Belgian/Dutch Magazine Humo
September 18, 2001

Added Sept 25, 2001

 Tour Info
 Dent Forum
 Search / Map
 Entry Page

There is a 4 page Tori interview in the September 18, 2001 edition (issue 3185/39) of the weekly Belgian TV Guide publication Humo. Thanks to Yves Verstraete for sending this to me. He translated this long interview from Dutch into English. The Dent thanks him for his hard work!

'I fear everyone considers him/herself an artist'

HUMO: Tonight there was a full moon. Sade en Jennifer Lopez didn't transform into werewolves, was it any different in your case ?

TORI: People have been agressive to me all evening, so I was kinda hoping the moon was to blame. I actually don't really wanna talk about it, I was completely off balance yesterday, I felt like a black widow in a city of sharks and werewolves.

But Im not really the half-bakes faerie everyone takes me for, im certainly not astrolgy's slave or something, but I do believe the magnetism of the planets has a certain effect on us, I can really sense a full moon, even if I dont see it.

HUMO: There are tons of websites dedicated to you, and your fans and amateur-psychologists analyse your lyrics and personality to the death. Which reactions to your music surprise you the most ?

TORI: I frequently receive letters from a female psychiatrist who works with RAINN. She's made 20 serial rapists listen to one of my songs 'me and a gun' and asked them to pay attention to the lyrics, you have to know that this song is about a humiliated, raped woman. and this shrink wrote me that almost every rapist didn't react to the song. Some of them told her that whoever wrote this was very fragile. I found that very disturbing and a bit hopeless, cause I had really hoped 'me and a gun' would have opened their eyes.

HUMO: What do you think is the reason for their cold reaction to your song ?

TORI: A rapist who is open to the suffering of his victim, admits that he's a monster, and sees himself as a mistreated human being. The letters I received from that psychiatrist are really hard-core and close to the bone.

Just last week I received a letter from some whores, who lived in a ranch, near Nevada. Prostitution is legal there, and the desert is really cropped with farm disguised brothels.

Anyway, a couple of hookers wrote me that they have been playing my song 'leather' when they were in the Jacuzzi or getting busy with one of their clients, or after a heavy night, to cool down.

I really liked that, I have some friends who flirt with prostitution, not real hookers, but to occasionnally earn some cash.

One of them is really bad in business, whenever a client talks to her about his problems she just can't ask him for money...the hooker with a heart of gold ! (laughs)

HUMO: What a coincidence you mentioned prostitution, one of my questions was going to be: if you were a stripper or pole dancer, what would be your favourite song to dance on ?

TORI: That's a good one ! Lap dancers from Las Vegas always have a fixed song they dance on, it psyches them up (The phone rings and Tori gets distracted) Have you ever made a call to a call girl ?

HUMO: ergh, no, I once considered that when I was doing an interview in LA, but no, I dont want people to sleep with me because I have money, I want them to sleep with me cause I'm a special guy. I don't understand people who pay hookers.

TORI: (laughs) yeah, I have troubles understanding that too, when you go to a hooker you're kinda saying: hey, I can't find a girl in a normal way, so i'm paying you yo give me sex.

But don't forget that men don't pay women just for sex, they want comfort and tenderness as well, a hole to fill and a shoulder to cry on. Very typical is the case of John Lennon's murderer Mark Chapman, who called a call-girl just before he shot Lennon

He asked her to play dead, creepy huh ? Anyway, that's why I chose to dress up like a callgirl for 'Hapiness is a warm gun'

HUMO: Well now that you mention it, your cd-covers have always been inventive. after pictures of you breastfeeding a piglet, or posing with an androgynous twin we now get 13 different Tori's photographed by Thomas Schenk, 13 variations on the theme 'strange little girls'. How was it for you to see yourself as 13 different women ?

TORI: When I look at these pictures, I don't really see myself. Those girls came from the 12 different songs I covered, I 'know' them, they're not part of me, but I can find them and they can find me, that's the kicker you know ? That's the frightening part. It doesn't take much to let this one surface in me (points to the 'im not in love' character), or this one (points to the raining blood character). That last one definately was a member of the french resistance, she knew her life was hanging on a thin wire and she wanted 10 orgasms a day because she knew there was a very big chance that the nazis were going to arrest and execute her. She's as intense as they come.

She surfaces, no...Ejaculates in me when Im feeling cornered. And this one (points to the 'happiness is a warm gun' girl) is so sweet, All her clients wanna shit on her, literally that is ! and she always replies in a sweet voice: 'no we're not gonna do that' like a concerned mother.

She's the prototype mistreated female, both mentally as physically. The twins (heart of gold) offer me protection against bad business relations or frauds, they know how to play chess with the big boys, and they're very difficult to get off balance those two. My cd is coming out with 4 different covers, that's what they do with 'elle', they put two different covers next to each other and the marketing department checks which one sells the most. I wonder which Tori will please my fans the most, the tramp, the cold one, the femme fatale, the virgin, the librarian...

HUMO: which one of these 13 women will men consider to be an easy prey ?

TORI: Oh definately the librarian (looks at the new age character), she doesn't really live, she observes and does research, like a New age type like her with thick glasses and dull haircut should do. Besides,men consider glasses to be a sin a weakness.

HUMO: To which one of those women do you go to for advice when you're in trouble ?

TORI: To the one who symbolizes death in the song 'time', cause death is real: what you see is what you get'. death doesn't need a mask, politeness, hypocrism and all those other things that complicate communication.

HUMO: You covered '97 Bonnie & Clyde', one of Eminem's most extreme songs, is that a desired controversial cover from a controversial rapper ?

TORI: Haven't you noticed that I don't rap the lyrics but whisper them ? Whispering the lyrics seemed more frightening then shouting them. What aroused my interest in this song was how Eminem exposed himself so much to the public. He's like a man who goes to a marriage couselling service, complains to the therapist that his wife doesn't know her rightful place and feels upset because the therapist doesn't agree with him.

HUMO: You sing the ancient hit 'im not in love' very outspoken, you almost spell out every word and for the first time in my life I realized how cynical this song really is.

TORI: yes, it's very ironic how couples used to think that this was the ultimate song for teenagers in love.

You can definately hear the one who sang this had a hard-on and belittles the girl he sings about. I think the gentlemen of 10cc were addicted to crack, cause this is pure cocaine-arrogance. Plus the arrogance of a singer who has 100 girls on every foot and can afford to tell each one of them: you can blow me but don't think I care about you.

He doesn't say it that literally, but I think it kinda has that message... In my version of the song I reverse the parts, I sing: 'You're not in love ? well I'm not in love either, sucker!'

HUMO: Were there any songs you wished you could have covered ?

TORI: 'Marlene Dietrich's favourite poem' by Peter Murphy (former singer of the gothic band Bauhaus) I just love that song, but I didn't manage to make my version different enough from his version. Also: 'sick of you at the harpsichord' by Iggy Pop. he's such a typical super-man, And I think he deserves to get his lyrics thrown back in his face like a boomerang, I just couldn't find the harpsichord I wanted in time, we were on a tight schedule and I have to be on fire when I'm doing my projects. I light up very strongly, but Im like fireworks: a quick burst but after that it fades away just as quickly.

HUMO: You also covered 'Real men' by Joe Jackson, in a certain way, the impact of that song has changed since we all know Joe's a dragqueen.

TORI: What ?! (very surprised)

HUMO: Come on now, in the american music industry that's a public secret.

TORI: I live in Ireland, and I didn't know that. Well, Real men was a complaint against the old-fashioned machos and a plea for the new, sensitive emotional men, but if you know that Joe dresses up like a woman at night you certainly look at it very differently...but hey, it's still a big difference when it's sung by a 'real' woman...isn't it ?

HUMO: Are the men you covered aware of the fact that you covered them ?

TORI: No, but their record company does, so I assume they're aware of it, but I didn't contact them personally, It would have sounded too much like I was asking for their permission, it would decrease the power of this project, suppose Lou Reed would answer me with: What a ridiculous idea ! A lot of men don't like it when you put a mirror in front of them, I just look at it like this: I began a relationship with their daughters (the songs) and just like in real life it's just a matter of how you feel for each other right ? What mommy and daddy think is irrelevant.

HUMO: A very cliché-question: How is it to be a woman in a world of rock 'n roll ?

TORI: When I made my debute and Alanis Morisette and Courtney Love followed, female singer/songwriters were cool, but now it's just the opposite, radio stations prefer to play one female artist every hour ,the token woman. Pro forma. I believe that this generation is feeling the beatings of men, because they're realizing that we (female songwriters) are getting in the way of their career. I've learned some things from Madonna, but also from revolutionnary painters like Georgia O'Keefe and Frida Kahlo about the battles between men and women.

HUMO: How do you feel about singers who literally shout out they hate men, like Kelis.

TORI: Who ?

HUMO: Kelis sings: I hate you so much right now !

TORI: What does she mean ? All men are evil ? Sorry, but I've never heard of her. But I prefer people who openly convey their feelings.

If this Kelis can't stand men, okey, Shout it out girl ! I have more troubles understanding artists who who pretend to support satanism and tell you to crucify your grandma and skin your cat alive but call their lawyer and accountant backstage. I hate people who fake rebellous feelings because it scores so well with teenagers.

HUMO: What's your opinion on people like Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson who get loads of attention because of their image, videos and shows ?

TORI: Oh, I have no problem with that, Britney is a role-model to little girls, she gives them self-confidence. But she also creates the illusion that every little girl's dream has to be like hers: Long blonde hair, beautiful fingernails, adjusted chest and loads of fame. So the pros and cons cancel each other out.

I think the secret of the success of those kind of songs lies in the fact that people can sing along with them, they're thinking: 'hey, I can do this too!' giving them a sense of proudness, that they can do the same like their favourite artist.

HUMO: One final question: When have you lately heard a song that appeared so shocking to you that you would just wanted to ask the artist an explenation

TORI: I can't really think of a song at the moment...But I do remember an article I read by Martin Amis. It was about the porn industry in America and the fact that sex just isn't enough anymore. What's new with Amis is his striking quote: Pussies are bullshit ! With this quote directors of Porn movies mean that pussies aren't special anymore, they're just another synonym for pleasure and fun.

Lately the anus has become a part of that, because it hurts more there, nowadays trendy porn is about inflicting pain, women have to bleed, or else it's just lame and weak... that sort of movies used to be a minority, but now it has become a simple standard. Well when an industry who used to be focussed on bringing pleasure, degrades itself to showing pain, the end is very near...

Go Back To Articles

Go Back To ToriNews

Please give me feedback, comments, or suggestions about A Dent In The Tori Amos Net Universe. Email me (Mikewhy) at