New York Post
Many thanks to Katherine , Alex, Toripyro and Sharon Gordon for telling me about a Tori article/interview that appeared in the April 17, 1998 issue of the New York Post in the Entertainment section. The article has the title "TORI AMOS PREACHES TO GIRLS IN THE CHOIR." You can read the article online at the New York Post web site. The interviewer takes that Fiona quote from SPIN last year out of context when she asks her "What was your response when Fiona Apple referred to you last year as the 'poster girl for rape'?" The article is accompanied by a much larger version of the photo that was on the cover of Billboard a few weeks ago.
New York Post....Friday....April 17, 1998
"Tori Amos preaches to the girls in the choir"
by Lisa Robinson
Because of her super-edgy, intense persona - and dramatic songs with references to fairies and goddesses - Tori Amos has a reputation as a kooky, New Age nut.
But the singer-songwriter-pianisst, the child prodigy daughter of a North Carolina Methodist preacher and his wife, has produced some of the most sexually provacative, powerful work of the last 10 years. And with the May release of "From The ChoirGirl Hotel," she just might be one of the few artists who has managaed to sell four platinum albums in one decade without the benefit of major radio airplay.
Amos, 34, has built a fan base of almost religious fervor. They flock to her cocnerts as if they were worshipping at a shrine, analyze her lyrics on dozens of web sites and send her albums to the top of the charts. It took less than two hours for her to sell out her "Sneak Preview" show next week at Irving Plaza; her fans will fill Madison Square Garden when Amos appears there for the first time this summer.
Lisa Robinson: Your image has always been slightly wacky and la-la. How do you react to that?
Tori Amos: I think anybody who meets me doesn't think I'm la-la. I'm really comfortable knowing that I'm razor sharp. My life has changed in a way that I"m becoming more comfortable with the fact that I'm just not nice music for the apartment. I am a bit wicked.
LR: To what do you attribute the intense connection you have with your audience?
TA: I don't think about it too much, but what I try to do is always go after the rumbling subtext. For example, when I get to a city, I'm like a sonic hunter; I just try to feel all the different voices of the people coming in [to the concert]. I really feel there's this force that exists that knows a lot more about what's needed tht night than I do, an dI have to try and figure out what it's saying to me. Once I was in a city were a young girl was murdered, and there was a hunt [for the murderer], or I've been in cites where the ball team lost and people thought it was really unfair and they were angry about it. I'm always trying instinctively to be in touch with the internal universe of the concert.
LR: why did you record - and are going on tour - with a band this time?
TA: Iv'e played three world tours with nothing except me and the piano, and I knew that having written such a rhythmic rrecord this time, I couldn't go out and just be alone with the piano. So now the other songs from the other records are saying, "Oh, an we do a little something on me? What about me?"
LR: Do you think of the songs as people?
TA: Some of them are very big people with very expensive Visas. Some are more charming than others.
LR: You recently got married...
TA: Very, very recently [to her sound engineer, Mark Hawley]. Just four weeks ago. But I dont' want to talk about it - I'm shy about it.
LR: Because it's too new or too private?
TA: Too private
LR: There are several references to babies on the album....
TA: I was pregnant and I miscarried almost three months [last] Christmas. But people thought that was a subtext to the record, and they were getting this so wrong that I decided to just talk about it. I just wanted to really have the pregnancy and not rush into doing more music, but when the miscarriage happened, the songs just started to come. I went through many different stages. I couldn't be the person I was before I carried life, but I'm not a mother, so I was in no man's land. But there was a deep connection to this being; the soul and the love doesn't go. This record is about life force.
LR: What was your response when Fiona Apple referred to you last year as the "poster girl for rape"? [Amos, a rape survivor who has written songs about it, sponsors an anti-rape phone line.]
TA: You know, I don't read the music press, and I don't feel competitive with these women. I feel inspired when the music is good, bu tno more inspired than when Maynard [Tool's Maynard James Keenan] does something good or when Trent [Nine Inch Nail's Trent Reznor] does something that's inspiring. It's not about gender, it's about being a good musician. I like the kind of support that musicians have when you're good and you keep striving; you don't need to feel like somebody else is taking away your place. At the same time, Kate Bush did come before me, Joni [Mitchell] did come before me; I wouldn't be here without the pounding on the door that they did, and I can honor that. Some of the artists coming up seem to understand that, and some seem to fight it. One thing I had to learn was that you respect the ones that have come before you because, let's be brutally fair here, it opens doors.
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