OTEP will play Baltimore, Maryland at Ram’s Head Live on August 21, 2012 and I had the chance to catch up with the bands namesake.... and the interview that follows is interesting, weird & I’ll be upfront with you, Otep was not happy with my questions, she came off nasty, militant & in no way did I mean to offend her.
The Interview below is verbatim, as it happened & in it’s entirity...you can tell when she was offended by what I said & in no way did I mean any harm, my interview style is to the point, nothing’s held back & I ask what I care about....Otep viewed my questions as insulting but I give her credit because she did answer my questions regardless.
Rock N Roll Experience: Otep will be in Baltimore on Tuesday, August 21 at Ram’s Head Live...what can we expect from you?
Otep: You can expect a complete & total mutiny of the senses.
Rock N Roll Experience: What made you choose Butcher Babies as the opening act?
Otep: Those deals are sorta packaged through our booking agent but I found that both bands, One Eyed Doll & Butcher Babies offer diversity to the package. They also challenge alot of social stereo types of what women can be & there’s almost a feminist political statement in the tour package all be it very subtle, but it’s there.
Rock N Roll Experience: Do you feel that the Butcher Babies being topless on stage takes away from their music just a bit though?
Otep: I don’t know, you’d probably have to ask them that
Rock N Roll Experience: I’m just asking your personal opinion because what you do live is very different than what they do onstage.
Otep: Right, but I’m not in Butcher Babies so if you wanna ask about them you should talk to them.
Rock N Roll Experience: Can I ask you how you over came your rape?
Otep: What periodical is this for?
Rock N Roll Experience: This is for Rock N Roll Experience
Otep: It’s called Rock N Roll Experience? And how long have you guys been around?
Rock N Roll Experience: 20 years
Otep: 20 years & these are the kinda questions you ask people? How did I survive my rape?
Rock N Roll Experience: Well I’m simply curious how you got past it and....
Otep: Yes, of course, and as a writer myself I can ask a question without being so...I don’t know if you’re trying to get some sort of shock reaction from me but...I will answer your question. I overcame alot in my life by pure uncompromising will. I was not about to let anybody define me by what they thought that I should be or could be & that’s the way that I’ve lived my life & it looks like it’s the way I’ll continue to do so.
Rock N Roll Experience: That’s good, congratulations. I apologize if you felt like I was being harsh, I’m only talking to you like a person, I don’t beat around the bush....
Otep: It’s not about beating around the bush, there’s just professionalism, you could say how did you over come the obstacles in your life, how did you over come the violence that you experienced as a child, how did you overcome anything that a person who has experienced violence...do you have any suggestions or recommendations for those who might have experienced this kind of violence in their life & how they should deal with it...but now I’m doing your job, aren’t I?
Rock N Roll Experience: So what newer bands do you like?
Otep: I don’t like alot of newer bands
Rock N Roll Experience: Is there any reason why or just personal taste?
Otep: That’s the reason why...Personal taste.
Rock N Roll Experience: What older bands do you like?
Otep: I like Rage Against the Machine, The Doors, Nirvana, I like old school east coast hip hop like some of the newer school stuff I like, I’m excited about the direction Jay-Z is taking & I like Rocky ASAP...alot of that is coming up & using spoken word for more than just “Throw ya hands in tha air!”
Rock N Roll Experience: But you know what, sometimes fluff like that is fun because it’s simple & light weight.
Otep: Yes, but when you are surrounded by a world of fluff and there are no edges, we need edges!
Rock N Roll Experience: Do you feel a kinship with Kurt Cobain?
Otep: I’m a fan of Kurt Cobain, I find that he..what he did with music & for music sorta shaped my life & as a person & as a musician, I mean there were not many people who were speaking about women’s rights from a male perspective that I’m aware of in those days & he was & that was refreshing & he was also speaking out against homophobia & he wrote this letter that if you’re a bigot and you’re homophobic or sexist then don’t buy our records. I thought that was such a brave stance for some band like that who never really wanted the pop attention that they received but never the less became this tip of the spear of what alternative & active rock music became & no one even touched him...he died in ‘94 & his music is still just as powerful & universal as it ever was & I think that just goes to the genius of his musical song writing ability & that goes back to your earlier question, I don’t find that there’s alot of song writing anymore, there’s just alot of part writing....people write parts & they sew them all together & call that a song whereas before is seemed like there was actually a craft to writing a song that had intentions to it & it was going some place for a reason...not just a start & stop.
Rock N Roll Experience: What do you think of Chick-fil-A?
Otep: I’m obviously opposed to it, I think that’s it’s absurd & unfortunate..they have the right to support whoever they support, if they wanna support hate that’s fine but I think their hypocrisy should be shown & people have the right to know that they are buying or that they are supporting that kind of company and they supporting anti gay measures..people have a right to know that & maybe the owner has a right to spend Chick-fil-A’s money on hate groups then we as a people have a right to not eat there. As a rather strong politically minded vegetarian I don’t eat there anyway & I have other issues with the way they are able to cultivate their products by cruelty, torture & murder of animals but I think having it exposed is a good thing & I’m proud of people who stood up against them & the surprising thing to me was how many people actually showed up on the day to support Chick-fil-A & the church groups made all these long lines & Sara Palin, nobody cares about her anymore, but she went out of her way to make sure that she got her picture taken on her i-phone or whatever she has & not realizing that the people that built that phone & that technology are pro-gay, the man responsible for computer science & artificial intelligence & the beginning science of that, Allen Turing was a homosexual, so if they really, really, really wanted to be anti gay first they’d stop eating shell fish because that also is in Leviticus & it’s an abomination & they should stop eating pork because that’s also in the bible & I think Chick-fil-A sells sausage sandwiches but they’d also stop using computers, cell phones & i-pads & everything else that’s based around anything that a homosexual invented & otherwise they are just being hypocrites & trying to get their names in the paper, but I don’t see any of these church groups lining up to help homeless shelters or children with cancer or anything that would do any good in the world, they just decide to show up when there’s hate involved .