Why you should care:
Since the release of Sevas Tra (2002), Otep has been unique in the metal scene. Not only is she as badass and hardworking as any of her male counterparts, she’s one of the only “out” lesbians in the genre. She’s also a poet.
Metal, musically, is not the friendliest places for women. Even in 2010, despite progress made by women like Otep, Angela Gossow, and–stretching even farther back–Lita Ford and Girlschool–is still male dominated. Men are expected to be angry, loud, and aggressive. Women–not so much. Women musicians certainly match/even outnumber their male counterparts in genres such as pop/folk/singer-songwriter. But, in metal, the gender disparity is HUGE. And most of the well known women in metal are singers for the goth/metal variety (think Nightwish. Lacuna Coil. Etc.) Women bassists/guitarists/drummers are even LESS well known.
Otep Shamaya is a conscious musician. Her lyrics and music are tied deep in emotion, to the point where some songs are almost hard to listen to. The first time I heard the song “Buried Alive” and watched the video, it made me uncomfortable–it sounded and felt like she was breaking down emotionally in front of me, on the screen, through her vocals. It scared me. That kind of passion, that kind of raw ability is hard to find just anywhere. In addition to emotion, she has a deep awareness of social awareness. In her albums you’ll find a knowledge of political issues (“Warhead”), and social issues (“Rise, Rebel, Resist”).
“Rise, Rebel, Resist”-one of Otep’s newest video offerings!-is an outright metal anthem in support of being LGBT and being proud of it. It’s a powerful song, and not just for the LGBT community, but for anyone who has been cast into the social misfit role. The song is on her most recent album, Smash the Control Machine, which is why the band (made up of Otep herself, Evil J (bass), Rob Patterson (guitar), and Mark Bistany (drums).
The point of this whole entry: If you are in Salt Lake this Monday–Do NOT Miss this show. I know what Otep has to offer and it is nothing less than passion, which is one of the most vital ingredients for any show that you’ll remember years after it’s done. And not liking metal is NOT an excuse. So there.
If you are in another state where Otep has yet to leave their mark on your fair city–check their tour schedule. And go.
“Art Saves.Make the pain a weapon you can use.”-Otep Shamaya
Video Love <3: