Quotes About the Album

     [Because synthesizers and other machines played such a large role in the making of the album], "I felt like there had to be
     some kind of contact with the machine world visually. So I laid down on these photocopiers, and you can't move for seven
     minutes. It captures every movement you make; you basically have to have a relationship with a machine. Your lips and body
     are pressed up against the machine."
     Did you gain any insights from the experience?
     "Having to not move for seven minutes, and being stuck to Plexiglass, is a whole different thing than meditating. Not that I'm
     a big meditator, but it's a whole different thing. Your eyes are open, and the flashes are going by; you really understand that
     this machine is alive, and you're trying to have a conversation with it, and it's completely interrogating you."
     "This record was built around rhythm. Knowing that this was how we built the record, I knew that the new songs were
     inseparable from the rhythm, from this primal feeling. And then other songs from other records started to step up and say, 'I
     want that, too.'" 
                                           From Times-Picayune (New Orleans), October 9, 1998, by Keith Shepra 

     Q: Can you tell me about the title of the album From The Choirgirl Hotel, what's the Choirgirl Hotel for a place?

     Well, having been a choirgirl since I was this big, tiny, tiny, tiny. I really saw these girls in a place that was their own. Where
     they could have room service or could have a disco by reception or what ever they wanted to do. 
                                     From interview played on Dutch television station VPRO after Pinkpop Festival. 

     A lot of people have been saying that, as your music has ranged outward sonically and lyrically, it has gotten more
     dense. Is that something you've been concious of?

     People were saying that more about Boys for Pele, which is more of a hallucinogenic record anyway. That's almost like an
     Iowaska journey, which I was doing before then. Not a lot, but I'd taken quite a few journeys with the Amazon -- it's an elixir
     from the Amazon. It's like an 18-hour journey where you have to really go but don't know where you're doing. It's an
     emotional trip that takes you into parts of your psyche that...well, shocked me anyway. It's really about facing hidden things
     in yourself. Pele was really about becoming a woman, and it is symbolic.
     Choirgirl is pretty direct, so I don't think that I'm getting more cryptic. I think some works are intentionally symbolic and
     some aren't as much. So it's not like every work is going farther away from being direct -- just some should be and some
     shouldn't be. 
                          From "Tori Amos Checking out of the Choirgirl Hotel", UR Baltimore, December 98/January 99. 

     What emotions and events went into recording from the choirgirl hotel?

     I was quite excited at the time because I was going to be a mom and take some time off, but then I miscarried about three
     months into the pregnancy. It was a shock -- one of those situations where the days seem like years. First of all, your
     hormones are crashing. You can't go back to being the woman you were, and yet you're not a mother either, and you're still
     connected to this spirit. It was Christmas, and it was a really devastating time, but the songs started to come soon after that-I
     think the first one was Pandora. It was a strange time for me. Yet when I listen to the record, it's not depressing, because I
     appreciate life in a way I really hadn't thought about before.

     A miscarriage is such a difficult thing to go through, yet it sounds like it was healing for you and your music.

     Some people say motherhood changes you and for me, non-motherhood really changed me. When you lose a baby there's a
     line that's been crossed by the deities. I started to question the universe. And since I live on the river, I started to watch the
     rhythm of the water. After I miscarried I was trying to find something to identify with as a woman, because I didn't feel very
     confident at that point-it's a pretty helpless thing to lose a baby. I had to find some primal feminine place inside myself to
     really understand that the Earth has both birth and loss every day. As I felt all the different rhythms that the Earth produces, I
     started to see rhythm in way I really hadn't before. As I went to the piano, I knew now that it had to be written and built into
     the structure. It wasn't something to be put on top of the songs later. 
                            From "It's A Free Will Planet", Magical Blend Magazine, Issue #63, by John Patrick Gatta. 

     The rhythm was so intrinsic to this record that I knew I had to do it. 
                From "She is Tori, hear her roar -- like it or not", Indianapolis Star, November 29, 1998, by David Lindquist. 

     "I developed this record around rhythm. I wanted to use rhythm in a way that I hadn't used it before; I wanted to integrate
     the piano with it. On the whole record, the piano and vocal were cut live with a drummer and a programmer. I didn't want to
     be isolated this time around. I've done the 'girl and the piano' thing. I wanted to be a player with other players.
     "I wasn't going to write this record as soon as I did. But at the end of 1996, I was near the finish of a tour and I was
     pregnant. So I lived with the feeling and got attached to the soul that was coming in. And then, at almost three months, I
     miscarried. It was a great shock to me, because I really thought I was out of the woods, and I was really excited to be a
     "I went through a lot of different feelings after the miscarriage. You go through everything possible. You question what is
     fair, you get angry with the spirit for not wanting to come, you keep asking why. And then, as I was going through the anger
     and the sorrow, the songs started to come. Before I was even aware, they were coming to me in droves. Looking back,
     that's the way it's always happened for me in my life. When things get really empty for me - empty in my outer life - in my
     inner life, the music world, the songs come across galaxies to find me.
     "Each song to me is complete. They're not as interconnected; they're not dependent on each other to work. They get to hang
     out together and you get to know them together, but they exist quite happily without each other." 
                  From Performing Arts, the house magazine for the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, November 1998. 

     "She [her unborn baby] taught me things that many people in physical form haven't taught me, [such as] surrendering.
     Choirgirl Hotel came out of the loss of her and [out of the feeling] that you can't be the woman you were before you held
     life in your body.
     "We cut the album live with a drummer, which I've never done. Normally I cut live piano/vocals, and everything then is built
     around that performance, whereas Choirgirl was about piano/vocal/synth in one room cut live with the drummer in the other
     "We would wait for days sometimes for the Muse to show up, just going, 'She's not here,' there's just no passion in the room,"
     she says with dead seriousness. "We would all know, you just feel it. You know when the high heels walk through the room,
     you go, 'Whooh.' You just see the leg, you see this ethereal leg stick itself in the studio and everyone goes, 'Oop, red light.'" 
       From "Mystic Pieces: Tori Amos unloads ethereal baggage at Choirgirl Hotel", Phoenix New Times, September 24, 1998. 

     "It's not like I knew it would happen, or that I called my manager a day later and said, hey, book the stuio time, I know what
     the record's gonna be about. But the songs did just sort of start coming. I was just sitting there, kind of shocked and
     heartbroken, and the songs came. It was probably three weeks after, and Pandora was the first. Then Spark and Playboy
     "But the big thing about the miscarriage is that it freed me from religious subservience. It was, hey, the wolf will show up at
     your door. And whenever anybody said something like 'It's all for the better', I just wanted to say, 'Thank God you're not a
                                    From "Heeding Her Own Voice", Lowell Sun, November 8, 1998, by David Perry. 

     "I remember spending time by the water trying to recover from the loss, and I would just study the water for hours and hours
     -- how this incredibly multilayered thing which was the sea could turn on a dime, could change from this calm persona to this
     tidal wave, this thunderous volatile character. There was nothing I could do to save this being's life, so I needed to draw on
     something to really find my strength as a woman again, because I couldn't go back to being the woman I was before I carried
     life -- and at the same time, I wasn't able to be a mother. So I studied the sea a lot and started to turn to this primal, primitive
     -- I guess you could say ancient -- womanness that had to do with rhythm, a woman's internal rhythm that was not dependent
     on whether she was a virgin or if she was sensual or if she was many times a lover to many, many men. No judgment on
     what her accomplishments were or weren't. I just felt we all had access to the earth's secrets, and the music started to come
     through this belief.
     "On this record, it was really about me trying to speak to the spirit of the baby. She had taught me so much about love, and
     even though I lost her in the physical, I don't feel like I've lost her influence." 
        From "Are You There, God? It's Me, Tori: Tori Amos on her relationship with higher powers", Westword, a local Denver
                                                          newspaper, August 27- Sept 2, 1998, by Amy Kiser. 

     "This time I felt the songs were a troupe. They all have different parts. Some are hanging by the pool having drinks, and
     some are in Suite 17, and some are answering the phone. But they're all in the same hotel. I saw them as individuals. They
     work separately from each other, but they know each other." 
                            From "A lioness in the confessional", British Airways Highlife, May 1998, by Mark Edwars. 

     "I got angry with the spirit of the baby for not wanting to be born and kept asking myself why it had happened . . . I was
     going through the anger and the sorrow when the songs started to come, without me really being aware, until they were
     coming to me in droves." 
                                        From "Hard to Avoid: Tori Amos", The Guardian newspaper, June 27, 1998. 

     "I was pregnant," she softly states. "I got pregnant on tour, it was a surprise, but I was deeply thrilled about it. I was almost
     three months pregnant... Christmas '96... and I miscarried. And it was very difficult. The sorrow was just really deep. I know
     some people who've gone through it and they move on quickly. Everybody responds differently to a loss. I got quite attached
     to the spirit of this being."

     Q: Do you know if it was a boy or a girl?

     "It was a girl. That's why on Playboy Mommy, I sing, 'Don't judge me so harsh, little girl.' I had so many responses to it
     before I could get to the place where I am now. You see people hit their kids in stores and you just go, What force of
     judgement gives these people these little lives? I have a lot of questions right now. I know it's a free-will planet. Things
     happen. But you know that saying. Bad things don't happen to good people? That's a painful lie, and it hits you on such a core
     level. I know now that I have an appreciation for the miracle of life that I didn't have, but I don't believe in the saying that it
     all happens for the best... it's just not appropriate."

     Q: Did it overshadow everything?

     "Yeah, it did. It took over, I think, the way I... y'know, once you've felt life in your body, you can't go back to having been a
     woman that's never carried life. The other thing is feeling something dying inside you and you're still alive. Obviously when it
     was happening, it was already over but in your mind, you don't know that it's over yet. You're doing anything thinking, Oh
     God, maybe if I put a cork up myself, maybe it'll keep this little life in." 

     From "Ready, Steady, Kook!", Q magazine, May 1998, by Tom Doyle. 

     "The piano's more integrated into the sound now. I wanted to cut live with a band, and the piano had to hold up as one of the
     players in the band. All the cuts were recorded live with a drummer, a programmer, and a bass player."

     "I'd taken the "girl and the piano" thing as far as I could, and I really wanted to be a player with other players," says Amos.
     "It was very important for my growth as a musician to play with other musicians instead of having them play around me." 
          From "Tori Amos Isn't Alone In Her "hotel" Atlantic Album Features Full Band Sound", Billboard Magazine, by Paul

     "Mixing - still - mixing. I've written Nurofen into my will. Bless those people." 
        From "Got up, Emoted" [an excerpt from Tori's Cornish diary whilst recording], dated January 27. From the larger article
                                             "Ready, Steady, Kook!", from Q magazine, May 1998, by Tom Doyle. 

     I wasn't going to publish my new album, because I became pregnant at the end of my previous tour. When I was three
     months pregnant I had a miscarriage. I had to give myself time to enjoy the pregnancy and motherhood -- I really didn't have
     any plans. When I had the miscarriage, the music just started to arise. Do you know the feeling when you're empty inside,
     literally -- and the hormones are mixed up and all those things happen? When I'm having some kind of crisis, the songs turn
     the universe upside down to find me. I have a good relationship with the Muse who usually comes to me and brings girls
     along and they start dragging me up. So even when I wasn't able to create new as a human being, I was able to do that as a

     "Every song is a individual. I call my songs "girls" -- in a way they have existed like the being who was at first outside of me,
     and then visited me and then left because he/she couldn't settle. The songs are individuals, they visit me, I record them and
     then they go to the world by themselves. I send them away with a lunchbox and a juice bottle (laughter). Every girl has her
     own protons and neutrons inside her. Raspberry Swirl is her own unity and Spark has a thing of her own.

     "Later I started to see those girls at some hotel. Some of them spent time at pool and drank margaritas. Some of them
     answered the phone after gagging the person at the reception. Another girl visited the strange guy at room number 13. I saw
     a bunch of people whose members were very independent yet they still worked together well. Sort of like a band. I wasn't
     sure about my role: Would they let me join in, did they want me to tell what they were doing or were they trying to tell me
     things that I had to express." 
                           From "Southern Upbringing", Rumba Magazine (Finland) March 13, 1998, by Sylvie Simmons. 

     "I'm writing the whole record in the tropics. It's great to watch the lizards and drink margaritas while you're writing. The
     humidity influences the whole rhythm of the songs - your hip sways differently and my left hand is not the same as it was
     before. It's so humid, as soon as you take a shower you regret it. I love the heat, although it's absolutely necessary to ship in
     a lot of French perfume." 
                                                                        From Upside Down Fanzine #7. 

     "This record got me through a real bad patch. But I can laugh with this record, and I can move my hips to this record, which
     is really good for me. It's very sensual --- that's the rhythm." 
                                   From "Tori Amos talks about her miscarriage" Jam! Music site, by John Sakamoto. 

     "There's a deep love on this record. This is not a victim's record. It deals with sadness but it's a passionate record --- for life,
     for the life force. And a respect for the miracle of life." 
                                   From "Tori Amos talks about her miscarriage", Jam! Music site, by John Sakamoto. 

     "I wasn't going to write this record as soon as I did. But at the end of 1996, I was near the finish of a tour and I was
     pregnant," she says in a startlingly candid interview included in her record-company bio, not usually the forum for anything
     weightier than a gushing sales job. (Amos, needless to say, is not your usual recording artist.) 
                                   From "Tori Amos talks about her miscarriage", Jam! Music site, by John Sakamoto. 

     "I went through a lot of different feelings after the miscarriage --- you go through everything possible. You question what is
     fair, you get angry with the spirit for not wanting to come, you keep asking why. And then, as I was going through the anger
     and the sorrow and the why, the songs started to come. Before I was even aware, they were coming to me in droves.
     Looking back, that's the way it's always happened for me in my life. When things get really empty for me --- empty in my
     outer life --- in my inner life, the music world, the songs come across galaxies to find me." 
                                   From "Tori Amos talks about her miscarriage", Jam! Music site, by John Sakamoto. 

     There's immense joy in my life right now because of the songs. I may not be creating human babies but I'm co-creating song
     babies. The love doesn't go away, so I have a feeling of love that I haven't felt before, not just for this being, but for life. How
     do you get through your loss and then find the beauty in life again --- that's really what this record was about. It became
     about living again, about seeing life in a way with new eyes. 
       From "Tori Amos, Local Legend At 34, the Singer Deals With Love, Loss and a New Band" by Richard Harrington in The
                                                          Washington Post Sunday, May 17, 1998; Page G01 

     "But I'm building space into the new material; there's about a three-minute break in a few of the songs --- the "groove" tunes.
     So off the new record, in songs like iiiee and Cruel, there are breaks, where at a certain point, you just play and Matt knows
     things can change within that time, and I don't have a set timeline; we know when it's time to get out. They come alive." 
                                      From "RESPECT" by Maureen Herman in MUSICIAN MAGAZINE, July 1998 

     "Each song is really complete in herself - I call the songs 'girls', because they really existed, sort of a parallel to the soul of
     this being that existed without me and come through me and left, because it couldn't take root. The songs are separate, I
     record them and then I send them off into the world with lunch boxes and bottles of Krug!. Each of the girls has her own
     thing going. Then I started to see them at the Hotel. I'd seen some of them by the pool, drinking margueritas, I'd see another
     one visiting the odd guy in Room 13. I saw this troupe that were very independent and yet they worked together - sort of as a
     singing group. I really wasn't sure what my role was: if they'd let me be part of the troupe sometimes, or if I was just
     reporting what they were doing - or if they were trying to show me bits that I really needed to express." 
                                                                         From Mojo magazine, May 98 

     "The piano pulled me aside and said 'You're boring me to tears.' So I was like 'Calling all sailors...'"
     [on choosing to record from the choirgirl hotel with a live band. 
                                From "Tori Amos: Her Secret Garden, Rolling Stone #789, June 1998, by Steven Daly. 

     "I got angry with the spirit of the baby for not wanting to be born and kept asking myself why it had happened . . . I was
     going through the anger and the sorrow when the songs started to come, without me really being aware, until they were
     coming to me in droves." 

     "The difference in this record is um, I had such an amazing time playing live all my other records, for the most part, I would
     do the piano first. and then all the other instruments behind it have to fit in around her very um very self-involved way of
     doing things but this time I surrendered a lot more than I had before, I wanted to. I wanted it to be more of a relationship
     between me and the other musicians instead of them coming afterwards and me not being able to really interact with them as
     a player." 
                                     From the from the choirgirl hotel electronic press kit, located at 

     Some critics have claimed you're using your personal hardships as a marketing tool. How do you deal with that?

     "Fuck them. If they lose a baby, then they can call me. That's my experience. I always write about my experiences, whether
     it's rape or losing a baby... or picnics, falling in love with women that are gorgeous, falling in love with men that are gorgeous.
     It's all a part of it. It's all a marketing tool if you want to go there. If those people are going to come after me, well, let them
     lose a baby and write a poem, write anything about it and I'll fucking crucify them." 
                      From "Shock and bull TORI", Herald Sun Newspaper (Australia), July 9, 1998, by Cameron Adams. 


      "After that, I think that this record, as far as lyrics go, is not as
      abstract [as Boys for Pele]. Even though there's a lot of
      symbolism in it, there are moments when I turn around and I
      say something like, 'she's convinced she could hold back a
      glacier/but she couldn't keep baby alive.' Really clear. There
      are moments when it gets really clear and it goes back into
      symbolism again -- "ballerinas that have fins that they'll never
      find." Which makes a lot of sense to me, because it's obviously
      a mermaid reference, but it's more than that. Maybe you'll be
      a mother and you'll never have that physical experience - like
      you'll never have the experience of being a mermaid. But even
      though you might not be a physical mother, it doesn't mean you
      can't have that kind of maternal love.
      Q: One last question. Who is the ice cream assassin?
      A: Who do you think that is?

      Q: I have no idea.
      A: Well, people have been praying to him for a very long time
      and more wars have been fought in his name. The big guy.
      Think about it. 
         From "One-Woman Choir: Tori Amos unravels a bit of her
         mystery", Rolling Stone Online (AOL), August 8 1998, by
                                         Matt Ashare. 

      So what character would spark have?

      Tori: There're a few that live in that song. More than anything,
      that girl is having a really bad day. She doesn't know how or if
      she's gonna see the end of that day. But there is this sort of
      action girl that comes out of her, refusing to not strive and stay
      on the planet. She realises that she really doesn't want to leave
      the planet. That she will take her problems with her if she
      leaves this planet. 
      From interview played on Dutch television station VPRO after
                                       Pinkpop Festival 

      "Spark is about when I miscarried, in 1996. I was three
      months pregnant and very excited. All of a sudden I woke up
      one morning and started to feel bad. The songs started coming
      soon after. I was really angry at God. Going into a shopping
      mall and seeing some woman knock the head off her child, I'm
      going - 'So this is fair?' I don't know where the spirit went,
      whether she picked another mummy, like, 'OK, choose her,
      then! Hope you're tone deaf!'" 
                        From Deluxe Music (UK) May 1998 

      "That's why in Spark, I say, 'She's convinced she could hold
      back a glacier / But she couldn't keep baby alive.' You just
      start going insane. There's nothing you can do, so you
      surrender and then... start again." 
         From "Ready, Steady, Kook!", Q magazine, May 1998, by
                                          Tom Doyle. 

      a parallel. obviously. people have said to me that they found
      the video Disturbing. I guess facing Death is just that. I didn't
      want a play by play on film of the literal meaning of Spark. So
      I would spend hours talking to James [Brown the Director]
      about circumstances out of your control and having to find this
      will in yourself that you didn't know you had. I've said before
      that Spark is about a girl having a Really Bad day.
      Angels. I knew I wanted "them" represented in some way.
      Someone had said to me after the miscarriage, "Well, at least
      the Angels were with you..." NO, I said. they went to a Rave
      and why not. When the wolf is at your door There is no
      insurance no distracting him her no angel can or has the power
      to Break Universal law not with this wolf at my Door. 
      Water. The Rythm of the water in the Tropics where I wrote
      Choirgirl was the element that Brought me Strength to my
      woman, who was truly in NO MAN'S land after losing the
      So James said to me that Water had to be the turning point the
      pivot where my Character transforms.
      The ominous pulse of the video was no different than the
      feeling I had the Day Spark is Based on Death Lurking... 
         From "Tori Stories", the Complete Video Collection promo


      "I think Cruel is my favorite. Whether anybody gets
      it or not, I demanded that it have its day in the sun.
      It's one of those ones that's really that underworld
       From "Arena-size venues, a band - what's next for
        Tori Amos?", Dallas Morning News, October 4,
                            1998, by Tom Stone. 

      "When we were in the studio and Matt
      [Chamberlain], the drummer, and Andy [Gray, the
      programmer] were just groovin' with Cruel, I
      realized that the piano was just not working. It just
      too many chiefs. I said, you know, I need to be a
      good Indian. Anyway, with Cruel, I took my hands
      off the piano and that's how we cut it." 
         From "Trading Heart to Hearts for Butt? Amos
         Explains", The Commercial Appeal, October 3,
                          1998, by Jody Callahan. 

      "You hear stories about angels that come and save
      certain people, they're beautiful stories. But what
      about the mother whose kid gets taken away and
      never comes back? What were the angels smoking
      when that happened? What do you say? That their
      kid wasn't worthy? That it's all for the best? Or God
      has a plan?

      "So these questions, of course, I was putting
      towards every deity I could find. I was quite vicious,
      and I think Cruel and iieee, especially, came out of
      that. It was almost liberating for me - that it's all in
      order that I have anger towards the way of things,
      and just to say, 'Thine will be done' just doesn't work
      anymore. It's hollow." 
      From Alternative Press "Tori Amos gets right to the
                                point", July 1998 

      "So a song like 'Cruel' came to me out of my anger."
       From Jam! Music site, "Tori Amos talks about her
                     miscarriage" by John Sakamoto 

      "It's about when you go deeper than you can go.
      When that dickhead is standing right in front of you
      and you look into his eyes and you just go deeper
      than you can go..."
      [about the "deep, deeper than you can" improvisation
      Tori sings during Cruel in concert.] 
       From j'ason, posted to Precious-Things mailing list,

Raspberry Swirl

      "I wrote it, for one of my girlfriends who just had a streak of men who really didn't
      get her. Sometimes I play the role of the man in my relationships with my female
      friends. I'm not talking physical, I'm talking on an emotional level. And so this is
      about being understanding. That if I were 6-foot-4 and had one less hole and a
      couple more round hairy things, there's no way that these men would be able to
      compete. Because I really think that they miss the beauty in the women that I find
      really attractive. They really miss it." 
                               From The Louisville Observer, October 1998. 

      Alright, if you had to sleep with another woman, who would you choose?
      "Um ... my best friend." 
      From a radio interview on KDGE (94.5) The Edge in Dallas, November 4, 1998. 

      "But the energy of it [the Armand Van Helden remix of Professional Widow] and
      the rhythm was quite inspirational for tracks like Raspberry Swirl. I was like, if
      I'm going to write a song, I don't want to just put rhythm on top of it, I want to
      write a rhythm into it, so it's part of the architecture. Another track, Cruel, is about
      that. It's not just written as a ballad at the piano and then you come up with a
      catchy rhythm.' 
      From British Airways Highlife May 1998 "A lioness in the confessional", by Mark

      "Sometimes I feel like I become the male figure for my girlfriends and so um... it's
      unfortunate that I can't be a man, because I think I'd be in love with all of them.
      But that's not my inclination, um, you know, I love them very much, so this song is
      about.. 'things are getting desperate / when all the boys can't be men / everybody
      knows I'm her friend / everybody knows I'm her man. and... well, they love it
      when I sing it to them. (giggles)." 
       From the from the choirgirl hotel electronic press kit, located at 

      "The animus in me is Raspberry Swirl. I'm in love with my women friends, but I
      just don't eat pussy," says Amos, laughing. "But I'm in love with them. If I had a
      different sensibility, then you know I think I could, you know, really fulfil someone
      down there, where a lot of men in their loves don't. And eating pussy is a
      metaphor, too - it's about crawling in there, being with their juices, really being with
               From Alternative Press "Tori Amos gets right to the point", July 1998 

      "It's an old oil drum with springs and a saw blade attached to it."
      [What Matt "this creature over here who bangs on things," Chamberlin bangs on
      during the song live... asked by bloogirl.] 
                             From the San Jose concert, Septempber 23, 1998. 

      "I just sit there [listening to it] sometimes, and I'm not even tripping, I'm just lying
      there with my macaroni and cheese, and I'm happy as punch."

      [on the ambient mix of Raspberry Swirl] 
      From "Arena-size venues, a band - what's next for Tori Amos?", Dallas Morning
                                     News, October 4, 1998, by Tom Stone. 

      I will tell you this. Kids and Pigs mixed together with their gorging of sweets and
      excited kiddie poo vomit and literally piggy poo and cake puddingie ickie oogie
      sugarie pukie all messied together sitting there Rotting under the lights take after
      take and you wonder why I carry an Oxygen machine -- card holder since 94.
      Raspberry was one of the longer days of my life... Karen pulled in these younger
      Directors: Barnaby & Scott I liked the idea their visual sense and their openness to
      Karen's mad visions She was inspired by an Urban Alice and Wonderland feel if I
      recall the treatment correctly Kids with Red wings -- red wigs little Tori s she said
      this Boy leading me into a world where Karen truly lives Every movie ever make
      Karen can give her version -- "A road ain't NO ONE EVER EVVA thought of
      pushing," a long by magical Day 
                 From "Tori Stories", the Complete Video Collection promo booklet 

Jackie's Strength

      "A part of me could see myself in this wedding dress
      sitting at 7-Eleven on the curb, having a Slurpee and
      missing the whole thing. Not because I wanted to, but
      just because I'm still frozen in a piece of film somewhere
      when I was 18 and that was my outlook on life. So
      Jackie's Strength was written about the girl that went to
      the 7-Eleven; I went and got married.
      "It's a pretty sacred day, and yet it can go so horribly
      wrong. Mine went right, but I think because I wrote the
      song. I let my alter ego go exist and live and be (in the
      song), so she didn't have to do it in front of everybody
      else. That's where songs come in handy: You don't
      pretend that this side doesn't exist, so it doesn't have to
      become so vulgar, in 3-D." 
      From Times-Picayune (New Orleans), October 9, 1998,
                                   by Keith Shepra. 

      "The 1980s were not my mother's favourite fashion
      decade. She's very Jackie Kennedy, in a pillbox hat and
      a suit, whereas I was shopping at Retail Slut." 
      From The Sunday Times Magazine, UK, 24 May 1998,
                                by Nigel Williamson. 

      "The songs just grab me by the throat sometimes and say
      'We're coming in.' I saw Jackie as a bride - and I used
      to think I would never be a bride. I started to look at
      Jackie and how that woman held the country together
      after she watched her husband get cut down right in
      front of her." 
        From "Tori Amos: Her Secret Garden", Rolling Stone
                      #789, June 1998, by Steven Daly. 

      "This wonderful boy had asked me to marry him, and of
      course I said yes, but I was shocked. "You know, there
      was a part of me that had sworn that would never
      happen. You fantasize about what it would be like on
      that day, and then you fantasize about never having that
      day. Then you're a vigilante and you will never have it.
      Then, all of a sudden, there it is, and you're wondering,
      'Are we going to make it? Half of all marriages end in
      divorce. Is that us?' That was all going on as I got lost on
      my wedding day." 
         From Alternative Press "Tori Amos gets right to the
                                   point", July 1998 

      Sometimes I fall into the videos like a Laven, a welcome
      escape from my Real life character and the dynamics
      that Surround "her"
      Jackie was one of these Times where I could put 
      Whatever" Somewhere. I would Ride around in this taxi
      for hours as a pick-up truck with a Camera on the back
      of it followed and followed and followed me as a truant
      Bride The Mythic References for Brides are endless . . .

      This video was tricky because it was close to the Bone,
      having only Been married for 2 1/2 months. Karen and I
      would talk about how "She" - the girl in Jackie, the Bride
      in Jackie was a parallel on some plane Somehwere who
      had made different choices in her life. A Medicine
      Woman told me once that alternate dimensions existed
      where a different you, a different me play out Choices
      we could've made. 
      The girl in Jackie is an artist of some kind but "it ain't
      neva gonna happen" to quote Miss Karen as She and I
      went Back and forth over this alternate 2x2x2x Reality
      we re-built my life, with the help of LL (fondly called
      Double L) who was referenced in that Book -- The Top
      100 Psychics 
      We knew what she ate I knew She drew with pastels I
      knew she was never going to make it to the church that
      Day It's not that she didn't love him -- they'd been
      together since they were Kids.
      it's just about a promise she had make to herself a long
      time ago When James called me for the 17th time that
      day and said -- I've got it as you go through your old
      neighborhood interspersed with present and past you
      finally Run into young Tori. We started to talk about
      casting and Karen convinced us with the help of Lesley
      (make-up) of course that we could pull of young Tori.
      Having to face my younger SELF was pretty wild -- her
      position being very clear -- "we had a vision you've
      become numb, we may never succeed but you never
      even tried." So the answer is NO, I don't know if "she"
      ever eventually marries her childhood love -- but she
      doesn't that Day. 
          From "Tori Stories", the Complete Video Collection
                                     promo booklet 

i i e e e

      "i i e e e has a Native American influence and when you hear the rhythm
      and..yet..there's a little of that New Mexican driving in an old dilapidated Mustang and
      you're just on your own and you just drive for days and days and you think you're
      getting away with murder, and it's just you. And I think that feeling... i i e e e is very
      much about dying and about sacrifice." 
           From the from the choirgirl hotel electronic press kit, located at 

      "She's your cocaine and iieee came out of a sense of loss and sacrifice. And other
      songs celebrated the fact that I had found a new appreciation for life through this loss." 
           From Performing Arts, the house magazine for the New Jersey Performing Arts
                                                   Center, November 1998.

She's Your Cocaine

"she not being me, she being the one that he's obsessed about, and
      whatever we think of her is whatever we think of her - probably we
      think about her in cruel." 
                From British Airways Highlife May 1998 "A lioness in the
                                    confessional", by Mark Edwars 

      "For 'She's Your Cocaine' [on the new album] I put on this tiny black
      body, jeans and high heels, got a marguerita and walked outside for 30
      minutes to drink Tequila in Cornwall, in the freezing November night." 
                               From Deluxe Music (UK) May 1998 

It's very much about thinking you were loved for who you were, and realizing you
      weren't, and realizing maybe you don't love yourself... You can only be you. A lot of
      times that's not enough for some people." 


      "My heart goes out to where that song comes from. It's very much about thinking you
      were loved for who you were, and realizing you weren't, and realizing maybe you don't
      love yourself. The line, 'I guess you go too far/When pianos try to be guitars' is just about
      never being enough. I felt that with my instrument sometimes, wanting to be Jimmy Page.
      You can only be you. A lot of times it's never enough for people." 
                    From Alternative Press "Tori Amos gets right to the point", July 199

"I think as you're getting married, all the loves, even the 10-minutes loves, are popping
      up. Hotel was really like feeling like an agent - a spy - in that he was the greatest guy
      at one time and they were giving me time behind enemy lines. Even though she knows
      they can't be lovers because it's a whole other life, she just can't let him go. That's the
      thing about letting old lovers go. You don't stop loving some of them. There are a
      couple you love no less than you ever did. Not to mention names...but I'm still in love
      with a couple. You're not going to try to make it work again, but if they needed you,
      you'd drop everything." 
                  From Alternative Press "Tori Amos gets right to the point", July 1998

TA: Sometimes I get one bar or two bars, then I have to spend nine months chasing the rest down. I believe that the songs already
exist and you pull them down from the sky when you're in a position to see them. Because of my experiences--the ones that make up
me--I'll use different symbolism to make those songs distinctly my own. After that, the rewriting and editing are constant. Jackie's
Strength and Hotel came to me as siamese twins. The chorus of Jackie was really the chorus of Hotel so I had to pull them apart.
Hotel actually came with three choruses (as hotels do). It took a whileto realize that Jackie was a different (song). [Mairie's note: I
think she said "girl" and not song, but the editor of the catalog thought that was abstract or obscure, or just downright quirky, and it
was editted to (song).] 

Playboy Mommy

      "I had written this thing and I couldn't get the first line ... I was in France with
      my friend Beenie, I go a lot of places with my friend Beenie. We were with
      another friend of hers and her mother, anyway... two of them were having an
      argument, so I decided champagne for everybody was a good idea. And that's
      what you do in France, and it was like, after lunch, so that's good...that's
      improvement. And um, anyway they make very good champagne, we had Krug
      and if you know if you ever have that experience ... just like ... even if you have
      to steal it ... it's really worth the experience. So. okay, I sent champagne around
      because everyone is arguing, and Beenie comes to like update me on the fighting
      on who's winning. And so um I'm standing at the top of the stairs in a schmoozy
      suite, I'm embarrassed to say, but I was. And so we're standing at the top, and
      she goes 'let's go out to the deck and talk about this. So it's one of those round
      stair cases like they have on the Love Boat. And so I'm in these Prada Studio
      platforms, and um, I'm at the top of the stairs and I fall all the way down stairs
      cause I trip on my platform shoes, it serves me right. So I trip all the way down
      and I lie flat on my face, and I swear to Christ ... I'm lying flat and my nose is
      like taped to the rug, and I said 'oh Beenie I need more champagne, this is so
      horrible'. But I laid there and I go 'oh my god Beenie oh my god, I have a first
                          From the End Sessions on KNDD (107.7) in Seattle 

      "So while the guys change basses and stuff, I'll tell ya a little story about this
      next song. I don't do that much anymore, do I Matt, I just don't tell stories much;
      I've gotten shy in my old age. Anyway, um, the strangest thing ... so anyway,
      this little story: I lived in the tropics and the crew was down there and Marcel
      was - I think you were nude, Marcel ... strange. Odd. And, uh, he had run into -
      what did you run into - a pier. Anyway, he was almost dead. He was on a (?) so
      we, of course we had loads of pharmaceutical's because ... that's ah ... that's
      our Goddess! That's the great American health food, heh, that's what I love.
      And of course, um, but only in moderation, balance. And of course, um, while all
      this was happening, you know strawberry margaritas and ah, this song started to
      come. And everybody started to kinda weave in and out of this beach house and
      ah, I couldn't finish it, for some reason I just couldn't. I wrote this first verse
      twenty times. I had my wisdom teeth out and I was singing it to my mother
      going, 'mother what do you think of these lyrics?' something about, you know,
      my head, and it hurts, and da da da da, just, she goes 'you're outta your mind, you
      just had your wisd -- this is terrible!' And I said, ah okay, thanks mom. And then
      it took me a while until I went with Beenie to a ... champagne ... you think I'm
      an alcoholic and a drug addict and I'm not! It's one of those things. It's not the
      same! But anyway, so I'm in the champagne, right, with Beenie and we were
      having an argument with one of her, uh, friends, there were four of us women
      and my god, four women together oh god it can be ugly. So um ... cats for days
      and P.U.! Anyway, so there was a war going on and one woman was having
      her throat removed and um, Beenie of course was gonna win, and I just, I just
      came into my room freaked out by the whole thing and schmoozy me, my uh,
      spiral staircase, mm mmm.... So I come down in my Prada shoes and I trip all
      the way down the steps and I fall all the way down to the floor and so, uh, when
      I looked at Beenie and said 'in my platforms I hit the floor'..." 
                       From the Binghamton, NY concert, November 10, 1998. 

      "I didn't know when I was gonna make another record when I got pregnant. I
      was going to put things on hold for a while. But the music became vital again, as
      it always seems to. Songs started to come, and they showed me different ways
      of feeling and expressing, ways that surprised me. Playboy Mommy dealt with
      my feelings of rejection - 'Wasn't I good enough to be your mother, didn't you
      want me? Well, don't come then. Go choose some little right-wing Christian for
      your mother.' It's a human response." 
          From "Tori Amos: Her Secret Garden", Rolling Stone #789, June 1998, by
                                                       Steven Daly 

      "I saw her very much as a Magdalene figure. I saw her as someone who had
      become quite disreputable because of the means she used to survive. There was
      something in me that aligned with this disreputable woman that people have a
      hard time with. Sometimes you have to accomplish things in not-so-pretty ways.
      I saw strength in her. She can do things that those women accepted in the
      literary circles cannot do because she can swallow.
      "And as much as I love Alanis - I love that girl from head to toe - but Alanis,
      What were you going down on him in a theater for? To pick up your Coca-Cola?
      Give me a break! But this woman in Playboy Mommy, she'll swallow. She'll
      swallow a billion seeds to protect this little girl." 
             From Alternative Press "Tori Amos gets right to the point", July 1998 

      "In Playboy Mommy, I'm much of a voluptuous... you know, but I'm allowed to
      do that because I'm a writer.. so it's like, I make myself in that way. And I saw
      myself in a different way than I am; with a thirteen year old daughter... and a
      mother/daughter relationship just not being enough. I saw my mother, you know
      I saw how I felt when I was.. not ashamed, but that moment of why couldn't
      you be the thing that I wanted you to be and I realised that I would probably...
      have that in my heart." 
      From the from the choirgirl hotel electronic press kit, located at

TA: After my miscarriage, I was in shock. I had been in Mommy mode for three months, I thought I was "out of the woods" with
the pregnancy, before it was all taken away. I started asking questions at the time about whether I was paying a debt to someone for
this. People would say, "It's God's will," or "Things like this happen for a reason." Then I started wondering, "Where do souls go
when they leave the planet?" I'd chase down any deity to get some answers. It was at that time when I was asking all those questions
that the songs just started to arrive on my doorstep.

Pandora's Aquarium

      "You know when you've cried and cried, and you really can't cry anymore, so you're
      very quiet? I started hearing the water [at her parent's retirement home in Florida].
      And Pandora - the last song on the record - came to me. She was sort of warning me
      that there are so many feelings under the rocks that I needed to turn into. She told me,
      'You need to dive into this one, Tori, because your healing is in there. Once you go, it's
      a whole new journey, but you've got to metaphorically leave this little dock and come
      with me to find out what's really in this ocean of feelings.' So I did. And that's where I
      met these songs. I knew I wasn't going to find a lot of answers from philosophical
      camp, because it's empty. What started comforting were the songs." 
                 From Alternative Press "Tori Amos gets right to the point", July 1998. 

      "Pandora was the first song to really come after we had lost the baby, when I was just
      trying to find a reason to wake up in the morning." 
          From "Tori Amos fills Choirgirl Hotel with Mythic Metaphors", The Tennessean,
                                         August 23, 1998, by Rick de Yampert. 

      "I use a lot of symbology, so if you dive into the symbol world, you'll have a better idea
      of what's going on. You have to go into the myth of Persephone to really understand
      what I'm talking about: You have to know that the Lord of the Flies is another word for
      Hades, and that Hades captured Persephone. It's the rape of Persephone; that is her
      myth. And she became queen of the underworld and couldn't leave for half the year.
      "But did she choose to stay by eating the pomegranate seed? Did she know the rules
      or did he trick her?" 
       From "The Never-Ending Tori: Tour Sharpens Amos' Songwriting Skills", New Jersey
                                 Star Ledger, November 20, 1998, by Jay Lustig.

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