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Music / Otep

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Screaming & growling: Otep Shamaya's default setting.
Otep (stylized Ot3p on their third album cover, Ot6p on their sixth, and O7ep on their seventh; often stylized OTEP) are a Los Angeles based Nu Metal / Alternative Metal band that was formed in 2000. They are known for their angsty lyrics, downtuned riffs, fierce political commentary, and their lead singer (who is also named Otep) being a woman who screams but also raps and occasionally sings cleanly. She alone is the sole original member.

Otep were discovered by Sharon Osbourne (yes, THAT Sharon Osbourne!) who saw one of their shows and asked them to play Ozzfest before they were even signed. A record deal soon followed as they were signed to Capitol Records in 2001, where they would stay until being signed to Victory in 2009.

Otep Shamaya is an out lesbian and political activist who champions causes such as gay rights, equal treatment for women, animal rights and environmentalism. She also runs the Web sites, and, as well as having her own account on pretty much every social network on the Web. She has also appeared on HBO's Def Poetry.

Not to be confused with Opeth (as they often are).

Their lineup consists of:

  • Otep Shamaya - vocals, lyrics

Former Members

  • Tarver Marsh - guitars
  • Dave "Spooky" Aguilera - guitars
  • Rob Patterson - guitars
  • Karma Singh Cheema - guitars
  • Markus Estrada - guitar
  • Ari Mihalopoulos - guitars
  • AJ Bartholomew - guitars
  • Mark "Moke" Bistany - drums
  • Brian "Haggis" Wolff - drums
  • Gil Sharone - drums
  • Justin Kier - drums
  • Lamar Little - drums
  • Jay "eViL j" McGuire - bass
  • Rani Sharone - bass
  • Collyn McCoy - bass
  • Andrew Barnes - bass

Main Discography

  • Sevas Tra (2002)
  • House of Secrets (2004)
  • The Ascension (2007)
  • Smash the Control Machine (2009)
  • Atavist (2011)
  • Hydra (2013)
  • Generation Doom (2016)
  • Kult 45 (2018)
  • The God Slayer (2023)

Otep contain examples of:

  • Album Title Drop: Every album.
  • Author Avatar: Hydra is just Otep by another name.
  • Badass Boast: "He called me a dyke/I called him an ambulance" from "Equal Rights, Equal Lefts" on Generation Doom
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Seems to be an underlying theme with most of their songs, but "Jonestown Tea" and "Home Grown" are probably the best examples.
  • Careful with That Axe
  • Chewing the Scenery: Otep really, really likes to engage in this
    • and so on...
  • Cover Version: Of Nirvana's "Breed", The Doors' "Not to Touch the Earth", and—seriously—Lorde's "Royals".
  • Digital Piracy Is Evil: Otep Shamaya has stated in an interview that piracy is a cancer to the music industry.
    • Later, she would state this as the reason that she's quitting the music industry.
    • Or not...
  • Delusions of Eloquence: In "Adrenochrome Dreams", she describes rows of executioners like seventeenth century guillotine henchmen. Not only does she pronounce the word wrong (like gil-oh-teen, not gee-oh-teen) but guillotines were not invented until the eighteenth century. Also, in one interview, she described herself as "The agog of the alchemist" which makes no grammatical sense whatsoever. Agog is an adjective that means "Full of interest or excitement; eager".
  • Egocentric Team Naming: The band is named after lead vocalist Otep Shamaya.
  • Harsh Vocals
  • I Am the Band: Well, it is called Otep...
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Otep is more of a Chapstick lesbian, but there are pictures of her wearing dresses and nice hairstyles.
  • Metal Scream: One of the most popular female examples.
  • Misandry Song: "Menocide" from Sevas Tra.
  • New Sound Album: The Ascension was intended to be a full-fledged step away from nu/rap metal, though the seeds were planted on House of Secrets. Subsequent albums would return to the genre.
    • Hydra is noticeably softer than the material that came before and after. It is the only non-poetry album that has a higher number of spoken word tracks than actual songs.
  • Protest Song: Lots. "Warhead" is probably the most popular.
  • Purple Prose: Not just in her songs, but in her interviews and blog posts as well.
  • Rap Metal: Many of their songs featured rapping up until Atavist. There is also some rapping on Smash the Control Machine and a lot of it on Generation Doom.
  • Revolving Door Band: See the lineup in the main description. And that's not including all the session and touring musicians that have contributed. Otep has had more musicians come and go than McDonald's has hamburger patties.
  • Series Fauxnale: Hydra was stated by Shamaya to be the last album Otep would do, partially thanks to piracy and a desire to focus on poetry/art more. And then came Generation Doom in April 2016.
  • Soprano and Gravel: Both done by Shamaya, although she usually sings in a more alto range.
  • Stage Names: eViL j and Moke.
    • Subverted with Otep, as she claims it's her real name, inspired by her mother's interest in Egyptian history.
      • But if the rumors about her birth name being Shanelle Baty are true, then the trope applies.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: The band name is sometimes stylized OT3P or, in the case of Hydra, OT6P, and many of their songs like "Blood Pigs" and "UR A WMN NOW" have them in their lyrics.