Victory Records has signed Los Angeles recording artist OTEP. The first release under the new alliance is OTEP's highly anticipated fourth full-length studio album, "Smash the Control Machine", due on August 18, 2009. Singer, songwriter, renegade Otep Shamaya says of the album, "The economic crisis is hitting every working family in this country. The album and its title track, 'Smash The Control Machine', will lay bare the greed and corruption that fostered this calamity, but will also focus on the undying spirit of the working class that always fights the good fight. The title is a line from a William S. Burroughs poem. It is my intention to create an album that serves every head of the hydra that is OTEP. From poetry, to politics, to shock and awe, to sex and righteousness, to standing up and fighting back. Like the mystical symbol of the Ouroboros (the sacred serpent swallowing its tail) all things will be brought back to circle."
OTEP's all-encompassing musical approach coupled with her shaman like artistic qualities and other creative musings have lead to over half a million albums sold over the course of three studio albums. Shamaya describes the band's music as "a total and complete mutiny on the senses. We are a fusion band by nature, inspired by many styles and tones from a variety of musical genres- rock, punk, metal, hip-hop, spoken word, jazz and classic rock. We never allow the antiquated limits of a genre confine or restrict us. Our music is universal and does not belong nor can it be contained in a nice, neat, little box."
OTEP was originally signed after only four shows, without a demo, strictly on the power of the band's live performance. Sharon Osbourne offered the unsigned act a spot on the 2001 Ozzfest tour, leading to three appearances on the festival.
Shamaya, is well respected for her lyrical content and dramatic live performances. She has also published two books of poetry, spoke at the Democratic National Convention in 2008, is a gifted painter and Revolver magazine compared Otep to Woodie Guthrie and Zack de la Rocha (RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE) for her fusing of political activism and music.
Otep had this to say about signing with Victory: "When I received the news of a possible OTEP/Victory alliance, I could swear I felt the sky tremble. This triumvirate (of myself, my manager Jack Ponti and Victory Records) is going to be a terrifying coalition for some and a righteous confederation for others. For me, this is exactly the kind of circumstance I have been waiting for. I believe my creative, intellectual and political instincts and inclinations will flourish alongside the fertile minds of Jack Ponti, Tony Brummel and the amazing staff at Victory."
Victory Records founder Tony Brummel said, "Signing an artist of OTEP's caliber, intelligence, work ethic and artistic diversity sensibly expands our diverse and formidable roster. I am personally enamored by her work and believe that she has yet to realize a fraction of her potential. More importantly, her art and music have crucial meaning in a time when people need change, hope and something to believe in. We have the tools, she has the material and together we will build a culturally formidable fortress."
Manager Jack Ponti had this to add, "It both thrills and honors me to be working with OTEP and Victory Records. In my thirty years in this business, it's always been about the proper 'marriage.' I cannot convey how excited I am about the possibilities of these daunting forces joining together in what promises to be a thunderous union."
In addition to lending her support to numerous groups and causes (some being the genocide in Darfur, women's and artists' rights, marriage equality, the war in the Congo and support of President Obama), Ms. Shamaya, an accomplished, captivating and astute technophile, has started the social networks All Shapes and Sizes and Girls Out Now. On December 21, 2008 she created a popular and highly trafficked blog entitled "I'm Not A Monster". The site was an instant success and a reliable source for current events and her latest musings. Her loyal and passionate fan base are active followers of her frequent Facebook and Twitter postings. Coupled with Victory's proprietary marketing and promotional platforms (VicTorV, VictorStream, VictoryMetal and VictorME) a truly interactive and real-time artist/fan/label fusion has been realized for selling music in 2009.
OTEP performing live in August 2008 (Orangevale, California):