Impeccable Peccadillos: Tori Amos Defies The Sins of Sexual, Religious & Corporate Segregation

Sure, and that speaks to the self-empowerment issue as well. One last question about the record, there is quite a bit of prose, almost dialogue, specifically ‘Welcome To England,’ ‘Not Dying Today,’ ‘Maybe California’—which has a gorgeous melody, by the way—this sort of almost Allen Ginsberg, Beat poetry thing. And I understand there is an accompanying DVD with the record that has videos for nearly ever song. So I’ll assume you saw a cinematic aspect to the songs that could be more direct or succinct visually than audibly?

Well, honestly, I think the audio lives on its own, as you’re talking about it. There are conversations happening. It’s a very intimate record in a lot of ways, because we’re looking in on these conversations this woman is having and what’s going on in her mind, and the deepest feelings of her heart. So I don’t think it needed visuals, necessarily, but when I saw Christian Lamb’s montages I thought of silent movies and I thought of stories being told, but I wanted the visuals to be abstract, not literal. And he doesn’t work literal, so when I saw them I thought, ‘This is the 10th album and I want to give something sort of, I don’t know, it’s a double-digit anniversary number, I want to give something that is a little gift,’ and I was really moved by his montage work.

So you were inspired in that direction, which makes sense, again I find many of the songs cinematic, especially ‘Mary Jane,’ which has now become my favorite drug song of all time. (laughs) There’s a Kurt Weill style to the song, not sure if you agree with this, but it has that German, nihilistic sound, just as the playful lyric works against it nicely. I know you didn’t do a film for that, but it is theatrical.

Oh, I’m so happy! You just made my day!

Oh, I did. Okay, good. (laughs)

(laughs) It doesn’t have a film, because really to do that film justice, you know, I…

I understand. Say no more.


But you were thinking in terms of Kurt Weill? Because it screams it to me.

Oh, yeah.

So, how’s the tour going? Can you escape to continue to create and be yourself, when you have so many of these things—interviews and you have to be on planes and in and out of hotels and performing—can you escape and be Tori every once in awhile?

Uh, being Tori, you see, it’s not segregated anymore. (chuckles) Tash said the other day, ‘Mummy, you rock.’ Just about something silly, you know? I got her something cute, and dad looks at her and says, ‘Well, that’s an actual true statement, your mom rocks.’


And so the thing is we travel as a family, and this is our life. People have said to Tash, you know, when they’re meeting her and they don’t understand the creature, they will say, ‘So when do you get back to your real life?’ She’ll look and say, ‘Do you think this is a joke, then?’

It’s funny, you call your songs ‘Your Girls,’ and now you have a girl and it’s weird, the balance of that.

Yeah, I mean, Tash has asked me before, ‘Do you love me as much as your piano?’ or ‘Do you love me as much as your song girls?’ And I say, ‘Uh, Tasha, I love you more than anything in the whole world,’ because the mom in me is going to step in at that moment, but the truth is you can’t—there are no comparisons. Tash is a physical being and this is ether, and they’re immortal; the songs, they’re not trapped inside human emotions and all that. So in my mind, the way I see it is that the mother, the composer, the performer, this is not a job to me.

When I do interviews, I try and put my head space as in there’s an opportunity to have conversations with people. When you start seeing things as a job, then you start responding with a job consciousness as opposed to ‘I’m a creator who has an opportunity to create and live my life.’

Catch Tori Amos at Radio City Music Hall in NYC on Aug. 13 and at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank. NJ, on Aug. 14. For more info,