By Mayer Nissim, Senior Entertainment Reporter
original source to the interview: digitalspy.co.uk
"I knew the dangers... do I wanna take the chance?" Tori Amos says. "Then the naughty fairy on my shoulder said, ’What a cop-out. I used to respect you’. So, I had to take up the challenge!" When she puts it like that, it’s easy to see why the singer-songwriter couldn’t wimp out when a classical music label approached her to do a record.
The successful result was Amos’s 12th album Night of Hunters - a dense, original and multi-layered work which plays with the classics through a modern prism. We got on the phone to ask her all about it.
How would you describe your new album?
"It’s a 21st century song cycle, it’s based on classical themes. Deutsche Grammophon approached me and asked me if I would do this kind of project. That was the beginning."
Do you think other artists would gain from looking beyond rock ’n’ roll for influences?
"There’s a richness to the old works if you look before the 1950s. The chord progressions and the language was more complicated, especially in the jazz and classical world. You listen to the radio once in a while and you think, ’Hang on a minute, that sounds a bit like a song I heard three weeks ago?’. A lot of songs are derivative of each other. Sometimes you need to take a departure from what you do to something that’s slightly different in order to get inspiration."
Do you prefer writing concept-heavy, character-driven records?
"I like involved projects. I’m driven by the idea of characters and the song-cycle form is similar to a musical. I’ve been working on the musical [The Light Princess at the National Theatre] now it seems like for 5,000 years and that has informed my work. I’ve been studying narrative now for over five years by doing the musical. I don’t think I could have done it had I not been having on-the-chop training with the musical crowd."
Are you worried by the way people download music as single MP3s today?
"People listen to music the way they want to listen to music. Doing something like this where the songs are interconnected, you can listen out of sequence - but it’ll take on a different meaning than when you take the journey. It’s sort of a sonic film. I thought it could be interpreted by a dance company. It could be Rite of Spring by Stravinsky - it is a story that happens."