Tori's Interview on KPNT, 105.7 The Point In St. Louis, June 12th, 1996
Sent to me by Lori (L'il Pixie)
Interview by Eric Schmidt, DJ,
and Alex Luke, program manager.
ES: Now, live in the studio, it's Tori Amos. How are you doing Tori?
TA: I'm good.
ES: We put this off waiting for your arrival here. Today, we are going to play
something from this 'Winter' EP -- released in 1992. Now this came out
overseas, this version we have here. It's got 'Winter' and then three cover
songs, 'Angie,' 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' and of course, 'Thank You.' Do you
have a favorite of these three? We were going to play 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'
but if you'd like to...
TA: Well, it puts me in a funny position sometimes when people ask me -- especially
when I've covered all three of them. They mean different things at different
times in my life. Umm... play what you want.
ES: Okay. We'll go ahead and play 'Smells Like Teen Spirit.' Did this appear on
TA: It appeared in America on the 'Crucify' EP. You can get it in the States -- I
don't know if it's been discontinued, but it's 'Crucify.'
AL: The man from Atlantic in the corner is nodding his head saying that it's still
(Smells Like Teen Spirit)
ES: That's Tori Amos and her version of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit.' Can I say that?
You're eyes kinda bugged out there like -- well, it was your interpretation of
the song, right?
TA: (laughing) That's fine Eric. Yeah.
ES: Okay. Like I told you, that was the first time I ever understood what Kurt
Cobain was talking about in the song, so... thank you for that.
TA: Well, I had help on the Internet.
TA: Oh, yeah. I think you can get anything from the Internet. This is what I'm
learning. Absolutely anything.
ES: What have you found that's most interesting?
TA: Umm... I find out information about myself that I didn't know. No, it's true.
ES: What are the best rumors -- that aren't true?
TA: Well, that's a whole diff... That's a WHOLE different conversation. I don't
know if we can go there... no-no-no-no-no. But like, for an example, when they
say I recorded a certain song, and I was sure that I didn't record it that month
-- it had to be a different time. And yet, they come back and say, "No, we have
information that says she recorded this with Al Stewart in 1990... da-da-da-da
-- or Stan Ridgeway -- when she sang backup. And you go, "Jesus Christ." When
she sang backup for Sandra Bernhardt. And you go, "That's right, I did do that,
ES: So you don't have to keep a journal anymore?
TA: No. They'll tell you you're wrong real quick. "You don't know your life."
That's what they'll tell you.
ES: Like you're mistaken, that didn't happen...
TA: It's quite fascinating knowing that they know you better than you do.
ES: It's a bit scary -- disheartening. You deal with this... We've got, right now
outside the building, a couple of Tori Amos fans. And Tori Amos fans are
notorious for being so... enamored by you, I guess that's the word. They follow
you around, terrific fans, I'm sure. And this is also the subject of Prime Time
Live. Are they following you around with the cameras?
TA: They were. Prime Time Live was following me around, yeah.
ES: And was that the basis of the focus of the camera? Was it on your fans or your
tour? It hasn't been aired yet.
TA: I don't know what they're going to cut together. We'll see what they have
planned. Obviously when they do hours and hours and hours and hours of footage,
it's hard to know what their slant is going to be. But, truly, when you hang
around with the people that come to the shows, there are a lot of different... I
think you would find the fans to be different in a lot of ways. Some of them
come for the music and go away, and some of them wanna talk about philosophy.
They want to talk about religion. Some of them have really been brought up in
serious Christian homes and feel like, "Hey, you understand what I went through,
all this domination and control -- so that my belief system was so... ah...
shall we say... suffocated." And a lot of times that's who I get showing up
before a show. They really want to give me their letters, they want me to hear
their story. They want to tell what they've been through. And that's really
what it's kinda about.
ES: Before you got here... the amount of phone calls that we get... actually our
lines just overloaded again... and people calling up and saying, "You've got to
find me a way to get backstage and meet Tori." And it's fifty people. And
they've all got incredibly touching stories. And that has to be difficult for
you in the level that, maybe there are times when you can't get out and meet
these people. When you get a letter from someplace in Nebraska and they say,
"Tori, I really need somebody to talk to." But you've got to... In the case of
RAINN, the rape line...
TA: Yes. We set up a hotline so that you can call and talk to somebody that will
say more than, "Oh, I'm sorry." Which was really important for me and for
Arthur, my manager, because he was seeing a lot of the letters. And you start
to feel helpless at a certain point. Sometimes though, people just wanna say,
"Hey, I just need to connect with you." And if I'm honest with you, a lot of
times I'd like to sit down with a lot of them... not all of them... 'cause
sometimes you go, "Oh, this is a bit ahhh... maybe I'll pass this one over to
Hannibal Lecter." But for the most part, you wanna sit down and just have a cup
of tea. But, if you do that, it's hard to say no to the next person because you
want to sit down with them too. And you're doing seven... eight shows a week...
and you're just trying to keep... really from collapsing. So, it's not an
excuse, it's just there isn't always the amount of time that you have to sit
down with people.
ES: It's a terrific thing. The number is... is it 656-HOPE? 800-656-HOPE -- just to
get it out there in the air. Uh, the new movie 'Twister,' which is huge -- you
know all about it. Have you seen it yet?
TA: No. No.
ES: I gotta be honest with you, the soundtrack is incredible... the movie sucks.
They're running from a tornado, like ten feet away. Their running?!? They're
like, "Gotta go."
TA: At least they could have a Harley, right? You know?
ES: Yeah, it's like they're running from a tornado?!? But anyway, you've got a song
on that, 'Talula'--
TA: 'Talula - the Tornado Mix.' It's funny because I didn't even know about... I
was just doing the Tornado mix because I was eating linguini one night when BT,
who is a great dance re-mixer -- and when I say "dance," it's British, so it's
very different from the American concept of the dance world. And although they
have that, too, Brian reminds me a lot of Brian Eno -- BT, his name is Brian.
And so, he and I just hooked up and he was going to do this remix. I was eating
linguini with him -- with a fantastic bottle of Chardonay (sp?) and we were in
London, and he said to me, "Do you realize what the Internet can do?"
And I said, "Well, a little bit. I know there's information about anything."
He said, "No. Do you understand that there are pages where people chase
tornados. I said, "No?"
He said, "Yes, people literally do this."
The real -- not the Hollywood version.
And I said, "Come on, Brian, you're not serious."
And he said, "I am."
And I put down my linguini and started singing to him at the table (sings
beautifully) "He's chasing tornados -- I'm just waiting calmly -- Chasing...
And he said, "What is that?"
And I said, "I don't know."
He said, "Well, let's do it."
I said, "It must go in 'Talula.'
So we ran to a studio that night at two o'clock in the morning with our bottle
of Chardonay and recorded it... And here it is. And it's the second cut, I
ES: Uh, we've got the 'Tornado Mix - Edit' and the 'Tornado - Album version.
TA: Album version.
ES: Album version's better? Okay.
AL: So this came about having nothing to do with 'Twister' then?
TA: No. Absolutely nothing. And they heard about it through Brian. They were
calling him about... you know... 'cause he's a hot re-mixer... "Have you heard
anything? Anything we should know about?" He goes, "Well, Tori did this thing
that you might be into." And then they listened to it and called us up. So we
had no idea this movie was happening.
ES: From the 'Twister' soundtrack, it's 'Talula.'
(Talula Tornado - Album version)
ES: A perfect song for the 'Twister' soundtrack as it turns out. Speaking of
soundtracks, we were just gonna talk about this. You have something on the
soundtrack for the new movie, 'Escape From L.A.?'
TA: 'Escape From L.A.,' the sequel, with Kurt Russell. Is that it? I never saw...
ES: It was actually... 'Escape From New York' was actually filmed in East St. Louis
TA: Was it?
ES: Yeah, not many people know that. They couldn't find anyplace downtrodden
TA: (laughs) Well, did they do the sequel here then, too? No, I guess not.
ES: I don't know where they did it. I think Detroit was a better place...
TA: (laughs) Ohhh, Eric...
ES: Hey, I picked on St. Louis... I can pick on anything.
TA: Fair enough. I don't really know much about it, I just know that it's... it's
kinda just funny for me because the 'Twister' soundtrack is a whole different
group of people. With k.d. lang... which is thrilling because she's a good --
she's a good aquaintance of mine and I really like her. And then 'Escape From
L.A.' -- What is that? That's like...
ES: Tool and Gravity Kills, who's from St. Louis is on it... White Zombie.
TA: Yeah, all those fun guys.
ES: Butthole Surfers, The Toadies, Stabbing Westward, Gravity Kills, Tool...
TA: So, it's kind of, for me, it keeps it like, well you know... two different
parties going on. And I just change my shoes.
ES: So this would be the... uh, boot soundtrack?
TA: I don't know. Definitely a heel though. With, maybe, daisies on it. Because
Maynard would probably love daisy shoes with heels on it. I don't know. I just
have a feeling that Maynard would understand that.
ES: I'm gonna have to go with you on that one.
TA: You'll have to ask him.
ES: Quick question... you've got MTV Unplugged coming up. It's already been done,
TA: Yes. It's been done.
ES: Then you've got the 26th on Prime Time Live and tonight's show on the 27th?
TA: I think so. I just go where they tell me.
ES: Well, actually the guys from Atlantic Records gave me this. Do you know where
you are tomorrow?
TA: I'm in Kansas City.
ES: Beautiful. Where are you playing?
TA: I don't know... Well, Eric, that's the way, though, that it happens, you know?
I know that my Boesendorfers are at The Fox tonight. I know that nobody's doing
anything nasty to it or they're gonna lose their head. I know these things.
ES: You just have one?
TA: I have one on the road with me and another one somewhere else that's a bit
more... well let's say... not as durable.
ES: Back home in London?
TA: That's with my parents, actually. They're looking after her in the States. So,
this one goes with me, she's a bit more durable. We have two harpsichords on th
road because it's very easy for one of them to break down. So we always have
one that's ready to go if the other one gets... hiccups.
ES: Speaking real quick of the house in London, one of our staffers told me it's on
TA: It's over a canal. It used to be where they paid the ferryboat man, I think.
But I don't live there anymore.
ES: You don't?
TA: No. I'm a... I move from place to place.
ES: You're kind of a gypsy then?
TA: Yeah. I was there for a while and then I split.
ES: Are you still in... Do you still have a place in England?
TA: I always go to England... usually when the tours end I cruise through there.
But I'm really a nomad.
ES: I can live with that. Well, thank you for stopping by.
ES: We'll see you at The Fox. Let's see... 'Caught a Lite Sneeze,' is that okay?
TA: That's okay.
ES: I really, really love that song.
TA: I'm so glad.
ES: Question about this. Somebody told me... there's a line in the song, 'Mr. St.
John.' Somebody said, some listener called up and said, "that's about my friend
and he's from St. Louis and she wrote that for him." I'm like, 'I don't think
so.' Is that true? That's not true, is it?
TA: Well, whatever. I gotta tell you, I let people think what they want because...
ummm... because I just think it's better that way.
ES: That's the diplomatic way around it.
TA: It's the only time you'll find me being P.C., with my songs.
ES: (laughing) It's Tori Amos, tonight at The Fox. And we've got a pair of front
row tickets to give away.
TA: Good, that's fun.
(Caught A Lite Sneeze)
(Past the Mission)
Please give me feedback, comments, or suggestions about my site.
Email me (Michael Whitehead) at: firstname.lastname@example.org