Amos: I prefer smaller halls or clubs, my songs work better there. I don't want to shout over the noise, but even in clubs it can happen that people just won't shut up. Once or twice I got really upset and asked the guys to come up and take my microphone. That shut them up. Now I laugh about it, but if it happens at a concert it's very upsetting.

CIRCUS: Your songs seem to be very personal, are the autobiographical?

Amos: My songs are like friends, I have a special relationship with my songs and some of them...I always want to have around me, I want to hold on to them and others....others are not always so close to me, they're still friends but I don't need to have them around all the time...But they're still my friends, they're still close to me, they're justill my creatures but they need to go on holiday sometimes.

I think everything you ever write is influenced by what has happened to you, it doesn't have to be strictly autobiographical. I'd rather say my songs reflect parts of my personality, nobody is just one-dimensional. But I think my spiritual body and my physical body are in tune with each other.

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