The Washington Times
Thanks to Jessica Hartke for sending this Tori article to the Dent!
The Washington Times
Tori Amos: Latest work sends narrative heroine on life-altering 'Walk'
By Jen Walters
Tori Amos has an alter ego. While writing her latest CD, "Scarlet's Walk," Miss Amos realized she was expressing her thoughts and feelings through a character named Scarlet, who takes a journey across America. Although she didn't plan to write a narrative, Miss Amos, 39, says Scarlet keeps appearing in her songs.
"She is our protagonist," Miss Amos says. "Really, she is every woman. She bleeds. She is a thread. ...She was a fabric before she was a color."
Miss Amos says at the beginning of the album that Scarlet receives a call that starts her on a road trip to visit her friend, a porn star in trouble. From there, one person leads Scarlet to the next person.
"She doesn't set out to take [a road trip], but life just has a way of changing your plans," Miss Amos says. "She begins to make decisions in the moment, and it starts changing her life. She can't go back to where she was before because she begins to know things. And she's forced to make a choice in how she's going to walk her walk."
The album takes off after the second song, "A Sorta Fairytale," in which Scarlet thinks she has found her soul mate. Even though the couple love each other, they can't stay together.
"She decided she can't leave the land," Miss Amos says. "She's more at home out in it than she is cut off from it. This propels her through the whole country."
On the journey, Scarlet meets someone named "Mrs. Jesus," and Miss Amos sings about that in a song by the same title.
Although Miss Amos was raised by her father, Edison Amos, a second-generation Methodist minister of Scottish descent, the singer is known for her unorthodox views. At this point in the record, Miss Amos says, there was a need for "male energy that wasn't warring."
The singer says she feels a part of her has been writing about Scarlet for a long time, but she was especially inspired after the September 11 tragedies. While touring, Miss Amos observed that Americans were having a different relationship with "the creature that we call America."
She says people are asking questions about personal safety and are wondering if they are doing enough to make sure their families are safe.
Miss Amos, a survivor of sexual violence, to which she refers in her song "Me and a Gun" on the "Little Earthquakes" album, started the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network in 1994. RAINN, the nation's largest anti-sexual-assault organization, operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800/656-HOPE.
"RAINN is really a port in the storm," Miss Amos says. "It's a lighthouse. It's an emergency room for the soul..."
Miss Amos performs with special guest Howie Day at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Patriot Center at George Mason University in Fairfax City. With her depth of talent, Mr. Day says he expects this tour to be exhilarating. His debut album, "Australia," was re-released June 10 by Epic Records. He says he caught the attention of a large record label by releasing an independent album and trusting that music executives would eventually listen to it.
"I'm pretty excited about touring with Tori Amos," Mr. Day says. "She has some really crazy fans, crazy in a good way. They are crazy music fans."
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