Y Kant Tori Read - in Tori's words...

Quotes About the Album "It's a funny thing, making a record and it dying a horrible death. Our music was quite different then what the album was because once we got signed, it was like, change this, change that and I didn't stand up for the band, I let it happen. I was doing it for the wrong reasons at that point. I'd just been told so many times that what I really wanted to do was never gonna happen and this girl and the piano thing...just forget about it. You know I'm not saying that girls with busteirs and spiked hair - I mean obviously some of them did really, really well. But I just couldn't pull it off. I just decided to try and take the piano to a place, for me, in the best way I could. And that's how the songs started to come for Little Earthquakes. From MTV Revue, November 4, 1998. What do you think today of the songs that you wrote from your childhood all the way to Y Kant Tori Read? "They're not the same thing. You can't compare [Y Kant Tori Read] to what I was doing before then, because I was really - it was a different stage of my life. I was writing a lot from the piano and I had a little beat box and a synth. When I was in my teenage years, I was sending in a lot of tapes to record companies for over seven years, and they said girl pianist/singer songwriter thing isn't going to happen." So what does Y Kant Tori Read represent to you - that period in your career? "Well Y Kant Tori Read was a pivotal point for me as a writer. Some of the things on it work, some of them don't. Cool On Your Island works more than anything else, and I wrote that, I think, with Kim Bullard, but you'll have to check the credits because I've been using too much deodorant lately. "But the thing is, even after Y Kant Tori Read as a band formed, there was a jumping off point from what I was doing before I formed the band. But I think you would kinda see that that was just me writing with a band in mind. Then when the record company got involved, a lot of other people got involved. They felt the material was not accessible, and they were pushing us into another place. And I came up with some songs at the time to try and meet that demand. The band broke up as yet another producer walked in, because what we were doing wasn't really understood, so it took about a year and it all fell to pieces. "Finally I hooked up with Kim Bullard, and he worked on the Y Kant Tori Read album, and we wrote a couple of things, But by then it really wasn't representative - whether you like Y Kant Tori Read or don't like it, it wasn't really representative so much as what the band was doing. You would obviously recognize my voice in it and maybe some of the writing, but it was a really different direction, and once the band broke up that direction was completely like: stop in the middle of the road and don't continue on this path anymore." I remember when Y Kant Tori Read came out in 1988, and how much I liked Etienne Trilogy, - and how I thought, especially being the last cut, that it was different than the other songs on the album. Was that more of what you were wanting to do? "Not necessarily, it was more just me at the piano." Which is what you've really done since, though. "But you can't compare Precious Things and Waitress and Cruel to Etienne Trilogy, you know what I mean? Or obviously I wouldn't have made the four records I just made (laughs). There is a bit of the balladeer in me, and that comes across on all the records also, but the records aren't just ballad records as you well know. But I do think that Etienne, as a song, was more of what I was doing before I came to L.A." ... "I've always tried to do that [channelling the forces] before Y Kant Tori Read and then after Y Kant Tori Read, but I think during Y Kant Tori Read, what happened there was I just lost all confidence in what I was doing, and I felt a failure and I said 'obviously I don't have my finger on the pulse and you all need to tell me what I need to do with my musical ability, because obviously I don't know anymore'. Well I have learned a lot from making that choice because I had to fight really, really hard to play the music I believed in. Some people that didn't have to fight so hard for it I don't think understand the privilege that they have to play the music." From "Tori Amos: The Loudest Voice in the Choir", Performing Songwriter, September/October 1998, by Christopher Smith. "Yeah I had a very Big Hair look, you know the Aqua Net white cap... yeah that was the one... "Well I think that, you know, I was trying to channel Lita Ford, and it didn't turn out very well..." From a radio interview on KDGE (94.5) The Edge in Dallas, Texas, November 4, 1998. "So um, some of you know that this is Caton. And, um, oh woof [to some guy in the front]. Caton and I were in Y Kant Tori Read together. So, um, do any of you know, like, um, the metal forever handshake? Like, no matter how uncool it is anymore, all that hairspray and the Rainbow and the Roxy, you remember those clubs? Well, that was our life. Wasn't it, Caton? It really happened. Do you know the handshake? Have I done it to you?" [She then does an interesting two-part signal thing with her left hand near the floor and then the right hand near her head]. From the Cedar Rapids IA concert, July 26, 1996. "This here is Caton. He's played on all the records that I've done so far...um...plus we were in a band together called Y Kant Tori Read [applause from the audience] ...yeah, it's great that you cheer now - where were you in 1988?" From the London concert, March 8, 1996. "So, some of you, uh, know that this is Caton. Caton...um, we've been playing together, well, since Y Kant Tori Read, really. Some of you have heard of that. And uh...we don't need to talk about that." From the Vancouver Canada concert, July 19, 1996. [Someone from the audience yells, "Can you read?" Tori replies, "Can I read? Not about that band." From the Nashville TN concert, April 16, 1996. "For those who don't know this, Steve and I were in Y Kant Tori Read together and I've known him for so long that I forgot it was his birthday - so there you go." From the Boston MA concert (late), May 22, 1996 (Steve Caton's birthday). "This is Caton, this wonderful thing. We have know each other forever, and ever and ever and ever, both when we both had big hair like this [puts her hands way over her head] but his was bigger than mine. And we were in Y Kant Tori Read. It's okay that you don't know that really, it's just a thing and that's why it bobbed into a horrible death." From the Pensacola FL concert, August 10, 1996. "That fucking club... I mean, we had hair up to here [indicates about a foot above her head] and we were proud." (on playing their only gig in the Viper Room, LA, when it was known as "sash"?) From the Los Angeles CA concert, June 28, 1996. "I was just chasing the industry," she says. "You just get so tired of your work being rejected. It was about belonging. It was a time when my individuality wasn't working for me - or so they said - so I cut it out. Then you realize that you're not guaranteed anything else but your individuality. You know you can at least wake up with that and your self-respect. When things do happen for you, you're very appreciative, and also you know how bad it can get." "You've got love 'em," she says, grinning. "I was having fun trying to see how tall my hair could get. But that was the time: the girls and their hair, the boys and their black eyeshadow" From Alternative Press "Tori Amos gets right to the point" "The band was together for about two years. We rehearsed three times a week and only played one gig. That's all we did - we stayed in the rehearsal studio, made a tape, got signed, and split up. As a writer, I didn't know what I wanted to express, really, at that point. I can say this now - I couldn't say it then - that I wasn't doing it for the love of music. I was doing it because I had something to prove to the boys who trashed me when I was 13. "We're not looking for this." "It's dated." "Do dance music." "Get a rock band." And after six years of rejection, I started listening to them. The positive thing is, I play the piano much differently today because of that experience. I led myself to believe that, because I'd been playing the piano since I was two-and-a-half, I could play anything. But that didn't mean that I was any good at it. That didn't mean it was coming from here [she points to her stomach]. If it's not coming from here, you smell it. There's nothing worse than seeing a kid play dress-up just to please Aunt Louise. It's awful if they don't do it because they want to do it. At that point in my life I was on auto-pilot. My self-worth was all wrapped up in whether or not this thing was a success. I didn't really consider the girl in all of this. I didn't understand that I was a girl until four years ago. I was just a musician who became very needy. That's the hardest thing with musicians, I think, is that we're so sensitive. We start listening to other people. How much can you take before you start asking yourself, "Maybe they're right?" How many years can you take it? Seven? Twenty? Two? You lose faith in what you're doing." From Keyboard Magazine, September 1992 "Do you know the cover [of YKTR]? I wish that the LP would sound the way the cover looks. The record is just not heavy. It doesn't have a clear statement. I mean, when someone plays Thrash Metal, then that has a point of view. And even if this thrash consists of nothing but noise, that has a point of view. That should be the point of every publication. Take a clear position, if you want to make noise, do it, if you only want to be cute, that's also ok. But at the time the album was created, I was not able to take a clear position. If I had to take a position, I would have had to have it out with myself, but I was much too busy to suppress things like the rape. I could not sing about it. Only in August last year I was able to write Me and A Gun, before it was simply impossible. When we started to record the album five years ago, the rape only happened one year before. ... The record was published and died four years ago. By the way, the drummer of the band was Matt Sorum, Joe Chiccarelli produced and I really liked his productions, but just before the recordings the band split up, we took studio musicians and so the songs lost their direction. I believe that the record has its moments, but I tried too much to be everybody's girl, because I was not able to listen to myself. You just have to be strong and not only pretending. It is simple to play a tough chick, but it is really boring and, above all, it is sad, because it shows a deep uncertainty, and when you are uncertain, you can not be strong." From Visions Magazine (Germany), September 1992 "I was trying to make myself into something they felt they could package," Amos says of the experience. "I tried to write songs for the market and some of them still have pieces of me in them, but I was doing it for the wrong reasons at that point. I got away from the fact that I wanted to be a french fry --- and I'm not a french fry, I'm an oyster." 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

Etienne Okay, this one has been lost for a long time. This is one I used to do while dressed in ... what did I wear Caton? ... some plastic snake-skin pants from retail slut. This song is when I got sensitive." From the Chicago concert, September 28, 1996. "I never do this ... Caton remembers this." From the Seattle concert (early), July 17, 1996.

back to intepretations