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Ultimately, it’s about listening to the music. Just listen to the record and rock and get some mojo and go shag your wife. Or just shag yourself.
POP QUIZ: TORI AMOS
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Even by Tori Amos’ lofty standards, “American Doll Posse” is a strange album. A concept piece about reclaiming the female psyche and taking on the Christian right, it sees the songwriter transforming herself into five different characters based loosely on the Greek pantheon of goddesses — Isabel, Clyde, Pip, Santa and, er, Tori — to sing the 23 songs on the disc. Each one of the make-believe friends also maintains a personal blog and takes turns appearing onstage with the singer as she tours the world. We tried to ask Amos to explain the concept, but it only made things worse.
Q: It seems like a lot of your fans would just like to hear you get behind the piano again and sing about your own life.
A: They’re foolish. If they don’t see that I’m singing about my life in these songs then they’re not as smart as I’ve taken them to be all these years.
Q: How are these songs about you?
A: The concepts are about me. What’s wrong with a good concept? Didn’t you like “Ziggy Stardust”? If you really want to play this game, the girl sitting behind the piano is also a concept. That’s an image. I do not stay in a box. You stay around because there’s still a mystery and you’ve been able to keep your private life sacred. My husband doesn’t know what the songs are about and he doesn’t want to know. He does want a date with each one of the posse, though.
Q: Have you granted him that wish?
A: I’m contemplating it.
Q: Haven’t you played dress up before?
A: It’s not just dressing up. You have to take on board your character. You have to step into it.
Q: So would you feel funny if he slept with one of the characters?
A: I don’t know. I would have to get back to you on that.
Q: You would probably feel funny the next day.
A: I might. But on the other hand I might have been a wise woman and understand better Pip than Polly Harvey.
Q: Why, does he want to sleep with her, too?
A: Absolutely not. No, no, no. Polly is an old acquaintance of mine. I’m just trying to make a point to you. It could be Chrissie Hynde. If he’s drawn to that I’d rather have Pip sort him out than another woman.
Q: Did you have any idea how hard it would be performing as five different people and running five different blogs and having your husband lust after five different women?
A: No, I didn’t. But now I do.
Q: Do you regret it?
A: I don’t regret it yet but I don’t sleep a lot. You’re carried by adrenaline and by the story. Usually, once the record is out that’s it. Sure, you tour, but with this the creating is still going on. The journals go on to Christmas. As the girls go out into the world and start relating there are going to be reactions from that and I have to somehow work with it.
Q: All five girls will perform every night?
A: No, this isn’t about how fast I can get a costume change. It’s about a narrative. You’d have to come to four different cities to see it. Only one girl comes out a night. But I can’t tell you who’s going to show up each night.
Q: Wouldn’t it have been easier to just put together a group like the Pussycat Dolls and call it a day?
A: Easier? Why would I do that? They’re dancers. They’re about entertainment. I’m a musician.
Q: But don’t you think all this is a bit much for the average person to take?
A: Ultimately, it’s about listening to the music. Just listen to the record and rock and get some mojo and go shag your wife. Or just shag yourself.