After touring nonstop since the
release of from the choirgirl
hotel this past spring, Tori
Amos has decided, after five
records and four world tours, to
take a brief respite from recording original material.
Instead, Amos is contemplating the release of a live
and B-sides compilation for Christmas 1999.
"There will be nine or 10 years of material represented
in one kind or another," Amos tells Wall of Sound.
"Some of the things I'm thinking about aren't fleshed
out enough yet, so we'll have to work with them a little.
But I really wanted to take a break from having new
work, my writing, put under the microscope one more
time. That can be exhausting."
Amos is also considering taking a break from recording
original material because, after bringing her music to a
full band for the first time on the new album and the
current tour, she feels she's at something of a
crossroads as an artist and songwriter. "I don't really
know where I'm going right now," she admits. "That's
why I'm not acting on anything. Playing live and
capturing the live performance is where I have always
integrated the records. Then what's next?"
As an intuitive and poetic performer, Amos is quite
insightful and cautious about her work, and wants to
make sure the next step feels comfortable to her as an
artist. "After I make a record, it takes me a while to
make it a part of my own body map," she says.
"Sometimes I'm so detached from it after touring--even
though a thread of me is in it--that it takes me a while
to pull back and find out what it's about again, to make
it meaningful. It's important to find out what these
songs are trying to tell me, not just about my own
experience but about a more universal experience. A
lot of times you're translating your own songs and
saying, 'OK, I know this sounds right, but I haven't
really quite experienced this or I haven't seen that yet.'
So sometimes I have to step back. That's why I'm
thinking about this live and B-sides project, to give
myself a little time to step back."
Amos releases her Complete Videos to stores today
(Nov. 17). -Bob Gulla