Otep Drops Off Civil Unrest Tour Due to Singer of Opening Band who “Violently Grabbed My Crotch”
Before we start here, I remind everyone that MetalSucks has a long history of intense distate for Otep’s music, but we’ve always thought that Otep Shamaya the human being is absolutely rad based on her public persona and worldview. Sometimes you have good friends whose art you just don’t dig, ya know? Not that we’ve ever met Otep in person, but you get the idea. So, we cool? OK, good.
That said, I have no idea what to make of Otep’s current situation.
Last night she posted a message on Facebook saying that her band was dropping off the Civil Unrest Tour — featuring the sucktastic lineup of Otep, Ill Nino, Kittie and the less sucktastic 36 Crazyfists — because allegedly the singer of a recently added opening band, Terror Universal, “violently grabbed [her] crotch on our last tour.” Whoa, that’s a serious accusation! Here’s Otep herself:
Before the rumor mill begins: We dropped off the Civil Unrest tour because Terror Universals molester singer violently grabbed my crotch on our last tour. He’s a drunken joke and a fucking scumbag. He’s lucky security handled it before I or my band could.
We gave them a shot to play in front of our fans and we were repaid by this drunken jackass violating me during the meet and greet in front of our fans.
We made it very clear that we will never play any show that has Terror Universal on it. We don’t tolerate any kind of passive sexual violence.
We owe that to our fans and I never want to experience anything like that again especially from an opening act we were trying to help by giving them exposure to our TRIBE.
We will be headlining in May-June and give the TRIBE a proper RIOT without any pants rapists on the bill. Onwards & upwards.
Terror Universal were quick to issue a rebuttal statement. Strangely, said rebuttal came from Jenny Armstrong, wife of accused crotch-grabber Chad (aka ROTT) and not the accused himself. Perhaps the band thought it’d carry more gravitas coming from a woman? Here’s that statement via Terror Universal’s Facebook:
By now many of you have heard or read Otep Shamaya’s slanderous statement against my husband of 9 years Chad, aka ROTT singer of TERROR UNIVERSAL. Please be aware that Chad and I have 2 children, a little boy, as well as a little girl.
OTEP’s accusations are inflammatory, and untrue to say the least, let me explain…. While TERROR UNIVERSAL was supporting OTEP on the February West Coast dates, Rott was on his way out of the club, and as Rott walked by he tapped Otep on the leg and said “Good night Otep”, this is when she jumped back, and said he grabbed her crotch, and ordered to have him thrown out of the club.
Why didn’t OTEP say anything about this before?? Why wait 4 weeks, to disclose such a damaging action? How has this turned into talk of assault and sexual violence? For the past 9 years, I have seen my husband time after time treat me and his children with nothing but respect, and show nothing but kindness to everyone he encounters.
And here is the really ironic part of all of this…I was raped many years ago, before I knew Rott. It was his unconditional love and respect that pulled me through all of the mental and emotional distress, that this created for me. It seems so unreal that we are now in the position of defending a man who has always stood up for the right thing and would NEVER bring harm to a woman.
I also just have to point out that it is so disheartening to see the comments that people are posting. The threats from the Otep tribe are violent and downright scary. Especially if they were directed at your husband, or the father of your children.
This was honestly meant as a friendly gesture (a tap on the leg) at the end of a show between two band members has escalated into horrible name calling and threats. The truth is 2 days after the West Coast tour ended, Chad reached out to Otep and Otep’s brother, to both clear the air, and open lines of communication. There has been no willingness from anyone in the Otep camp to have a civil conversation about this incident.
It is a shame that this could not have been handled between the two individuals, in a friendly manner. True to form, the social media will further complicate this issue and create hate, and will cloud the fact that all this could have been dealt with professionalism, and compassion.
Needless to say that’s a very different version of the way things happened. Who’s to say who’s telling the truth? Certainly not us. On the one hand this isn’t the first time Otep’s found herself at the center of such a controversy, but on the other hand sexual assault is way too common and shouldn’t be downplayed just because a guy said “I didn’t do it” (which, oddly, in this case, he hasn’t directly said yet).
Here’s where things get even more interesting: the Civil Unrest tour itself is claiming Otep pulled this stunt in an effort to leverage more money from the tour’s organizers. Here’s their official statement via Facebook:
Addressing OTEP’s recent slander:
OTEP is not telling the truth.
The Civil Unrest Tour and its affiliates do not support the violation of another individuals personal space, rape, violence against women or any person for that matter.
Many of us have families and children. We would never stand for or beside the kind of behavior that Otep is falsely accusing others of perpetrating.
What we do support is the TRUTH.
The truth is that OTEP’s business team confirmed OTEP for this tour for certain financial terms and OTEP’s team breached their own agreement after announcement and attempted to blackmail and extort the agency responsible for the tour with slanderous defamation threats against the agency , the bands and all parties involved, in an attempt to secure more money…
It truly is a sad state of affairs in the music industry and the world where blatant slander about a very serious accusation becomes business practice for an artist now known as notorious for canceling tours in the 11th hour.
Stay tuned for more updates as Civil Unrest moves forward beyond this disgusting abuse of social media and public trust.
Also a very damning accusation, but for now all we’ve got is “he said, she said.”
Here’s the thing: there is almost definitely more to this story than has been publicly revealed so far. Something that can’t be said publicly for one reason or another, or won’t be said. An outside element having nothing to do with any of the above that would put everything into much clearer focus.
MetalSucks has an inquiry into the Otep camp for more information, but as of yet we’ve not received a response. More as we get it.
Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that all the bands have pulled the tour dates from their Facebook pages. Rather, the dates had not yet been announced, but the tour’s organizers assure us by email that this will happen soon.