How to Be Tori Amos
This year Tories published a new memoir. Slash manifesto called resistance a songwriter story of hope. Change Encourage Kristen. In a Lotta ways. Resistance has defined her career and what still endeared her to fans the kind of Song. She's written the way she's played them and the politics they've given voice to have continually broken. The rules of how female Solo Artists are supposed to perform? And she's still breaking rules to for one thing female. Solo artists are essentially put out to pasture thirty five but fifty six year. Old Tori is in her Cornwall Recording Barn working on a sixteenth album. Yeah and even if you aren't a Tory head you've probably witnessed her pop cultural influence. Oh yeah think of Lady Gaga is most avant garde piano performances or billy eyelashes anti pop queen aesthetic. She talked about how her daughter. Tash has even been like mom. They're cribbing your moves. Yeah I mean I really feel like Tori Amos is the mother of music. I was constantly listening to growing up and obviously I'm still constantly listening to things like Fiona Apple Sarah mclachlan Atlanta's Morissette and solicitors. I cried after we wrapped our interview with her Carolina. You cried yes. I mean. Like by the end of the conversation. I was just so overwhelmed by her warmth and what it took for her to make the music career that ultimately changed a lot of lives. Yeah me too but Carolina. I gotta be honest that I missed the Tori Amos boat growing up like by the time I was in high school and was forming. My own musical tastes. I was way too worried about fitting in to get into an artist like Tori. Who was known by then as like the Superintendent of Mystical feminist which was just not on brand for girls in the early two thousands Brittany? Spears era will kristen. Your ship is finally come in. Because today we're finding out why is Tori Amos such an enduring feminist icon? The Way Torrey tells it she was basically born with music and her blood. She inherited it from her mom's Dad whom she adored. Everybody called him. Papa beautiful tenor voice. He would come off the shift from the factory. They worked in the mills and he would sing to me and we believe that that's what triggered the music. Dna or the music language really came from him and my mother says she always told me that by two and a half. I was playing the piano and it would be hard to reach so they would find ways on their be phone books that I could step onto to climb up to get onto the stool. Remember phone books. Now I guess little piano prodigy is just have to perch on stackable iphone boxes or baby. Tori really was a legit prodigy though like by the time. She could tie her shoes. She was pretty much a classically trained pianist. At the age of five she became the youngest person accepted to the uber prestigious. Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore and fun fact Tori Amos is still. The youngest student ever admitted to peabody problem was Taurean. Peabody weren't a great match like shirt. She could bang out Bach with the best of them at school but at home Tori was secretly falling in love with rock. Gods like led Zeppelin. My mother would be spinning records when once my father went to church in his minister outfit and she would close the door and take off her apron and start playing. Dj and then when my brother would come home from school he would have albums of things that my mother didn't have so they would get me into play everything before my father would come home and he had no idea when I would break out into the stones he thought I was just practicing stuff for the body. Nothing energy wars the devil and then Robert Plant was you know Satan and all that stuff Carolina Tories rebellious streak also reminds me of preachers daughters. I knew growing up. Who were the Queens of sneaking around? Well little toy wasn't much of a sneak when it came to her skepticism about church. Her Grandmother on her Dad's side was always on her about minding her Christian ps and QS and told her dad that Tori didn't know how to love Jesus to which told her dad like Jesus is not the problem. Grandma is the problem. Meanwhile she was also dealing with being by far the youngest student at school. How did being a child prodigy affect you like at that time and also as you were gonNA growing up and finding your own voice will ladies? It is a double edged sword because on one hand you can't process the emotions of others and their expectations. I couldn't anyway at that age. So the idea that you could hold so much promise and then you start to realize. Wait A men. I'm not a concert pianist. That isn't my path that isn't my that is who my skill set. It's it's a particular skill set to be able to play somebody else's work for eight hours a day. Okay and commit your life to that so you have to be one of the best in the world to do that and I'm thinking new. Wait a minute these guys. They were documenting their time. And this was the remember this was the late sixties and the revolution was being driven. When I say the revolutions the change was being driven so much by music and art and so I wanted to be part of that I wanted to document the time so very very early on I started to deviate and that's why I'd have to trick my dad's so he thought I was doing when I suppose to be doing practicing my lessons. So then when I got kicked out of the peabody eleven Dan I think he was brokenhearted. Blessing and I was seen as a failure and somebody that had so much potential and that was a lot to take on so I started smoking. Pot well why did the conservatory kick you out? So you would analyze music in theory you would look at music in be taught theory in a certain way and they were teaching classical. Niro Teaching Jazz but I want them also to look at the songs from the Beatles and somebody said they're not going to be round thirty years time nobody will know who they are and just looked at you me see people you are out of your freaking minds and that was at eleven and that didn't go down so there was a rebelliousness that I guessed I had because I loved this music so much whether it was the Beatles or Joni Mitchell or Nina Simone. Weren't we can go on. And on stevie wonder and they wouldn't allow it at the time and it seemed like wow. I was disappointment to everybody. And that was that was a lot to hold. That's the double edged sword me talking about whole where. Where did this rebelliousness come from? Because I feel like you know a lot of kids might have just said okay. This is my assignment. This is what I'm supposed to do. This is my responsibility. I have to toe the line. But here you are coming to these conclusions about your own voice and this moment in musical time at eleven like where did that street come from so being exposed to such great music just made me more bloody minded. I think to steal from the Brits and just dig my heels in say no. I'm going to write more. I'm going to I'm going to do this. Tori's father remain convinced that she was going to do it too. In fact he was kind of a stage dad and helped her secure her first paying gig at a very surprising venue each week. Thirteen year old Tori. Ammos played a downtown. Dc Gay bar called. Mr Henry's and eventually that earned Tori other piano playing spots bars and hotels around the city. Why do you think your dad though changed his mind and was like okay with you? Playing music like secular music to in a gay bar. I mean that feels like a real pivot. I think it was a pivot. I think with the capital p. I think there is a bit of Mama rose. Gypsy rose Lee Her mother in my father and there is a side to him. Wanted to Billy Graham. So he used drawn to that flame and he wouldn't give up and I don't think he could accept my my failure. He couldn't accept it. I I kind of accepted being kicked out of the peabody because I was writing my own music in secret like you guys are in closets. I'd be writing. Whatever under the bed would ever just creating and when he wasn't around really working toward that but then I think it just need decided. No I'M GONNA get on side and if you're GonNa do this then do it right and do well and be good at it. And with that the child prodigy had become a teenage to professional but before teen pro-tory could become adult POB icon contrary she. I had to learn how to fail. When we come back. Tory flops at the start pop on the charts and introduces us to Hermes says. Don't go anywhere..