Tori Amos

Publication: The Western Weekender

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Secret sonic selfies and dreams of Superstar albums

It’s no wonder Tori Amos attracts a legion of passionate and devoted fans. The classically trained, singer-songwriter pours so much of herself into her music and has never been one to shy away from addressing potentially provocative and highly emotional subject matter, which makes her a refreshing woman to speak to, especially in a world that is saturated with fakery and manufactured pop.


For example when asked about her views on the Women Against Feminism movement Tori is very candid in her response, suggesting that the real issue may lie with the word itself.


“You know the word feminism some- times gets associated with all kinds of definitions and I think that the women against it are stuck, they’re stuck in a time capsule of what the definition means,” said Tori in her trademark soft yet deliberate voice.


“So that’s why we have to clarify, we have to clarify our definition and to be a feminist means equality for men and women, equally, that’s what it is. It’s not women against men.”


After coming to prominence in the 90’s, Tori Amos is most well known for her 1994 hit ‘Cornflake Girl’ off the album ‘Under The Pink’. Two decades on, with 13 albums under her belt and more than 12 million album sales, Tori is back with a new release ‘Unrepentant Geraldines’ – a title which perfectly explains her current attitude towards life.


“I started thinking about it and I reckoned that at 50 you need to be unrepentant,” she said.


“That’s the time you need to stand where you stand, be who you are and enough apologising for who you are and what you believe in.


“Think about it, sometimes we apologise because somebody else is put out but what have you done other than make your own luck and stand by what you believe in?”


Though Tori has released several albums in the last five years – including 2012’s ‘Gold Dust’, an orchestral reworking of her previously released tracks and 2011’s ‘Night of Hunters’, an album inspired by classical song cycles, where each song adds to an ongoing story – ‘Unrepentant Geraldines’ is her first pop record since 2009.

The album features a collection of songs that have been gathered together over the last few years.


“These songs were just songs that helped me, walked me through my life, helped me get through the day. So they were my little secret selfies. I call them secret sonic selfies,” she said.


Joining Tori on the album is her 14-year- old daughter Nataysha – or Tash – who features on the track ‘Promise’.


“‘Promise’ came from a place of us talking about why teenage girls in particular get in to it with one of their parents,” Tori said.


“And my gosh that discussion lasted for months and is ongoing. But she began to say to me ‘what’s really difficult is when grown ups know ‘it’, that they know everything, they know the answer and it’s so annoying’,” she laughed.


When it comes to parent-child relationship it’s not surprising that Tori – along with British born husband Mark Hawley – encourages the same openness that she herself displays.


“We created an environment where it was always ‘look, we don’t care what you say as long as you’re being truthful, and you can express an idea that one of us might not agree with but there has to be a place where ideas get expressed and we can all express our point of view and it can be a different point of view’,” Tori said.


“The only rule in the house is you better get your grammar right, if you’re cursing you better get it right.”


Besides heading to our shores this November, Tori is also currently working on the cast album for 2013’s ‘The Light Princess’, a musical that she worked on with Australian writing partner Samuel Adamson. And in true Tori spirit she is determined to put all of her effort into creating something wonderful.


“Records are, well first of all they’re forever and I treasure the process I think it’s really important to do your very best and so a lot of cast records I couldn’t listen to,” she said.


“I love ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’… the movie version, when I was a kid, and I always thought, if I ever have an opportunity to make a record of a cast it’s going to be on this level,” she laughed.


Tori Amos will be performing at the Sydney Opera House on Tuesday, November 11 and Wednesday, November 12. Tickets are $93.05 – $143.05+bf. To purchase tickets or for more information visit or call 02 9250 7777.


Article published in the Friday, October 10 2014 edition of The Western Weekender