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Otep's Focus: Serving Fans

Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

With the release of her third album, “Revelations,” still a few months away, heavy metal singer Otep is keeping her sights on fan relations.

Consequently, her current road trip “is the first fan-generated tour ever,” she reports. “I allowed them to choose the cities; the areas with the most votes got the show, and we can focus on building in those areas.”

Otep also is using her Web site and her MySpace.com page to stoke anticipation for “Revelations,” offering samples of the new music and behind-the-scenes videos, as well as blogs and diaries from she and her band members. And she’s holding a contest to find a local band to appear on each show.

“There’s ways now that allow bands to stay in contact with their fans, which I really enjoy doing,” says the single-monikered performer, whose name really is Otep and is Egyptian for either “creative offerings” and “that which brings peace into chaos.” It’s also, she points out, an anagram for “poet.”

Among the elements Otep hopes to make part of her online offerings are streaming Webcasts of the concerts, “so those who can’t come, for whatever reason — they have to go to work or go to school or live too far away — can watch our shows live without having to attend. We’re just trying to reward a community that’s been so great to us.”

“Revelations” will be Otep’s first release since 2004’s ambitious “House of Secrets,” and Otep knows fans are wondering if the group — which features two new members — will continue in that direction. She says that the new material actually hews a bit closer to 2002’s more straightforward “Seves Tra” and to the EPs that preceded it, but she’s not abandoning her experimental inclinations, either.

“I really wanted to marry the first and second records,” she explains, “and have a true offspring that was genetically linked to them but was going to develop its own personality and own identity.

“So there’s songs on (‘Revelations’) that have roots in the things that we’ve done in the past but also have this new blossoming of sound that we’ve always wanted to capture. I think we’ve fi nally done that.”

Otep, Ganon, Red I Flight and others perform Wednesday (December 6th) at the Shelter, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $8. Call (313) 961-6358 or visit www.livenation. com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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