Catching Up With Tori Amos
By Noah Michelson
Tell me about the upcoming tour.
I'm not doing Night of Hunters as a complete song cycle every night. I don't get Tash and I don't get Kelsey [Dobyns, who also sings on the album's title track] and I figure people coming to the shows more than once will get tired of that really quickly. Also, you can't respond to what's happening in the world unless all the songs are there on the palette. Some songs will be alone at the piano -- if they're not orchestrated that doesn't mean they won't get played -- unless it's "Datura," of course [laughs].
What's up with that? Are you ever going to play it?
I don't know [somewhat wearily]. I don't know how I'd do it! I might one day -- I have to do it one day but this isn't the tour to do it. I'd have to have all the flowers. But, yes, we are looking at all the songs from all the records to be arranged for the quartet. We have our "A list" -- but I really want you to get the Out readers to tell us which ones they want to hear and then send it to me. I've done my "A list," but I haven't done my "B list" or my "C list."
That's amazing. We'll have them leave their suggestions in the comment section. People are already talking about what they want to hear.
Well, what do you want to hear?
"Father Lucifer" -- you've changed the arrangement of that song so many times, I'd love to hear what you'd do with it now.
That's a great idea. What else?
That'd be very challenging. But yes, I need to consider that. We've just done the "A list." When I say "A," it doesn't mean my favorites, it means different tempos -- it is a grouping of songs from the catalog that I thought would work with songs from the new record. For instance, one song from the new record that won't be ready to go when we start the tour is "Battle of Trees." That's going to be one of the hardest ones to achieve -- it's sort of like "Datura" -- without the flowers [laughs]. It has to be arranged for quartet. It was originally arranged for octet.
Do you want to reveal a few titles that made the "A list" to whet fans' appetites?
I'll tell you what might make the "B list": "Ribbons Undone," "Pandora['s Aquarium]," "Siren," and possibly "God." That might make the "B list." The reason that's not making the "A list" is because the songs on the "A list" are all "ground-up," meaning if I recorded it with the Metropole [Orchestra] or it had strings on it originally, then it has a chance to make the "A list" because we have to have enough songs to have a full repertoire for an hour and a half show or whatever by September. And we only have five days of rehearsal. So those songs that made the "A list" aren't necessarily the songs that I wanted to do first. There are a few, without mentioning any names, that have never had an arrangement, and I said they have to be the ones that we do ground-up first because I need them to tell my story. And each night it has to be a little bit of a different narrative but one that still works with the idea of a shattering that happens, and then each night we find something. And depending on what's happening in the world, we don't know what fragments we need to reclaim. It might be compassion, it might be intelligence, it might be fury. That's what the woman is doing in Night of Hunters -- she's reclaiming parts of her soul. It's easy to blame other people in your life, whether it's friends or people you work with. But let's be honest -- a lot of times you blame the person you're in love with. Especially if you've been in love with them for a long time. If we were as respectful to our partners as we were to complete strangers at Benihana [laughs] -- everyone is so respectful at fucking Benihana, and then you're thinking What are you saying to your lover when you get in your car? It's about being aware of how you treat the people you say you love. We forget that.
To suggest a song you'd like to hear Amos play on her upcoming fall tour, leave a comment below. We will forward all suggestions to her at the end of the month.