OTEP, the band led by singer, poet, illustrator, author and activist Otep Shamaya, released a new studio album, “The God Slayer”, on September 15 via Cleopatra. The follow-up to 2018’s “Kult 45” offers up a mix of inspired original tracks as well as transformative takes on chart-topping hits from a variety of influences, including pop, rap and grunge, by such artists as Eminem, Billie Eilish, SLIPKNOT, Lil Peep and Olivia Rodrigo.
Asked in a new interview with Belgian Jasper what inspired her to return to making music five years after the release of her previous album, Otep said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “Well, I think you really have to love music, you have to love creating music and you have to love performing music to be in the industry of music. And since my last album, a lot of things have happened in my personal life — my oldest brother died, everybody worldwide had the big plague where we couldn’t trust the air we breathe. So there was a lot going on at the time, and we were in quarantine here in the States and this label reached out to me and said, ‘Hey, would you like to do a cover album?’ I thought, ‘Uh, do I really?’ And then I’m thinking, ‘Okay, it’s quarantine. Nothing’s open. Nothing’s happening. I’m in the house. Why not?’ It just kind of came back to that. I missed it. I missed creating music and I missed that outlet. And I missed performing. Because I hadn’t played on U.S. soil since 2018. And so that’s what brought me back around. In symbolic terms, nine is the last single digit. So it is the last; it represents the last. I don’t know if I’ll make another record. But I had a really marvelous time creating this one with the people that I worked with… I mean, to me, this is probably my favorite sounding album, sonically. And I’ve been booming it in my car.”
“The God Slayer” track listing:
01. My Violent Appetites
03. Good 4 U
04. Exit Wounds
05. You Should See Me In A Crown
06. The Way I Am
07. California Girls
09. Territorial Pissings
10. Star Shopping
12. God Slayer
Not only is Shamaya a revered musical figure, known for her intrepid blending of metal genres and hip-hop, as exemplified on her notorious 2002 debut album “Sevas Tra”, but she’s also amassed an enormous following based on her fearless performances and confrontational, spiritually tinged lyrics. It’s that combination of radical artistry and galvanizing message that the world desperately needs now more than ever, and OTEP is ready to answer the call.
Throughout the span of her career, Shamaya has been an undeniable force in bringing awareness via various acclaimed mediums to social and political injustices felt by various communities and subcultures. For years, publications such as Revolver magazine have lauded Shamaya for “following in the footsteps of outspoken musicians from folk singer Woody Guthrie to RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE‘s Zach de la Rocha, dubbing her “one of music’s catalysts for social change”.