This summer, heavy revolutionaries OTEP unleashed their most uncompromising, candid, all-inclusive and controversial assessment of the current residing political regime that they have ever released – the new album Kult 45. In support of the album, OTEP recently announced her upcoming “The Art of Dissent” U.S. headline tour, kicking off in Bakersfield, CA on Friday, November 23. Tickets are available now via all venues – see below for a full listing of tour dates.
Otep Shamaya says, “In a time when apathy has been weaponized to suffocate the voice of the people, in a time when Americans are told not to believe what we see with our own eyes but to believe what one bloviating sack of sewage and a gutless Republican Party who care only about preying on the working class and the working poor just to feed his KULT from the same gruesome trough of racist, homophobic and sexist slop. We are proud to bring THE ART OF DISSENT tour to the people to hopefully remind them just how powerful we are and how important we are, as a nation, as a democracy, and that it’s damn well worth fighting for.”
OTEP “The Art of Dissent” U.S. Headline Tour:
11/23 – Bakersfield, CA @ Club 1933 11/24 – Tucson, AZ @ House of Bards 11/27 – Milwaukee, WI @ Shank Hall 11/28 – Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall 11/29 – Arlington Heights, IL @ HOME Bar 11/30 – Geneva on the Lake, OH @ The Cove 12/1 – Chesterfield, MI @ Diesel 12/2 – Dayton, OH @ Oddbody’s 12/4 – Clifton, NJ @ Dingbatz 12/5 – Richmond, VA @ Canal Club 12/6 – Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts 12/7 – Auburn, ME @ Sapphire Club 12/8 – Easton, PA @ One Centre Square 12/9 – Amityville, NY @ Revolution 12/12 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade (Hell) 12/13 – Spartanburg, SC @ Ground Zeroo 12/14 – Huntsville, AL @ Sidetracks 12/15 – Clarksville, TN @ Warehouse 12/16 – Memphis, TN @ Rockhouse Live 12/18 – Waterloo, IA @ Spicoli’s 12/19 – Lincoln, NE @ Royal Grove 12/20 – Greeley, CO @ Moxie 12/21 – Denver, CO @ Herman’s Hideaway 12/22 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Sunshine Studios 12/23 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Liquid Joe’s
Mesa, AZ — Award-winning performer, artist, and activist Otep Shamaya rallied fans at Club Red Tuesday night in an impassioned, politically-charged performance. Heavy metal veterans OTEP (the band) [an anagrammatic name derivative of the word “poet”] recently dropped their eighth full-length album entitled Kult 45 via Napalm Records. According to an exclusive interview with Blabbermouth.net, “This is OTEP like you’ve never heard them before.”
Along with Kult 45’s highly anticipated release, OTEP announced a headline tour, to tease their newest work of art; beginning at The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 5th, and ending in Ventura, California on August, 18th 2018. Tour-mates include Dropout Kings, an AZ-based nu-metal band on the rise (who just released a burning hot new album called “AudioDope” this past Friday), and European progressive rock band Ragdoll Sunday. First to take the stage was anime-themed punk rock band Usagi (formerly Unagi Usagi), followed by progressive metal group CharonIncentive — a band heavily influenced by iconic black and death metal styles, and groove metal band Fatal Malady, whose skull-faced aesthetic captivated the now overflowing trickle of bodies entering through the back of the venue.
Following a supercharged performance by Dropout Kings, audience members began to chant in unison, “OTEP! OTEP! OTEP!” Drummer Justin Kier could be seen jetting on and off the stage, while crew members worked diligently to set the scene. Illuminated only by sporadic flares of light, Kier stepped forward to address the crowd, breaking the ice with a little marijuana-related humor before being joined by bandmates Ari “The Spartan” Mihalopoulos on guitar, and bassist Andrew Barnes. With time to spare, Kier went on to talk about a new, lesser known project in collaboration with Phoenix’s own hard rock female-fronted foursome Doll Skin, which they’ve aptly named “PETO”, once again utilizing OTEP’s iconic anagram, only this time – backwards. The trio commenced with an ear-splitting rendition of Slayer’s “Raining Blood”, immediately provoking a mosh pit nearly the size of the entire room.
After the music faded and fans had settled into standing-room-only once again, Shamaya exploded onto the platform between two vertically-balanced rifles, adorned with severed baby heads, faux weapons, LGBT symbolism, the U.S. flag, and a variety of other props yet to be revealed. Hanging delicately beneath the deceased infant’s haunting yellow eyes was a crooked sign that read, “Where are the children?” It’s no coincidence Shamaya’s performances have been dubbed “a two-decade invasion of the senses” and it’s clear she has no intention of dulling that edge now.
“We want to empower people,” Shamaya says of Kult 45. “This album wasn’t written to only wake people up, it’s meant to carbonate people with the hope and confidence that they can make a difference.”
“Are you ready to riot?!”, Shamaya asked the crowd, growling into the mic with intensity while being met with a reverberating wave of hoots, screams, and howls.
Beneath a beer-soaked haze of golden strobe lights, attendees raged along to political anthems “To The Gallows” (during which Shamaya fiercely spun a hangman’s noose from the end of her mic), “Battle Ready”, and “Lords of War”, succeeded by what is arguably one of OTEP’s most iconic tracks to date, “Crooked Spoons”. Shamaya playfully pulled from her rifling of props for each new track, punching her fist in the air as a bloody, severed pig head was tossed out from behind the stage.
Fans roared along to every word of “Blood Pigs” and “Apex Predator”, off OTEP’s earlier albums Sevas Tra (2012) and Hydra (2013), erupting with raw emotion and appreciation for the purpose embedded in each verse. OTEP is a band that’s known for it’s ultra-loyal fanbase, but the reasoning behind that is something so much deeper than fame or catchy music. Shamaya’s ability to continually utilize OTEP’s music as a vessel for societal change through a variety of synchronized creative mediums is seriously impactful and evidently similar to that of legendary musical influencers like Woodie Guthrie, Bob Dylan or Zach de la Rocha of Rage Against The Machine.
OTEP went on to make their stance on mass shootings known with newly released track “Shelter In Place”, during which Shamaya aimed a presumably plastic, silver pistol at one of the severed doll heads while chanting with the room, “enough is enough!” Shamaya did go on to clarify her stance however, noting that “guns don’t kill people; people kill people,” before moving into “Zero” off the group’s 2016 album Generation Doom, which was followed-up by a couple of surprise tracks from the group’s self-titled poetry EP Wurd Becomes Flesh— originally released in 2005, one year prior to OTEP’s infamous addition to Ozzfest (2004).
The audience rippled with excitement as Shamaya waved her rainbow flag high. OTEP moved to close the night with staple track “Equal Rights, Equal Lefts”, prior to transitioning into an anger-charged protest, which peaked to the opening notes of “Wake Up” by Rage Against The Machine; a cover included as the second-to-last track on Kult 45.
In one final call to action, OTEP ignited fans with an ear-splitting performance “Confrontation” from The Ascension (2007). The props did not end there though; Shamaya had one final trick up her sleeve – a fake severed Trump head. Almost in a single motion, Shamaya plunged the barrel of one of the rifles into the base of Trump’s rubbery neck, twirling him around until the two were facing eye-to-eye, spitting in the mock President’s face before a final punch which sent Trump’s spitclad face soaring out of view.
It was a night of disruption, a night of rage, empowerment, catharsis, emotion and unity. It’s obvious that Kult 45 was intended as more of a social catalyst – a statement piece that simultaneously disrupts and unifies. This is an album that gets people to look; each track furiously spotlights a variety of recurring social issues in the forefront of the United States’ current political landscape. Regardless of whether or not you agree with their stance, OTEP is making one thing exceptionally clear: “Art is resistance. Art aloows us to fight back without violence.”
“This is why we rally, this is why we march, and this is why I write. Because when I look back someday I want to know that I did everything in my power as an artist, activist and citizen.” – Otep Shamaya
Today, iconic rockers OTEP have unleashed their most uncompromising, candid, all-inclusive and controversial assessment of the current residing political regime that they have ever released, the new album Kult 45, via Napalm Records. Order now in digital formats here, and/or CD and vinyl formats via the Napalm Records Online Store. You can also stream Kult 45 in full now via Spotify here.
In celebration of the album’s release, OTEP has revealed a brand new, 20+ minute documentary about the making of Kult 45, performing together as a band, and more.
Otep Shamaya expressed to her fans via social media post: “Kult 45 has been unleashed! We are so proud of this album and so grateful to have such passionate fans and supporters! Thank you for all of your love and devotion to our music and message! Love you guys so much.”
“Protest music is alive on well on Otep Shamaya’s new bible for dissenters.” – Alternative Press
“Kult 45 sees OTEP at their controversial best, assessing and tackling the issues swimming around the political pool party that currently harbours their capital.” –Metal Wani
“OTEP speaks out, savages President Trump and stands tall on Kult 45.” – Salt Lake City Weekly “[OTEP] is a powerful voice for civil rights, for people of color, for the LGBTQ community, for the working class, for animal rights.” –Reading Eagle “OTEP‘s message is one that needs to be heard.” – Jamestown Post-Journal
Drawing influences from politically-charged recording artists of the past but allowing her artwork to remain fully and undeniably OTEP, Otep Shamaya continues her nearly two-decade invasion of the senses with Kult 45.
Throughout the span of her career, Otep Shamaya has been an undeniable force in bringing awareness via various acclaimed mediums to the 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”. So, with the political climate as it is today, now it’s the perfect time to impact with Kult 45.
Kult 45 was recorded at The Lair in Los Angeles, completely utilizing the same equipment used for OTEP‘s first album, Sevas Tra (down to Shamaya’s vocal microphone, a SHURE Beta 58), in order to create a sound reminiscent of their roots. Kult 45 was self-produced by Otep Shamaya and Aristotle, with assistant engineering from Larry Goetz, Nicolas Schilke and Lizzy Ostro.
OTEP does not hold back on Kult 45, pointing out all sorts of political duplicities and leaving them in their wake. The band explodes on aggressive, adamant anthems like “Halt Right” and “Molotov”, which act as timely outcries against the recent resurgence of hate groups.Tracks like the in-your-face “Cross Contamination” explore the hypocrisy of the evangelical right giving Trump a pass on his infidelities, and cherry-picking scriptures to fit their ideologies. “Invisible People” approaches immigration issues while pointing a strong finger at Trump, the electronically-charged “Boss” aims to break, fight, and redefine gender roles, “Shelter In Place” investigates the topic of school shootings, and “Trigger Warning” targets rape culture – specifically Stanford rapist Brock Turner -with a vengeance.
One of the last tracks on the album is a true-to-form cover of “Wake Up” – an homage to political music icons, major Kult 45 writing inspirations, and original track recording artists Rage Against The Machine. The album closes with the bonus track “The Tribe Speaks”, featuring recorded voicemails from fans expressing how OTEP‘s music has changed their lives. Shamaya says the voicemails are truly moving and keep her fighting as an artist and activist.
OTEP is on the road supporting Kult 45 now. See below for all currently confirmed tour dates.
Remaining OTEP Summer 2018 Headline Tour Dates:
7/27 – Cleveland, OH @ The Odeon Concert Club# 7/28 – Findlay, OH @ All American Rock House# 7/29 – St. Louis, MO @ Fubar# 8/1 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Ruins Live& 8/2 – Austin, TX @ Come & Take It Live& 8/3 – Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Live!& 8/4 – Houston, TX @ Scout Bar& 8/5 – San Antonio, TX @ The Rock Box& 8/7 – Mesa, AZ @ Club Red& 8/8 – Los Angeles, CA @ Whisky A Go Go 8/9 – Flagstaff, AZ @ The Green Room& 8/10 – Tucson, AZ @ The Rialto Theatre& 8/11 – Anaheim, CA @ The Parish @ House of Blues& 8/12 – Sacramento, CA @ Holy Diver& 8/14 – Seattle, WA @ El Corazon& 8/15 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre& 8/17 – Fresno, CA @ Fulton 55& 8/18 – Ventura, CA @ Ventura Theater&
* w/ Dropout Kings & One Day Waiting # w/ Dropout Kings & Kore RozZik & w/ Dropout Kings & Ragdoll Sunday