Tori pumps it up
                Small club musician grows into a 'gladiator'
                By JANE STEVENSON
                Toronto Sun

                 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
               high-heel experience."
                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
               a distance.
                "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
               falling asleep!"
                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
               keep time."
                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."

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