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Tori interview from the Asbury Park Press

Updated Thu, Aug 25, 2005 - 6:52am ET

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Read an interview with Tori that was printined in the August 19, 2005 Asbury Park Press.

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What's the story, Tori?
Singer/songwriter brings her "Summer of Sin" tour to Holmdel


It's perfectly fitting for Tori Amos to publish a memoir, "Piece By Piece," in conjunction with her latest disc, "The Beekeeper." All of the flame-haired singer/songwriter's albums are at least loosely autobiographical, and her latest recorded effort is almost as revealing as her behind-the-scenes look at herself as a person and as a performer dealing with the shark-infested music industry.

The quirky keyboardist, who resides in Cornwall, England, and along Florida's Atlantic Coast, will showcase "Piece By Piece" tonight when her "Summer of Sin" tour makes a stop at Holmdel's PNC Bank Arts Center. The North Carolina native, who will turn 42 on Monday, recently took time during breakfast to discuss her work, her fanatical fans and more.

Q: You're just having almonds for breakfast?

A: Almonds are great. There's no sugar, plenty of protein. If you go back to our ancient ancestors, they ate a lot of fruits and nuts. I love almonds. Maybe I was a squirrel in another life.

Q: So, are ordinary people famous and are celebrities rodents in prior lives?

A: I don't know. All I'm asking for is a bushy tail. Like most women, I have bad hair days.

Q: But your ardent fans adore your red hair almost as much as your songs.

A: My hair is a lie, but it's fine. I've been a redhead longer than I've almost been anything. But to me, this is truly interesting. I think the people reading this story would rather read about a chat like this because people can relate to bad hair days more so than what I do backstage of the songwriting process. If you want to read about that read the bloody book. You know what I mean?

Q: Bloody? You've lived in England long enough to use the term bloody? You're practically Madonna.

A: (Bleep) that! I am not practically Madonna. First of all I've lived there a lot longer than she has. And second of all, I still have my American Southern mixed continental speech.

Q: The songs from "The Beekeeper" are divided up into groups, or as you call them, "gardens." But there doesn't seem to be much of a connection with the songs/stories, which come across as their own entities.

A: Actually, they are their own entities. Each song is a short story. Each song is a poem. I've assembled a collection of short stories and poems, but they're happening around this one central character, this one woman. These (songs) are all of her relationships.

Q: Much of the imagery is biblical and sexual.

A: Spirituality is represented by the Virgin Mary in Christian mythology and sexuality is represented by Mary Magdalene. What I find fascinating is that women who don't go to church, who didn't go to Bible school, feel this fragmentation, like they take on another personality when they have sex, that they're a different person when they're a mother. They don't feel that this is interrelated. These archetypes are a part of us. It's natural. "The Beekeeper" is about all of these different archetypes.

Q: "The Beekeeper" is one of your more uplifting, optimistic discs.

A: Yeah. I think the only way to combat war and depression for a nation is not to drown in the grief. We need to build bridges. The only way to combat destruction is to create, so with this album I went back to the creation story, which is in Genesis. What I'm exploring is not the garden of original sin, but the garden of original sinsuality.

Q: Your fans can be a bit, ah, intense. What's the craziest thing one of your devoted followers has said to you?

A: (Longer pause) Some people have said that they are reincarnated. They're coming back to give me a message. Men who have said this tell me that they had a sex change.

Q: Do you ever check out some of the crazy Tori fan Web sites?

A: I threw my Mac out the window years ago.

Q: There was one Web site which went on about how you have orgasms while you play the piano.

A: How do they know what I'm doing? That's my point to you. If I didn't love the music, I wouldn't do this. Fortunately, I don't think there is a better drug out there than what I do. Do your vitamins, Viagra or vodka. There is no greater drug out there. Patti Smith believed that. Jim Morrison believed that.

Q: But Morrison OD'd and I don't think it was on "The Soft Parade."

A: Music is ecstasy.

Q: Is it true that when you were with Atlantic Records you had a tantrum and locked yourself up in a closet?

A: Well, I don't like to go into detail. I keep a lot of things private, but I've always said I like things to be done graciously. I like to settle our differences at a table over a nice cup of green tea, but if it can't happen that way, then I'll go for your jugular and have your blood for lunch and put a little salt on it. I'll put my lip gloss on and go shopping. At the end of the day, I'm a lioness.

Posted by: Mikewhy

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