A few days ago, Otep Shamaya (vocalist of veteran alt-metal band OTEP) came under fire for reported tactics that included kicking The Convalescence off the tour they were doing in support of her. While there are certainly two sides to every story (three if you include the truth), many bands and musicians have spoken out against her in the last 48 hours alone.
Granted, Otep has a certain amount of clout in the music industry. Having played Ozzfest and been a touring band for 15 years is nothing to sneeze at, and comes with a certain amount of respect as well. Chart numbers and album sales tell a story – but not the whole thing, if this live video is any proof. And while we don’t know exactly how many fans the band is drawing on headlining runs today, the fact remains that no matter where you stand on Otep’s supposed antics, she’s brought some killer opening bands for her recently – Fire From The Gods, Doll Skin, Lacey Sturm (ex-Flyleaf), and plenty more. These bands haven’t spoken out against Otep, but if this video is any proof, it may be concerning. In the video (which you can watch below), Otep discusses a show that was cancelled by the promoter (David Kevorkian) but also mentions something pretty damning – namely that “local bands don’t sell tickets”.
This could mean two things – one, that the local bands who open her tours on certain dates literally don’t sell tickets, or two, that nobody comes out for the opening bands and they only come for Otep. What exactly did she mean by this? It could be either one, honestly. But embedded in the link below is the perspective of others who have felt slighted by Otep, including a lengthy post by writer April Baggins for Bloodrock Media. Even Danielle Blizzard (of Texas alt-metal band Autumn Stay) had this to say: “I sold out of my tickets for the otep show, so clearly her statement of”locals don’t sell” is BS. I also had a bigger crowd two weeks later at a local show than she had her for show. I had to sell 30 tickets in order to open for her. I sold all of those AND we would have had even more sold had I just had the tickets. Those that didn’t snag a pre sale from me, showed up and bought from the door. I busted my ASS to promote for that show so my band AND HER BAND would have an audience. I get shit done.”
All in all, however you take Shamaya’s statement, it’s important to realize any merch and logistical restrictions the headlining band may mandate during a tour. If you aren’t comfortable with possible restrictions, don’t take the tour.