Nethersphere Vocalist Slams Otep Over Alleged Mistreatment At Show, Promoter Responds


Otep recently drew the wrath of their local opening act Nethersphere. The two outfits in question shared the stage at The Wire in Berwyn, IL on June 22nd, 2017. Following the set, Nethersphere‘s vocalist/guitarist Cary Funk went public with his complaints against Otep and their namesake, frontwoman Otep Shamaya.

In the below rant he shared via Facebook, he detailed his experience that night, alleging that Otep instructed the club to not let his band sell merch, cut their set time down to 20 minutes before only letting them actually play for 14 minutes and refused the band access to the backstage area for extended periods of time. Here’s what he said on the matter:

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“Okay, here we go… Let me preface this by saying that I bear absolutely no animosity towards the staff of the venue or the promoters. We were well taken care of as a band and treated with nothing but respect by everyone that we encountered there and for that I am greatly appreciative. 10/10 would totes play there again under different circumstances and with a different headliner.

That said, FUCK OTEP. When I arrived after driving 3 and a half hours I found my way inside of the venue and saw that her and her band were onstage doing what I assumed was their soundcheck. I didn’t even take a second glance at the stage because, well, I’ve seen and participated in a million soundchecks. It’s not exactly an “ooh and awe” moment at this point. So, I found my way to the restroom and did what comes naturally after drinking a fuckload of tea and coffee on a long drive.

While I was in the process of doing this I overheard Otep going on one of her signature spiels about how bad the government is which then somehow segued into her talking about the plight of the Native Americans which somehow transitioned into women being victimized. As I was washing my hands and wondering what this “empowered” lady was going on about I was greeted at the door by a member of the venue staff telling me that I wasn’t allowed in the venue while they were soundchecking.

Beings as I kind of figured that that would happen I just chuckled and said, “Oooookay.” and he nodded in a half apologetic/half “Yeah, I know it’s stupid too.” sort of way and showed me outside. This was at about 4:25pm. We had been told by the promoter to be ready for load-in at 4:30pm so I was kind of like, “Well, good thing that I’m on time so that I can sit around on my ass and do nothing.” At around 10 after 5pm the same staff member came and informed me that we could then load-in.

After I got my rig in and had to kind of ferret it away in the back because Otep‘s gear boxes and effects unit cases were literally strewn around like a 3 year old’s toy room I was then approached by a different member of the venue staff to be informed that unless I was loading in or out no one was to be in the backstage area. Never mind the fact that “princess” was pretty much chilling on her bus the entire time with her bandmates but I digress.

So I go out front and exchange pleasantries with the other guys in the band and start trying to scope out the venue and figuring out how we were going to set up and all of that. While doing that I noticed that there were two merch tables set up and not in such a way that would allow room for a third. I asked a member of the staff if we would be able to get a table for our merch stand and was informed that “Otep said that the local bands aren’t allowed to sell merch tonight.”

This is a first for me. I said, “Heh… you’re kidding me?” and he once again gave me a look like he had to swallow an ice cream scoop full of shit and said, “Yeah… sorry. Her rules.” I said, “Well, she’s the boss I guess.” and we both kind of had a small, if painful chuckle. Some time later while the first band was onstage playing another member of the staff asked me how long we were told we would play. I said, “I think 25 minutes?” and he asked if we could do 20 instead. I replied to the affirmative and went to inform the guys that we essentially just drove 3+ hours to play for 20 minutes.

So, after discussing which songs we would play it finally becomes time to do the damned thing. We load on and due to the backlining of the headliner we had to perform basically 3 in a row which, while irritating, isn’t the worst thing ever. I think it makes the sound a little fucky and the visual aesthetic is wonky but again, not the end of the world. So, we get up there and play a couple of songs as we usually do. As anyone whom has seen us before can attest, I generally dedicate our song Soothsayer to “the ladies”.

Thursday night, feeling a bit more mischievous than usual I decided to flip the script a bit and dedicate it to one person in particular…. my friend, Miss Katie. I didn’t say anything about T-Con or the events that had happened in the previous couple of days. I dedicated the song to a friend whom wasn’t there and Brian and I had a bit of a chuckle about it because he knew exactly what I was doing.

Anyway, we play through Soothsayer and I begin to do the intro for what was intended to be our last song and then I hear over the monitors that we had just played our last song. I looked up to see who had just said that and I saw the soundguy at the booth with someone from Otep‘s crew standing behind him. I tried in vain to get them to let us play one more since the crowd actually seemed to be rather into our set but it was to no avail. Total time onstage: 14 minutes. Now, did we get our set cut short because of what I said onstage? Did we get our set cut because the show was running behind(it wasn’t). I don’t know.

I have various theories as to what the actual reason was but at the end of the day we got fucked and the people whom were enjoying our set got fucked. So, we load out and Scully and I are pretty loudly joking in the back about how we should have just played the soundcheck and said, “Thank you, Chicago!” and left it at that. At this point, I was literally so furious that I was just chuckling to myself. Y’know, as one does whom has a serious history of the rage induced breaking of shit.

I eventually get all of my stuff broken down in the back and get myself calmed enough to go talk to the main venue staff duder whom I had been talking to all evening. I asked him, rather calmly I might add, why our set had been cut short and he pretty much said, “Uh… that came from the headliner’s camp.” and then he apologized. So, at this point we were already told that we weren’t allowed to even try to make any money at the show and we weren’t allowed to play our full set. Again, I have a couple of conspiracy theories as to WHY we were given the shaft but I’m not going to publicly discuss them here.

If you want to know about it ask me in person haha. Anyways, so after all of this I decide to make it a point to make some kind of silver lining deal and I start informing fans that if they want Nethersphere merch to meet me out front. I parked my truck directly in front of Otep‘s lavish tour bus and I started having a “sidewalk sale”. A few people asked me why the shit we weren’t inside and, being the consummate professional that I am, gave the reason of, “Otep‘s rules.” So, we sold some shirts and a couple of hats and stickers etc in glaring sight of her and her band.

No one from their camp said anything to us directly but her guitar player, whom I kept referring to as “Not Doyle” walked past and said something about the “piss ant local bands” if my ears did not mistake. Sorry that we aren’t all on million dollar tour buses playing three chords a night between gym trips and doing steroids, bro. Some of us have a bit of integrity to what we do in life. Anyway… after the folks who wanted their totally wicked sweet Netherschwag(get yours today!) got their stuff I packed all of that back up and headed inside the venue to check out the other locals.

During the second to last band before the headliner I decided that it was time that I grab my gear and was told by the staff that no one was allowed in the back for 30 minutes before Otep takes the stage. Never mind the fact that she’s ON THE FUCKING BUS but now I can’t even load out. Because, uh… reasons? Now I am absolutely livid but, again, being a professional I didn’t say anything and I just walked back to the bar and waited. Actually, as I recall I went back outside because I had no desire to sit through the boring shitfest that Otep calls a live show. Blah blah blah. Nu-metal schlock.

She rants about something. They play another song. More ranting. Lather, rinse, repeat for about 45 minutes to an hour. I notice that they are finally finished and I go back to the two bouncer dudes that are by the backstage entrance and ask if I can grab my gear now. The bigger of the two says, “No one goes back there until Otep is finished.” I helpfully replied, “They’re done. She is signing autographs or whatever and I want to get my shit so I can get the fuck out of here.”

He said, “Those are the rules, bro.” so I once again have to wait for about another 10 or 15 minutes so that she can retreat to the sanctity of her bus and completely isolate herself from the derelict other bands of lesser stature and worthless peons that paid money to see her. But, y’know, she’s all about fighting for “the little guy”. Whatever. I finally grab my gear and after thanking the staff for being cool and talking with the promoter for a minute I leave. Playing in Chicago was cool. The people were cool and appreciative, the venue staff were all totally decent people and I really have nothing bad to say about the experience other than what I’ve stated here.

However, on Otep? Heh… the words “entitled brat” come to mind. I have no desire to call her the “b” word or the “c” word because I generally don’t use that kind of language when describing a woman. I prefer to be a bit more creative and descriptive. However, “entitled brat” is a perfect fit. She’s a fake. She doesn’t give a shit about her “TRIBE” so long as she’s taking their money and she doesn’t give a shit about her fellow artists whom devote their time, blood, sweat and tears to create. She didn’t earn her dues.

She literally got famous because Sharon Osbourne saw a video of her playing somewhere and decided to put her on Ozzfest. Their first Ozzfest show was their 7th show. Ever. If she has any kind of actual struggles it’s probably because she rides around in a million dollar tour bus playing to half empty clubs around the country and can’t lower herself to actually live within her means. She was a flash in the pan in the early 00’s and she has been riding that sad little wave for the last 15 years.

Kudos to her for figuring out how to make that 15 minutes of fame last this long but it will eventually wear out when people get tired of her diva bullshit and stop going to her shows. I’m not even angry about any of this at this point. I kind of feel bad for her in a way because of how insecure she must be to not even let local bands sell merch at the shows and how isolated she must be because she apparently can’t stand to interact with anyone outside the confines of her tour bus.

She preaches all about her love for her TRIBE and the support and all of that shit but in reality she sits on her bus until the last possible instant and then goes onstage, mumble raps and screams like she’s trying to gargle her guitar player’s runny steroid shit and then gets back on her bus to go to the next town and take some other rube’s money. So…. there. That’s about all that I have to say about her. Onward and upward and all of that. Fuck Otep. Her drummer is cool though.”

The promoter of that show, Eddie Petunia has since replied to Funk‘s statement directly via Facebook, countering some his assertions with the following post:

“So here’s something I didn’t expect to be doing today (or ever for that matter): defending Otep. Whilst I am not here to change your perception or feelings towards otep shamaya, I am here to ask you, really? While this certainly makes for a good read, and is certainly much more entertaining than what actually happened, I must ask if it’s really necessary.

I’m not here to dispel any rumors or stories of the past, because it could all be hearsay, really, but I am here to refute some of these claims. Cary, this is the first I’ve heard of the merch situation. Nobody from the venue should have told you that locals were not allowed to sell merch, because that simply was not the case.

We had designated an entire wall for locals, but nobody ever approached me, the production manager, aka the “main venue staff duder”, about merch so I could see how this could be easily misconstrued, but can’t see how it was so badly misdirected. For that, I must apologize, but had anyone from the band approached me about it, I would have gladly set you up in a nice visible spot.

That really is unfortunate that you ended up selling merch outside (this is the first time I’ve heard of it), because, regardless of things that may have happened on past Otep shows/tours, we at Wire want to make sure that locals are treated fairly. That being said, we did inadvertently cut/end your set based off what the schedule said. That was our front of house engineer’s call, NOT otep‘s so why the “main venue staff duder” (aka me) would tell you that came from the headliner’s camp is really beyond me.

I do recall apologizing to you and stating that it was an oversight on my part and that I definitely should have allowed you guys to have played one more, but at that point (I believe this was actually DURING Otep‘s set), there really wasn’t much else that could be done. Nowhere in our conversation did I say it was Otep‘s call or doyle or not doyle.

The venue will own that 1,000%, but it’s odd that you state you were not allowed in the greenroom when our conversation occurred in the greenroom. Additionally, the part about locals not being allowed back there is partially true. Yes, we did ask that locals refrain from hanging out in the greenroom, but that was MY call, NOT Otep‘s. Wasn’t the first time, nor will it be the last. 3.5/5 rooms back there were closed off that night so that really didn’t leave a lot of space to hang out back there for anyone, let alone the other touring band.

After we put Otep‘s empty cases back there (which had previously been strewn across the venue resembling the actions of a 3 year old), there really wasn’t much room back there anyway. This doesn’t even address why we like to limit the amount of traffic back there. Very simply put, there is a lot of expensive gear back there, YOURS included, so we like to limit the amount of foot traffic that goes in and out of that area.

So again, I will issue an apology if our practices (didn’t mean to submit so I’ll rap this up) don’t vibe well with you. I don’t mean to call you out here, as I really felt we had a good interaction, but now that this has been made public, and shared some 46 times, I must jump in and defend the Otep guys. I must admit that I was pretty skeptical myself going in, but have to say that the crew was, hands down, one of the BEST crews I have had the pleasure of working with.

They go into every show needing to defend themselves, which I cannot speak for (I didn’t have enough of an experience with Shamaya to leave my opinion), but maybe part of it is because THEY (not her) get a bad rep for things that simply aren’t true. This sucks to read, man. Sorry you had a bad experience. But to put that on them is not fair, and simply not true.

As the face of the venue, I will own up to this and say that things could have certainly been done differently, however, your personal opinion on her or her beliefs really bear no weight in this particular situation. Hey man, I don’t eat omelets, but I get why people like them. I also don’t wait in line for 45 minutes for a bagel every Saturday morning, but I suppose I understand why people do it. To each their own. I WISH every touring crew was as professional and efficient as the Otep guys.

end rant.

Thanks for reading.”

Both Funk and Petunia later came to an amicable understanding in the comments of the actual Facebook post. Otep Shamaya herself has drawn criticism in recent weeks for her alleged mistreatment of local bands and opening acts, with both Amerakin Overdose calling her out and The Convalescence slamming her after being ejected from her tour.

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