"Shirley and Tori" on Canvas Television (Belgium)
July 1, 1998


On July 1, 1998, Tori was featured on a TV show in Belgium called "Shirley and Tori" which appeared on Canvas Television. The first part of the special was about Shirley Manson of Garbage, and the rest was on Tori. They showed interview clips and footage of Tori performing at Pinkpop '98. Thanks to Toriphiles Nele Gielen and Hendrik Jan, I have a complete transcript of the the Tori part of the interview. Read it below.


Shirley and Tori
Portrait of Shirley Manson and Tori Amos,
On Canvas Television (Belgium), July 1 1998; 23:20.

(The first 15 minutes were with Shirley and her band, then the last part was a compilation of Tori performing at Pinkpop '98 and bits of an interview)

The last part of Cornflake Girl is playing... (At Pinkpop '98)

"The piano was like my freedom, because I went to church four times a week. I think my father was convinced that I loved going to church, but you really didn't have a choice. The one thing I could choose in my life, was what shoes I could wear, and what music I played.'

The midpart of Cornflake girl...

"I started singing as a choirgirl. It was called the Cherub Choir and ...eh... I was a terrible singer, really, I had a very hard time even though I had good pitch. I was always trying to sound like Robert Plant. And you can imagine being a little girl trying to sound like ... some of my favourite musicians anyway I tried and sound like them. I remember this boy, Kevin Craig, when I was nine, writing a note to a girl called Peggy. And I had this huge crush on him, like huge, I was so in love with him. And he said: "Tori Ellen sounds like a frog, she's got the worst voice I've ever heard, she should shut up forever... (laughing) And I was crushed and didn't sing for like six months until my brother talked me into doing it again.'

The beginning of Caught a Lite Sneeze... (from the video)

"I was composing at a really young age but just more music than lyrics. It was more piano-compositions. And then, I think around eight or nine, I started making up stories like ... you know stupid stuff like the jackass and toad song meeting, .... I don't know .... some animal on the street and having a conversation with it, just wacky. Like mushroom trip stuff, but when you're young you live in this strange fantasyworld where inanimate objects can talk to you, so my songs were about ketchup talkin', I don't know, just weird.'

The midpart of Caught a Lite Sneeze...

"I was studying at the Peabody Conservatory when I was five until I was eleven. And the idea was that I was supposed to be a concertpianist. But it really wasn't in my blood, I think it has to be in your blood or you can't ... that whole world is really about competition. I don't, in my heart, I don't wanne be competitive. I'm a Leo ... ehm ... sunsign. Thank God not much else Leo or I would be a nutcase. So there is a bit of that competition in me but I don't enjoy that and being in the classical field it was very much about "were you winning the competition, the piano recitals, were you aware that you place ...' It was very sports-like and I didn't ... that side started to kill me musically because I didn't wanna have to play a piece a certain way in order to win the competition, when I thought that way wasn't what the piece should be. So I didn't very well in that world.'

The beginning of Spark (Pinkpop '98)

"Classical music, I think, is really detached. Whereas, like blues and jazz, to me, where much more feeling. It was very much the audience was part of the band, whether you call the audience, you know the Greeg chorus in jazz or blues. But I've always feld that that is a gift that rockmusic popmusic can have, where ... when a band is really playing with eachother, the audience feels very much apart of this eh... you know like you're in a... like you're in a tipi and you're sharing the smoke. It becomes very much like the peacepipe, whereas in classical music and even sometimes in popmusic, not so much blues and jazz, but popmusic, sometimes I feel very detached when I'm watching a band and sometimes they're here and they're a bit aloof. You know, they're a bit... There is this arrogance and then the audience is ... the peasants watching and it can be very much like that, I think, in popmusic but I don't feel that with jazz and blues, and I've tried to ... that really always spoke to me ... watching bluesplayers and how you could ... they were interacting with you.'

Spark continues...

"I think I'm moving in a direction that I don't even know where I'm going, because as the music business gets more and more commercial. Because in the States and in Britain it's getting much more about the popsong and much less about an album. Radiohead, a few other bands slip through, but when you talk about the difference between the late sixties and early seventies, the amound a FM-radio, what that did for artists. You don't have FM-radio anymore in America, you do, but it's ... that's an illusion, that's really not what it is, it's very much ... all the industries become so commercialized, that you don't have a lot of room for your beatnik, for your ... for the artist side of it, just without having to play both sides of the game. Obviously, sometimes I play both sides of the game.'

To almost the end of Spark... (Pinkpop '98)

"So I sing about a lot of stuff that goes on, sort of behind the scenes, in the womens lockerroom ... ehm that doesn't talked about a lot. The women know exactly what I'm talking about, even the ones that have the knive in the back, that they're gonna cut their friend's throat out to get their man, thy know what I'm talking about. And I think it's good that ... sort of a little secret we share.

The beginning of Raspberry Swirl... (Pinkpop '98)

"One of my biggest influences was Led Zeppelin, so when I put a band together I didn't want the band to be a grittudes (not sure about that, is it English?). You know, just the drums there. It was very much about ...ehm ... If I'm gonna put a band together, I have to feel like ... like eh... You know we could open for Rage Against The Machine, absolutely with no problem as far as energylevel.

Raspberry Swirl continues till the end.


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