Ad 1 – Jackson

100% HEAVY / 100% Free / 0% Spam

HEAVY Magazine Logo Black
Ad 2 – Whitechapel
Ad 3 – Wicked Smile

Otep’s New Beginning

Share This:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Otep’s latest album, Hydra, is the band’s sixth and final album. Lead singer Otep Shamaya made the decision to leave the band but she’s not ready to say her goodbyes just yet.

“This is our first time coming to Australia and there’s a lot of firsts and a lot of beginnings. I feel like it’s all beginning right now, so I don’t want to focus so much on the end. My whole year, everything I’m doing, is focused and devoted to ‘Hydra’ and the band and the message we communicate”.

The new video for Apex Predator, the first single from the album Hydra, was released a week ago and it’s already made an impression, with over 200,000 views and an inappropriate flag from YouTube. The video is dark and unnerving, opening with a quote from philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche: “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you”.

It’s interesting that a quote from Nietzsche, someone who has controversial views on women, would be used as the opening to an Otep video. “I think it was important to use a figure like Nietzsche because the violence that is perpetrated against women in that video is something that most people ignore. The reason that YouTube flagged it as inappropriate is not because there is a woman with a gun in her mouth, it’s because there’s two women loving each other”.

“Nietzsche was such a strange, odd, little character and had so many mental and intellectual struggles. Being such a hypocritical, controversial and conflicted character I thought using that quote fit the video very well”.

Shamaya has been in the band since 2000 and together they’ve amassed a large following, but it hasn’t always been a smooth ride. The band has lost opportunities and gigs, even agents and managers, because she is openly gay and outspoken about politics. Surprisingly, she isn’t bitter when asked about the topic; in fact, it seems to have strengthened her resolve. “I wasn’t going to back down and I wasn’t going to stop speaking out for people who are like me. I’d rather have my integrity and I’d rather speak the truth than live a lie”.

“Unfortunately, even in subcultures there are rules and things you have to abide by. I just kind of decided to be myself and let anybody know that whoever they were, no matter what they were or what they believed in, they were welcome to be a part of what we were doing”.

She speaks often about how she feels different, and  labels herself as a misfit and an outcast.  It’s clear that this forms a large part of her identity. In the past, this meant feeling isolated and alone, but the music she’s created with the band has helped her to connect with fellow deviants. “When you’re able to connect to so many different people and you find so many similarities, it’s like, ‘Wow, there’s other people like me…’. It’s a remarkable, rewarding place and suddenly you’re not so isolated or lonely. I think that’s been the most rewarding part of my life, just being able to connect to people through art”.

She is an unrelenting and unapologetic symbol of strength for women in the music industry, but her own source of strength came from much closer to home. “My mother. She raised us through some pretty tough times but never allowed us to settle and never allowed us to think that just because we were poor, that that’s all we ever deserved”.

“I want to come to the day and time when we are judged by our talents, skills and our achievements and not on our biology. We’re judged by our biology first. It doesn’t make any sense, but it’s something we have to fight for”.

Catch Otep on their first Australian tour

Otep 2013 Australian Tour

Sydney. 25 April @ HiFi (All Ages)
With special guests Darkc3ll

Melbourne. 26 April @ HiFi
With special guests Darkc3ll

Brisbane. 27 April @ HiFi
With special guests Darkc3ll

Discover more like this on HEAVY:

Ad 1 – Jackson
AD 5 – Grog Lords Blackened

Our Picks.

AD 6 – Grog Lords

Get the HEAVY

AD 7 – Back In Black

Get the HEAVY Digi-Mag in-boxed weekly. 100% HEAVY / 0%SPAM.