Metal Wani’s Carl O’Rourke sat down with Otep Shamaya ahead of the bands show in London to talk in depth and extensively on topics such as the bands new album ‘Kult 45’ and the subject matter in which it tackles, Otep’s poetry, the community the band have created for their fans and much more.
Asked if the subject matter tackled on ‘Kult 45’ was pre-meditated, and if they had a mission statement before entering the studio, Otep reflected,
“When it happened it was very organic, extremely organic. I’m quite loquacious as you can tell, I’m an egregious writer. I write all the time, everything and anything. And so whenever I go into the studio I usually have about five bags full of books and this sort of amoebic idea of what I think the record might be. It usually never turns out that way. But when I knew that it was time because contractually it was time for us to do another album, I thought, I’ve got a pretty good idea of what I wanna do and what I wanna say and then this happened. Resident Chump got selected and placed into office and so I saw early on, very early on, the warning signs of what he was going to do to our country and who he was gonna attack.”
“There is such a thing as invincible ignorance, and that comes from a sense of ego where they don’t want to be wrong and they’ll never admit that they’re wrong. They’re never gonna admit it even though they might know that they’re wrong. There’s also mental illness, you’re not gonna be able to argue with someone who is mentally ill. I’ve done that with street preachers in America who will say that yoga is satanic or they’ll misspell Buddhism, and I’ll tell them, you guys should at least learn how to spell if you’re gonna say something is satanic or not. But overall, there is this thing, you can’t beat stupid, right? I think people say that. Or don’t play chess with a pigeon because the pigeon shits all over the board and doesn’t care if it wins or whatever.”
“Sometimes I’m not really trying to change their mind. Especially if they are invincibly ignorant or eagerly stupid. I’m not gonna change their mind, or if I don they’re ever going to admit it. But what I will do, is someone else is gonna read that, and someone else is gonna learn how to interact with those type of people. Or maybe they feel the same way but they’re not sure how to voice it. So they’re gonna learn, they’re gonna be pollinated by that in a way that allows them to have those kinds of discourse.”
On building a community through the band’s music, Otep shared,
“I’m glad you noticed it. Most of my family are very literal, very scholarly folks. I was the only artist so it was very lonely growing up. So when I started the band I wanted to start a community. I was hoping I would encourage at least some kind of a community that would support each other. Even if you didn’t understand or agree or never experienced the same experiences they had. If you never had those types of experiences you’d at least support them in some way, and so we’ve always been exclusively inclusive. Except for Trump supporters, you guys can go fuck yourselves. I wanted a place where people could feel safe.”