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OTEP Thriving After "Long Year"

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It’s been “a long year” for the Los Angeles heavy metal band OTEP, acknowledges frontwoman Otep Shamaya.

The group got a new guitarist, Aaron Nordstrom, then switched labels — from the major Capitol Records to the independent Koch imprint — just as it was releasing its third album, “The Ascension.” But the ultimate release, delayed by about six months to late last October, has allowed the highly political OTEP to release singles and tour during the heart of the U.S. presidential campaign.

“We did kind of miss out on the congressional elections (of 2006), but now we’re involved in the one that gets the most attention,” acknowledges Shamaya. “We may have lost a little bit of momentum; I believe a lot more people pirated it than if it had come out when we first announced it.

“But I also think we got more attention and push from (Koch) than we would have on Capitol, so that was a plus, too.”

OTEP’s viewpoint is most explicitly expressed on the song “Confrontation,” a successor of sorts to the track “Warhead” from 2004’s “House of Secrets.”

Ultimately, Shamaya says, she hopes OTEP’s material helps to awaken the headbangers, both educating and inspiring them to become knowledgeable and involved in national and local movements.

“I enjoy educating and informing and provoking and motivating people to do something they feel is important,” she says. “Everyone needs symbols. Everyone needs avatars. We all need something to look up to that motivates us and provokes us into action and provides a basis for our courage and a support system for us to feel like what we’re doing is worthwhile.

“And if that’s something as simple as a song, it’s the least I can do.”

OTEP, Creature Feature, Eyes Set to Kill and A New Revolution perform Saturday (April 12) at Harpo’s, 14238 Harper, Detroit. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10. Call (313) 824-1700 or visit www.harposconcerttheatre.com.

Web Site: www.harposconcerttheatre.com

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