On February 21, Rustyn Rose of Metalholic.com conducted an interview from singer poet, illustrator, author and activist Otep Shamaya. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.
Otep Shamaya‘s new video, “Apex Predator”, will make its online debut on Monday, February 25. Directed by P.R. Brown (SLIPKNOT, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, CHEVELLE, DEVICE), the clip “is uncut and uncensored! It might even get banned in a few places for its sexual and violent content, but the message is important. Challenging phobias, hypocrisies and delighting the vices in your mind,” says Otep.
OTEP will kick off the “Seduce And Destroy” headlining tour on March 8 in Sacramento, California, covering the entire U.S. over seven weeks. Support will come from ONE EYED DOLL and PICTURE ME BROKEN.
“Apex Predator” comes off Otep‘s sixth full-length studio album, “Hydra”, which sold around 2,900 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 155 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD was released on January 22 via Victory Records.
“Atavist”, the fifth full-length album from Otep (2011), opened with 7,000 units to land at No. 61.
Otep‘s 2009 CD, “Smash The Control Machine”, registered a first-week tally of 10,400 copies to enter the chart at No. 47.
In a recent interview with AOL‘s link textNoisecreep, Shamaya explained her decision to make “Hydra” her last album.
“Music’s been great for me and given me a wonderful life,” Shamaya said.
“The climate has changed in music. The way the industry has responded to pirating. The way it has sort of become part of our culture now. People say, ‘Pirating is here to stay.’ Sure it is, and I understand it. I understand it too when artists decide that they need to do something else.
“I’ve spent my whole life wanting to be a working artist. I didn’t want it to be a hobby. This is what I wanted to do full time.
“People complain some artists leave the genre so they can sell more records. It’s just about surviving. I wanted to become a professional, working, living artist.
“It’s hard to devote a decade of your life to something. Before ‘Hydra’ even came out, it was on YouTube because someone who had an advanced copy leaked it because they felt like being an asshole.
“We crafted in the studio 18 hours a day for 16 weeks only to see it end up on YouTube for free.
“We don’t make money off YouTube.
“People say, ‘We come to your shows. We buy your merch.’ I’m very grateful of that. But you’re supporting the tour then. You’re supporting fuel, transportation and food and salaries for the crew. It’s like a traveling circus. Tickets and all that pay for the tour and manufacturing of the merch. These are real live things. They don’t just materialize themselves into place. It’s a business, you have to run it. If people are constantly stealing from you, there’s no way to compete against pop bands or rap bands or country and western bands. Their fans still buy records.
“When you are trying to create music, be an artist and live life, it’s difficult when you’ve got so many things against you, including your own supporters,” continued Shamaya. “So when I’m fighting against these things and people want me to speak out and endorse me, I have an instinct to do it, to want to fight injustice. You have this practice of pirating music. And people say ‘Well, isn’t it supposed to be about the music and not the money?’ I’m not asking people to surrender their life savings. I’m just asking to pay for what you want to hear. That’s not for my sake, it’s for the industry itself.
“You have producers, technicians, people who have great skill and artistic ability who have devoted themselves to music only to see the industry cannibalize itself. So they have to get jobs doing something else. And you have fans complaining that large retail chains don’t carry aggressive music. They don’t carry metal, underground music, but they’ll carry Justin Bieber or rap music with ‘dangerous’ lyrics and all those things. It’s not a cultural thing. It’s about money. These large retail chains don’t care what you say as long as it sells. That’s the bottom line. I understand the economy and people are hurting. We’ve tried very diligently to work with retail chains that do still carry our music to give us low pricing. It’s hard to see what you love dissolve in front of you. I don’t want to become resentful of something that has been so good to me. And I don’t want to become resentful of something I care so deeply about.
“Maybe in the future I’ll come back to music, but for now I think I’ve done what I need to do. I’m really proud of this record. I think it’s an amalgamation of all my records. Everything I kind of wanted to do on an album I made sure I got it in on ‘Hydra’. I’ve got a lot of other things I’m interested in doing. I don’t have the time to devote the energy and attention to them that they deserve.”‘
“Apex Predator” video teaser: