Interview With S. Otep, vocalist for Otep

You've been touring fairly extensively with various bands over the years. What's coming up next for you guys?

-- we are writing the new album ...doing some shows as they come ...fighting for the next phase of the disease

Any news or tidbits you can give out on the next record?

-- its going to be authentic, poetic, brutal, & our very best effort to date.

Your CDs have a lot of puzzle-features to the packaging. Are you involved in all of that?

-- the ideas always stem from a creative collective of heads & brainstorming.

Do you ever see yourself moving away from metal to completely different expressions?

-- never away ... but always expanding ... following the muses where ever they lead us.

Are your bandmates irreplaceable?

-- sometimes. to quote my creative life-partner evil j: "hell yeah they are, the message is what matters."

Does having some Hollywood celebs around you, like Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, diminish the Otep image?

-- no.

Do you think your record company really supports your vision and has your best interests at heart?

-- yes.

Can you elaborate on your belief that "art saves"? What is it saving people from?

-- themselves.

How much of your artistic output is off the cuff spontanious and how much is really planned out?

-- its both. someone wrote "inspiration is the combination of preparation & opportunity"

From what I've read you enjoy History a lot. Is there a certain time period you favor?

-- the 18th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt is one of my fascinations, as are the Sumerians, The Etruscans, The Romans, & the Assyrians.

Do you believe in things like reincarnation, ghosts and the afterlife?

-- yes.

Symbols and messages seem to play a large part in your life. What's your favorite symbol and why?

-- i find strength in many symbols. i am most drawn to those that are forbidden or hold some secret meaning.

"most of the musicians i have met or know have very little knowledge about what is happening in this country"
Do you feel that the best way to get over a fear, issue or hangup is to just confront it or can avoidance be an acceptable methodology.

-- head on. like a warrior.

Would you ever endorse suicide as an artistic statement?

-- depends on the artist.

Does Otep ever feel relaxed?

-- rarely.

What guilty pleasure (ie: sports, reality shows) do you like to do as a break from Art?

-- i enjoy physical pleasures...

You have always been very outspoken about your strong political views. Do you speak for all band members on all issues? Do you all share the same opinions?

-- most of the musicians i have met or know have very little knowledge about what is happening in this country ... a few do ... eViL j is a recent convert to political ideologies ... & randy from Lamb of God is a brother in
arms ...

Would you ever consider running for a political office?

-- oh, one never knows the future ... does one?

Speaking of U.S. Presidents, can you restate your current opinion of ours?

-- i believe he is a failure. at everything he has ever done.

Do you think anybody would do a better job or is does the entire system need shelved?

-- both. mccain, gore, kerry, or dean could have done a much better job ...the system may not need to be shelved but it is ripe for new blood to come in and shake it up ... fuck the favors and admissions -- just do what is right for the nation.

Changing gears, who is in your opinion the single greatest individual contributor to Heavy Metal over the last 30 years-can be based on output, skill, influence, etc.--and why?

-- Ozzy

What's been in your playlist lately?

-- Mudvayne, Slipknot, Radiohead, American Headcharge, Psychostik, SOAD, Tomahawk, Mr. Bungle, the new Bizkit EP, Slayer, BloodSimple, Wu-Tang, and KMozart [the classical station in Los Angeles]

What do you have planned for this Halloween?

-- a pagan ceremony honoring the dead.

Any last words for the metal crowd out there?

-- stand up. think loud. speak out. fight back.

Shamaya OtepFrank Hill, Unholiestgoddess10/21/2005

Sevas Tra
Psycho Sarah10/18/2004

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