UNICUM-Abi Magazine
October 1999

Updated November 1, 2000

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Steffi Meyer told me about an interview with Tori that appeared in the October 1999 issue of the German magazine UNICUM-Abi. Steffi has kindly translated the interview into English for us, and you can find it below. There were some nice photos published with the interview as well, but I don't have any scans of them at this time. You can find one photo with the German version of this article at the UNICUM-Abi web site. (Thanks to timmie the purplemonkeykiller for telling me.)


She worked hard again last night. Until 6 a.m. Tori Amos mixed the sound of her new double album (includes a new studio CD aswell as a CD with live recordings), now in the morning she's already sitting on the grass on the terrace of "Falcon Hotel" in Bude in Northern Cornwall talking to our UNICUM ABI-colleague Steffen Rüth.

UNICUM: What is your new album "To Venus And Back" about? You're married now for about a year so it's about marriage?

Tori: Not really. Actually it's more about feelings, dreams and observations. But I don't want to tell too much about it. The listener can combine his/her impressions on the figures in the songs the way he/she likes to.

UNICUM: Do you dream a lot?

Tori: Yes, mostly nightmares I find that really strange, it can be compared to "Steppenwolf" by Hermann Hesse. I wake up at night and think about what is real and what is my own "self understanding" that's playing tricks on me again. Every psychiatrist could write a doctor's paper about me.

UNICUM: Wouldn't YOU want to do that?

Tori: Better not. In a way it's good, too. Anyhow my friends have a lot of fun with me. Whenever there's a "hole" in a conversation on a party or somebody said something stupid someone turns to me and says: "Tori, tell us about your latest nightmare." That's the good thing about my dark side.

UNICUM: Do you sing about your nightmares on the album?

Tori: "Juarez" is based on the rape and murder of 300 women in the Mexican desert during the last ten years. Someday I read about it and almost forgot again. But last year after a show in Texas when we were driving very close to the border I heard the voices of the killed women in my head. When you are able to listen and to "switch off" all the blabber in your head then life is talking to you. In that night I felt like having been very close to that point, I could even hear the music those women had heard before someone cut their throat.

UNICUM: In "Glory of the 80s" you describe your experiences as a studio musician in the L.A of the 80s? A cynical or humorous review?

Tori: Cynical, me??? (smile) It was such a mad, politically-not-correct and finally much funnier time as you might think today. No matter what you did no one ever thought about any consequences at all.

UNICUM: And today?

Tori: everyone is so depressed and insecure. Especially in America people are afraid that on New Year's Eve the world will drown. I'm afraid the greatest "Millenium-Party" is long past.

UNICUM: Your father is a minister, you grew up in very strict religious surroundings in the American province Maryland, then you studied classical music in Baltimore. You quit your studies and went to L.A. by the age of 19 to become a rock'n'roll singer. Looking back now what was the right the decision?

Tori: There have been created a few to much dramatic myths about my time in L.A .such as young, poor girl fails in rock metropolis. As I said, it wasn't that bad and problematical. Of course, I didn't have much money at first and worked as a waitress. My first album "Y KANT TORI READ" was just awful and a flop. I learned to get my way and after four years I knew what I wanted to do musically.

UNICUM: Can you give any advice to young people wanting to make their professional dream come true?

Tori: In any case you have to bring passion and carry the fire of enthusiasm inside of you. And in spite of all the tears and set-backs that will come: The torch has to burn and must be carried further.

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