Otep: The Human Experience

I knew just about everything there is to know and allowed my subconscious mind and feral emotions to fill in the spaces....

She has danced with the devil in the pale moonlight, consulted oracles and frequently frightens herself, Otep Shamaya; the denizen of several platforms, a true activist for animal rights, human rights & social injustices has won the world over time and time again with the provocative and merciless truth with metal band Otep. Otep’s spoken war against collective prejudice and discriminations have all screamed volumes in the industry. Metal As Fuck dove into the highly educated and eccentric mind of Otep Shamaya recently to find out the ins and outs of the band’s latest and sadly last album Hydra; a powerful and gripping concept album ‘fueled by bloodlust’ but not before tackling the uncertainty of the bands achievements in their combat to open the minds of many to the atrocities of mankind, Otep advised us that the struggle continues no matter what platform your yelling from.

From your own words - “No one knows how to write a great song anymore” what is important to you when writing material? And what makes a great story in your opinion? "The ability to communicate the human experience uniquely, with your own voice and perspective, not just regurgitating what you think people want to hear but something you actually feel”. A great story in fact is that of Hydra (the bands final album which we will get to in a moment) I have read that during the creative process you remained in character – what did that involve? "I had written extensively on Hydra so I knew just about everything there is to know and allowed my subconscious mind and feral emotions to fill in the spaces. Once she took over, she stayed there, for the entire process. Those were some dark days and even darker nights. Fueled by bloodlust and revenge against evil and the fiends who feed from it. There were moments where I honestly frightened myself”.

Taking chances are all part of creating music, if not, nothing would evolve. Do you see each risk you’ve taken building a stronger momentum for the band and do you enjoy pushing the envelope when it comes to writing? Always. It's the only way to stay on the edge”. Did you know Hydra was your last album even before you began to write for it? I knew it was going to be something very different but still similar to the creative spirit of House of Secrets”. How do you like to challenge yourselves in this capacity? You trust the ones you write with, you trust the people you record with, and hope they inspire and challenge you and that you can do the same”.

What’s next in terms of evolving your creativity as an artist? Where is your next platform? "I need to visit the Oracle before answering this for she is the only one who truly knows what the future may hold". At the end of the day, the bands greatest attribute is inspiration with a legacy that Otep hopes will inspire people to live their lives to the best of their abilities "Never let anyone define you or restrict you. Love yourself, in the end, you're all you got". And when asked what are you looking forward to the most about the pending Australian tour, it was a no brainer; Otep wants to see a platypus.