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OTEP at Diesel Concerts Detroit, 3 Things To Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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OTEP, the woman and the band, has never been one to pull punches.

But the Los Angeles heavy metal group is swinging particularly hard on its latest album, “Kult 45.”

The eighty studio set from Otep Shamaya and company is an unbridled, politically charged treatise from a self-proclaimed “loud-mouthed Lesbian radical who’s fighting of the working class.” She lashes out hard, and heavy, against President Donald Trump in particular but also takes on issues such as school shootings, immigration, gender inequity and rape culture, the resurgence of hate groups in America, disenfranchisement (“Brave”) and the need for enlightened political leadership.

“Kult 45” comes out July 27, but Shamaya and OTEP are already on the road with their rallying cry and don’t plan on backing down any time soon...

• Shamaya, 38, makes no apologies for being outspoken; They key, she says, is to “make sure I’m not just running off at the mouth without actually knowing something about what I’m upset about. I’ve never been afraid to stand by what I say. I don’t worry about what some of (Trump’s) supporters might say. I don’t think they’re necessarily gonna be fans of my music anyway simply because of who I am. My hope is not only does it give people the courage to stand strong but it also gives them an opportunity to feel connected and sing along and feel empowered. Who knows, maybe the next time a rally comes around or a rally needs to be made, they’ll be open to being part of it.”

• Shamaya says she’s happy to promote discussion, and even debate, within her audience. “Back when we would play ‘Warhead’ in the beginning, around 2004, I would always ask for George W. Bush’s resignation and people would boo. In 2005 half the audience would book and half would cheer. In 2006 everyone would cheer, and now people scream for us to play the song on stage. I used to tease them -- ‘I recognize some of your faces. Some of you guys are making a different sound this year than you did last year!’ I think it’s going to be the same this time.”

• After her own career of outspoken commentary and activism, Shamaya says that she’s, “disappointed a little bit that there aren’t more (artists) doing this. I wrote ‘Warhead’ back in 2004, going after George W. Bush. Other musicians who are friends of mine would come up saying, ‘That’s too controversial, what you’re doing. You’re splitting your audience.’ I said, ‘Guys, 10 years from now I’m not gonna care if I split my audience. I’m gonna care whether I can look myself in the mirror and say, ‘Did I say something when I had the chance and had the platform? Did I speak out?’ There are things way more important to me than just being popular or not making enemies out of Trump humpers.”

If You Go:


• Sunday, July 15. Doors open at 7 p.m.

• Diesel Concerts Detroit, 33151 23 Mile Road, Chesterfield.

• Tickets are $18.

• Call 586-933-3503 or visit dieselconcerts.com.

Web Site: www.dieselconcerts.com

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