I have no regrets about breastfeeding a piglet. The image appeared on the back cover of my 1996 album Boys for Pele. It caused a sensation in the U.S., where people made associations with Mother Mary and the Christ Child. It took a while to get that photograph right – maybe 45 minutes. That’s a long time to be holding a piglet. I put it on a Christmas card and sent it to my father – he was not a fan.
Pele was pivotal because it reflected a crisis time in my walk. You could listen to a woman in pain on Little Earthquakes and it’s not so difficult. But the walk didn’t end there. The demons weren’t really looked at yet. Pele really was about where I was as a person.
To become sovereign as a person, you have to descend and go visit the queen of the underworld. It was a dark night of the soul time…
I have a hard time listening to that record, listening to that woman, Tori, sing. Very hard. There is a lot of exorcism going on there. She’s finding the demons within her being that she’s projected onto other people and she’s having to go and try to break some patterns. It’s a stripping of flesh to get to the molecular structure of who she was.