Let it not be said that singer-songwriter Tori
Amos, who brings her passionate piano playing and
extraordinary soprano to the Molson Amphitheatre
tomorrow night, doesn't give good quote.
Ask Amos about her move this year from playing
smaller clubs on her own to arenas with a
full-fledged rock band and she'll give you a doozy
of an answer.
"Do you remember in Mad Max: Beyond
Thunderdome? -- I have a bit of the Roman in me,"
she says down the line from Cleveland. "There's
that thing where you treat it like it's a coliseum
moment, but instead of gladiators you have
sparkled shoes on. So it's my feminine cock
Perhaps some clarification?
"If you come to the show -- it's not like, 'Come
and sit on the lawn and have a piece of chicken,'
that isn't really what I do," continues Amos. "You
go into the arenas and it's much more like Queen
than James Taylor. I love James Taylor but you
know what I'm saying. It's a whole different kind of
Ah, yes, Amos and her shoes.
She has insisted that she's no Imelda Marcos but
since her taste runs from the pricey Manolo Blahnik
to Prada variety, you gotta wonder.
Her shoes, among other things, are the subject of
intense discussions among her fans on the Internet,
but rather than monitor their thoughts, Amos keeps
"I don't have a computer," she says. " 'Cause I
don't want to know what they think if my left thigh
is sticking out too much or I have a zit on my nose.
And people say they'd never go onto their own
web sites, but they're liars. Don't kid yourself.
Anybody I know in the music industry that has a
computer always cheats and always looks because
how can you not? You want to know what dirt
people are saying about you."
Amos, who released her excellent fourth album,
From The Choirgirl Hotel, in early May, staged a
12-city North American tour of clubs earlier this
year -- including a wonderfully loud rock show at
the Phoenix in April -- to warm up to the bigger
She claims to have had "a 10-year vision" to tour
the world with her piano for a couple of years
before moving onto "arena rock."
"The people that always spoke to me, when I saw
clips of them, were Janis Joplin and Hendrix and
Zeppelin and David Bowie and Freddie Mercury
and it was like, if I was going to do this, you give a
proper show," says Amos. "Who are these, like,
long-haired, smelly things that play four chords? I'm
Amos certainly keeps her audience awake. She is
known for playing her piano while rocking back
and forth with her legs apart. But rather than a
sexual display, it's more practical.
"I'm keeping time," she says. "You're pounding --
pounding -- on a piano trying to hit the notes right,
trying to count all these odd bars and not choke on
your saliva. You've got to get rid of that stuff before
you hit your next note, and you've got a millisecond
to do it. So sometimes people are going, 'Wow,
you seem so caught up in it,' and I'm just trying to
Much has also been made of the fact that Amos
has taken her own personal, life-changing events
and confronted them -- often in gut-wrenching
fashion -- in her songs.
First there was her real-life rape, detailed in the
harrowing a capella Me And A Gun. Now new
songs like Spark and Playboy Mommy take on her
recent miscarriage and subsequent depression,
before she married sound engineer Mark Hawley.
"I just think the whole thing was, the love doesn't
go away," says Amos of her feelings after her
miscarriage. "Even though we lost the baby, I never
really had opened up for somebody before. And
that's the thing -- maybe like the Grinch, your heart
grows 40 times."