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OTEP – Interview

By • Aug 3rd, 2016 • Category: Artist Interviews

Interview by Laura Anderson

We here at StageShottz were lucky enough to catch up with OTEP while she was here in
Colorado for her Generation Doom tour, and it was a very profound interview. OTEP has a
message that goes much beyond her empowering, beautiful, sexy, and fierce voice that we all

So where did it all begin? Where did her voice come from, and how did she manage to reach all
of us so deeply to hear it? It all started with drawing.. Yes, drawing. OTEP used this as a form of
communication to express her emotion and tell stories as a youngster growing up. Drawing in
great detail. People starting asking her about her drawings and from there she learned that she
could tell a story with them. People were listening.. And it gave OTEP a voice. Drawings turned
into stories, stories turned into poetry, poetry turned into music. She has always used all of
these as a communication tool and still does today. OTEP has written several published books,
such as NEW WORD ORDER, NONE SHALL SLEEP, and her most favorite MOVIES IN MY
HEAD. She has written several books that are very special to her and will give us an amazing
insight to the mind of OTEP.

Growing up in a neighborhood where her family was poor, there was judgement. Judgement by
those who truly knew nothing about them. “It didn’t matter that we were honor roll kids, all they
saw was that we were poor, and they judged us because of it.” So where did OTEP conjure
inside of her the strength that has brought her to empower all of us today? “I can’t really give
you a direct answer where that strength comes from. I’ve always stood up to bullies and fought
for people who needed a voice. As a kid, it was rough, you either had to fight or run, I chose to
fight. I learned to never accept your circumstances, and never accept other people’s
judgements.” OTEP praises her mother for being a strong woman, teaching OTEP to always
learn, always listen about opposing ideas and to know the truth, even when it comes to

During the interview with OTEP, I realized that I not only love her music but admire her as a
person. Even though OTEP spends so much of her time touring, she also keeps a level head. “I
don’t do drugs, I don’t drink. I don’t like the bar scene. I enjoy going to the gym and being
healthy. Sometimes on tour, people get the impression; that I think I’m better than them. Some
people will take it personally and that’s not the case, I just choose a healthy choice.” OTEP has
also faced times where she has been told, not to be so political, or to tone down her voice,
during tours because it attracts too much controversy to them, “I don’t find too many friendlies
because I draw attention to the issues”, says Otep. Isn’t this what we LOVE so much about her?
How dare anyone tell her, to keep silent!!!

I have to say, this was my all time favorite interview, as I myself am an OTEP fan. I love that my
daughter and I can enjoy her music together as we blast her new cover of “Royals.” I love that
her music makes me feel empowered, I love that her music expresses emotions that I can’t
always know how to express myself. I love that she chooses individuality and stands by her
convictions. Otep stirs up something within ourselves that some people are afraid to stand for
themselves. She invokes beauty, passion, and power. She gives us something relatable from
her mind to ours. Otep says herself, “We never knew Bentley’s growing up,” in relation to her
cover of Royals. Her music taste is extremely diverse. Who would have known that one of
Otep’s favorite writers is Kendrick Lamar? Otep states that she always gives love to those who
inspire her. “Where would we be without Nirvana, The Doors, Slipknot, and Johnny Cash? The
things that we know most about our country, is the art. After an empire falls, the art is all we
know, all we have left.”

Check out Otep on tour

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