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WLJS interviews heavy metal songstress Otep Shamaya

10/12/2012

Brad: How’s the tour going so far?

Otep: It’s been remarkable, maybe one of my favorites we’ve ever done.

B: What’s your favorite or the best part of this tour?

O: I just think the excitement and the passion of the fans, that’s been, you know, something that I always look forward to in a great show is just their energy, we feed off their energy, and its just been a lot of fun.

B: You’ve used the “Destroy to Create” phrase in your lyrics before, what does “Destroy to Create” mean and why did you decide to name this tour that?

O: Well, ancient alchemists’ pursuit was to find a way to convert illegitimate or unusable metal into something valuable and that’s what I think art kind of does. You destroy to the topic or the subject of your particular piece and then you recreate
something from that... and that’s really what we’ve been trying to do. You can’t really control life, what happens to you in life, and what life gives you, you can only control how you react to it, so to destroy the things that, the obstacles in your way, and then used them to maybe build a way out.

B: Sweet, what words of encouragement or advice would you have for those out there struggling to the same thing you are doing right now, make their voices be heard?

O: Do it for the right reasons. Bansky recently put out a “how to” on his particular style of spray painting and stenciling art, but one of the guidelines that he put out was “You don’t create for fame, create for the art of it.” Create for the subject of it, the message, the meaning, otherwise its like eating just to take a s***. So I found that to be quite agreeable to me, I think you should create for a reason not strictly for fame.

B: Nice analogy there, now you’re a proponent of animal and civil rights as well as government and education reform and you express all this in your lyrics and poems, on your blog, what drives that desire to speak out like that?

O: I care about this country, I care about animals, I care about human beings, I care about equality, I care about justice. You know, we’re a country that says, or a certain portion of the country believes, that being gay is wrong, that it’s unnatural, meanwhile they’re sitting their stuffing their face full of sugar and caffeine and all these unnatural things, you know, blowing
up to weights that the human body was never supposed to be. Well, if I’m excluded because I’m a gay person or because I’m a minority then don’t tax me the same because I don’t have the same rights, otherwise I’m subsidizing your lifestyle. But I believe in equality, I don’t think that it’s the government’s business to tell me who I should be able to fall in love with, what if they say that brunettes aren’t allowed to date redheads? Or that people with freckles aren’t allowed to date non-freckled people? I mean there’s an image that’s going around the internet right now and it’s Captain Kirk kissing Uhura from the 1960’s right and how big of a deal that was that a white guy was kissing a black girl on TV, whoah, I mean nowadays we look at that, it’s like, that’s ridiculous and how embarrassing for those people that were so full of hate that they fought against it. And the same thing goes for animal rights, I don’t believe that we should have an industry that raises
living beings, thinking, feeling, emotional beings just so they can be killed for food. I don’t believe that that’s right especially when we have the ability now to sustain ourselves, sustain our country, to sustain our health, the health of our citizens by not eating meat. You know, that a very intimate, intimate thing there, eating someone else’s flesh. But jokes aside, the fact that we raise animals just so that they can be slaughtered and killed so that they can end up being a 99-cent hamburger, to me just a complete waste of life, we should value life more than that.

For more of the interview with Otep, please visit the YouTube page of WLJS919Metal

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