Civilian London: You must spend a lot of time on planes when you’re touring. What’s your strategy?
Tori Amos: Lots of water. And if I’m on a long flight, I take certain herbs that bring me down. I don’t think health food substitutes work always, but I have something from the Tea Garden in California that slows me down in a nice way, with no hangover. I always have a moisturiser and I never drink on a plane as I like to be in control. I’ll watch movies and I try not to talk to anyone.
But you aren’t in the back of the plane with the insomnia and the screaming kids, are you?
Let me tell you, there are some really rotten people in schmoozy class. This German guy came up to me once and started telling me everything I’d done wrong with my albums. He was drinking, and he kept pestering me. I was with my husband and trying to get my daughter to sleep and they had to ask him to sit down. It was like having a stalker, in BA First Class.
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How do you decide on a hotel in a certain city?
Well, we’re always in good hotels, but they’re always big. They have to meet our needs on tour. I really like the Four Seasons in New York City. If you’re doing seven interviews back to back, and you just flew in and everything’s wrinkled, they can turn things around really fast for you. And the spa is pretty good too. It’s not like a “spa” spa though. It’s very New York. It has a good workout room.
And in Europe?
In Paris I like Hôtel Costes. It feels like I’m having an affair with myself when I’m there. I open the shutters, look out onto the courtyard and it has a touch of the 19th century.
What about when you’re not on tour, when it’s just travel for the pleasure of it?
Well, we like to spend a lot of time at the beach house we have, north of Miami. It has beautiful wildlife and I can just sit on the sun deck and watch the boats go by. I love Auberge du Soleil in the Napa Valley, right in the middle of wine country, outside of San Francisco. You get a condo with a hot tub overlooking the vineyards. It’s so romantic.
Do you take anything special with you to travel, to feel more at home, like scented candles or anything homely?
I take a humidifier for my voice, but otherwise I don’t need much. I just take whatever is in my bag at the time. You have to be a lone wolverine in this business. You have to be able to prowl around the world. If everything was taken away from, I’d still be okay. If I had my credit cards, I’d be doubly okay. C