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Otep Shamaya has never been one to mince words. As the lead singer for the band that bears her name, Otep has been on a tear the past couple of years through the metal community. The band is currently on tour supporting their latest release Sounds Like Armageddon. Metal Machine’s Amanda Harvey caught up with Otep recently…

Metal Machine: How has your tour been going with One Eyed Doll and Butcher Babies, and why did you choose to tour with these two bands specifically?

OTEP:
We have the best fans on the planet. Every time we take the stage it feels like a riot.

Metal Machine: Which locations are you most excited to revisit or visit for the first time, and why?

OTEP: We hope to tour Europe and other territories outside the US.

Metal Machine: As a musician, artist, and activist, who would you say your main influences and heroes are? Who’s work made Otep possible beside your own?

OTEP: Bands like Rage Against the Machine, The Doors, Nirvana, Mazzy Star, Slayer, Pantera, and writers like Hunter S. Thompson, Mark Twain, Harlan Ellison, and artists like Picasso, Max Ernst, Banksy, have all pollinated me with their gifts.

Metal Machine: You recently released a live album, can we expect a live DVD to come soon along with it?

OTEP: The label decides what we can release. As of now, we have no plans for a DVD. Maybe in the future. We’d love to do one. For now, let this album serve as a theater of the mind.

Metal Machine: You were signed without a demo based on your live performance, do you feel that this holds barring on success of your live album over your studio release, and do you feel your best work is portrayed through production or live passion?

OTEP: Our live shows are designed to be mutinies of the senses. We try to pour that same emotional elixir into our studio albums.

Metal Machine: How do you think your new album “Hydra” is different from your previous work?

OTEP: It’s a single story based on a graphic novel I’ve been writing.

Metal Machine: Is there a specific message that you would like to portray through Hydra?

OTEP: Art Saves

Metal Machine: You just released your album artwork to the world, who’s responsible for the piece and what’s the story behind it?

OTEP: Joey James Hernandez

Metal Machine: Are there any upcoming projects in particular that you would like to tell us about?

OTEP: The new album HYDRA is available January 22nd, 2013. We’ll also be headlining an Australian tour later that year, which I’m particularly excited about.

Metal Machine: Knowing that you’re an activist for many causes we were curious as to what organizations you have been working closely with recently and if that has formed any bonds or ties into any of your new material.

OTEP: HRC, EQCA, PETA

Metal Machine: You were signed without a demo, your name has exploded in the metal world, how do you feel as a band that you have progressed through this very industrial and ever changing world of music?

OTEP: We’ve tried to stay close to our fans and to make sure we remain pure in motivation.

Metal Machine: Do you feel that in hindsight of the election and all of the political and unjust jargon that has been spewed around that the message of preserving the arts is losing some of its backing? Or do you feel that those who support the motion are untouched and unscathed by the treachery of the world as of current?

OTEP: Every year arts funding is decreasing. I hope that we can change that.

Metal Machine: Any final words? What do you want to tell the fans?

OTEP: Thank you. Never let anyone define you. Be proud of who you are. Find a passion and never let it go.

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