August 2001 interview for Polish Radio 3

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Gabriela Kulka reports on a Tori interview she heard in August 2001 on Polish Radio 3. This interview was recorded by Piotr Kaczkowski in early August 2001 and aired several times. Tori talks about Strange Little Girls and at one point even sings one of Natashya lullabyes! What follows is part of the interview. Thanks to Gabriela Kulka for sharing this with us! You can read the entire interview in the Dent's Article Archives, because the interview appeared in the September 2001 issue of the Polish magazine 'Tylko Rock'.

Listen to Tori singing a Lullabye for Natashya during a recent interview for Polish Radio 3!
You can download an MP3 of that part of the interview at the Diagnosed Sounds section of Simply beautiful!

Here are bits and pieces of the recent Tori Amos interview, recorded by Piotr Kaczkowski at the beginning of August in London, I've put the parts which I had to translate from Polish and might not be Tori's exact words in [brackets]:

Tori:[ Music is the first language I've ever learnt.]

Piotr K.: The most important?

Tori: To me, yes. You know... there's something about the language of music that can really permeate walls that we've built, you know, we all each have our structures that are built from the culture we're brought up in, from our muths and legends, of our own genetic legacy. But, don't you think, the alchemy of music that it can make itself liquid, it can, how it can, enter into your structure, it finds a way, it can become a spider and crawl through the stone, and then it weaves its web. Or it enters in, maybe, underneath your structure - like wind, like a storm, like a hurricane. It might tear your roof off [laughing] when you hear something, change the way you see the world. Or sometimes it just taps you on the shoulder, and... you turn around and you don't see anybody there. But you do look back.

(...) ( on Strange Little Girls )

Tori: Well, first let's go to entry point. Entry point is crucial. For the Stranglers' song this was brought, it was, um... the Stranglers were brought [up] by a few of the brain-trust of men. And... what started to click for me was... after I knew I was doing Bonnie and Clyde, which was soon on, because, that's when Eminem was brought up, she spoke to me, her character, in that myth, spoke to me, some of them in the first album really....resonated with them, and some of them didn't want to get involved in that one at all. So I said, OK you guys go take a coffee break and I'll call you... when we do Neil Young. [laughing]...

Piotr K: We're talking about Slim Shady ?...

Tori: That album. So, that song, my interest became about that song, because, you know, the reality of a woman being in a car... staring death in the face is something that I... I personally resonate with. And we don't have to go any further into that. Eminem created a very powerful reflection of domestic violence. He made a choice as a writer, as all of them did, on the character that they would align(ally?) with. ... What blew me away is that none of these men, the brain-trust, asked about her, not one of them. And... it became... you know, it became... an overtaking, hearing how she heard it. So this version, that you hear on this record, "Strange Little Girls" - go back to the same time-frame, go back to the exact same time-frame, in the car, as he is telling their little girl... what happened. And - you cut to the cameras moving now on the woman in the back and how she is hearing, (or) hearing her filter. She is not dead yet [in my version], she is almost dead. And you know, that is the tricky, tricky thing, when you kill your wife, you better check her pulse before you're cashing in on that will, you better know she's cought(?) - so she's hearing, this was a kicker for me when she showed me this, that her daughter is being made an accomplice. And will be devided forever between the two of them. Loving her father, loving her mother, like most kids do. She will grow up to be a strange little girl. Cut to the Stranglers Song. And that's our little girl grown up - end of story.


Piotr K: So, it appears, you not only want to change the world of music, you want to change people's way of thinking?

Tori: Yes, you're right. ... It gets a little complicated though, because this is not just about songs that meant something to me when they came out - this is not what it is. This is about how men say things and how a woman hears. This is about the myths of our time, now. What are they? Whether a song is 30 years old or 2 years old, it had to resonate with that. This is about... words are like guns. Words can wound and wors can heal.. This is about building a bridge where a woman could go crawl behind the corridors of men's eyes, and hang in their heads, likewise, a man can crawl back over that bridge and access a woman's perception - which is a very intimate thing, her perception! So there is an integration happening (there?...?), instead of a seggregation which I saw happening in America at this time as I was nursing my baby.


Tori: [When I was choosing songs for this record, I had to, first, hear how men hear men. And then see how a woman hears that - it turned out to be completely different.]

Piotr K.:[So did you ask the men who wrote thos songs?]

Tori: No, no, no, no. No! I left this to the eleventh hour, are you kidding me? I was having a relationship with theid daughters! Don't tell me every woman you've gone out with, you've called the mother and gone out with her too. [How could I have(???)] had a relationship with these male-song-mothers with their song daughters. Yes they created them, they co-created them with [???] -and I hung out with them and tried to listen to them. The view changes depending on where you're standing. You know, I have a lot of song-daughters that, I don't know where 'Leather' is right now. I have no idea what she's up to. I hear she's gonna come and visit, but I don't know what she's got in her suitcase! I don't know how many shots she's had to have since I last saw her. I don't know what she's up to. She has made friends, she has shared secrets. There are things I don't tell my mother. Then again there are things I do tell my mother... and...I...To call these men would (pre-suppose) that I do not understand the law of this, I do understand the inner [-side of their work], and I have to play by my own rules, so I understand that but I... I did approach this with --- a lot of thought. And this was not about if they agreed with it or not, because they had expressed their point of view, they chose a character in the midst of [???]. I wrote a song 'Me and a Gun'. I [shared] a point of view. I have gotten letters from rapists who see it very differently. But that's what happens when you harness a myth and put it out there.

At the end of the interview Piotr presented Tori with a copy of "Minimax - biuro utworow znalezionych" one of the records containing songs requested in his broadcast which is a Lost and Found music office - with rare and forgotten material. She asked what the title means and he explained. Tori: [That's perfect, why didn't you tell me in the first place? My whole record is a lost and found music!] And she told him about art galleries that are forming in NY of so called 'Found' art.

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