The Mars Volta

According to a series of increasingly bitter Tweets from co-leader Cedric Bixler-Zavala, the tangled and ambitious prog band the Mars Volta is no more. Bixler-Zavala never comes out and says it, but it sure seems like creative problems with partner Omar Rodriguez-Lopez caused the split. (He does mention Bosnian Rainbows, Rodriguez-Lopez’s new band.) And though he never addresses it, you’d have to infer that At The Drive-In, the recently reunited punk band that those two also led, has completely finished with its second run and won’t be getting back together anytime soon. Here’s the complete text of those Tweets:

Thank u 2 all VOLTA fans u deserved more especially after the way u rooted for us on this album. I tried my hardest to keep it going But Bosnian Rainbows was what we all got instead. I can’t sit here and pretend any more. I no longer am a member of Mars Volta. I honestly thank all of you for buying our records and coming to our shows. You guys were a blast to play in front of. We could never had done it with out you. My dream was to get us to the point were Jon Theodore and Ikey Owens came back but sadly it’s over. Thank u a million times over for ever giving a fuck about our band. All I can do is move forward with my music and just be happy that mars volta ever happened at all. God Damn we had a blast. Thank u again.

I just feel really guilty for not even really saying the truth because a hiatus is just an insult to the fans. To all our fans all over the world thank you for giving a fuck. You all ruled! I don’t think ill ever hear a fist full of dollars the same. My record will see the light of day soon and I’m excited because it sounds nothing like my previous endeavors.

And no I’m not joking about any of this, I owe it 2 u guys to all fans to be serious about this. If u ever see me in person and want to know why I’ll tell u my story.

Please just be happy that it happened at all remember all the opposition we were met with for just starting a new band back in 2001. SPECIAL SHOUT OUT TO ALL THE VOLTA FANS WHO FLOODED WARNER BROS FACEBOOK PAGE AND GOT NOTHING IN RETURN! I was honored by this guys! ThankU

And for the record I’m still in love with ATDI. Proof was in MY performance. I would never get on stage if my heart was else where. I have cancelled shows before for knowing full well that my heart was not in it at that moment. Why? Because its an insult to the audience. 2 be clear I’m not angry I just wanted to be honest with the people who have allowed me to make a living playing music. What am I suppose to do be some progressive house wife that’s cool with watching their partner go fuck other bands? We owe it 2 fans to tour.

He seems pretty bummed about the whole thing!

The Mars Volta formed in 2001, at about the same moment that At The Drive-In went on their sudden hiatus. I can still remember how excited I was to get their Tremulant EP at my college radio and how intense and weird it was. The band went on to release six albums, finishing up with last year’s Noctourniquet, and their endless wriggling skronk-fests were never anything less than challenging. Even though I wasn’t always a fan, you had to admire their consistently restless sense of exploration.

Comments (23)
  1. ” I can still remember how excited I was to get their Tremulant EP at my college radio and how intense and weird it was. …………………….Even though I wasn’t always a fan, you had to admire their consistently restless sense of exploration.” I wonder how many other people had this same relationship with the Mars Volta? This pretty much sums up about everyone I know (including myself), nicely done Tom.

  2. And now Latin is officially irrelevant.

  3. Deloused in the Comatorium was an album that bridged my transitional growth in listening to high school emo and exploring weirder music I didn’t necessarily understand at the time, but knew I wanted to explore. Oddly enough, yesterday was my 30th birthday. Everyone except for my mom and less than a handful of friends forgot about it, later humoring / angering me by saying because I didn’t advertise it on facebook, they assumed I did not want it to be acknowledged (which is weird, since you can tell someone happy birthday through countless other forms of communication excluding Mr. Zuckerberg’s wasteland…) I am not a birthday type of person who gets off on attention, but you only turn 30 once, and it’s perhaps the last of “big” younger-year birthdays. I’m a perturbed still this morning, and when I read Cedric’s goodbye, it kind of seemed fitting that the band that marked this strange transitional period in my life was also calling it quits on a strange, transitional birthday, under similarly bitter / angry sentiments those who are / were close / trustworthy to them.

    So I guess that makes all of you my ATDI that I’m still in love with.

  4. Cedric just doesn’t get along with anyone, I guess. Or it’s Jose who doesn’t. I don’t know. Wish I could say I’m shocked by this but I’m not.

  5. De-Loused also helped get me into a lot of weirder music in high school. It had enough classic rock/prog vibes for the 15 year-old Zeppelin/Floyd stoner kid and enough novelty to make me realize that maybe not all contemporary music was empty-headed crap, and encouraged me to explore. I still think it’s a phenomenal album.

    But man, they took a long walk off a short pier into shit lake after that, huh? There’s usually a couple listenable tunes on each of their subsequent albums, but it hardly ever seemed worth it to seek them out. What a mess.

  6. Even though it’s disappointing we won’t get anymore Volta, I can’t say this is the most tragic news ever. Their music is dense and what they left behind is plenty for anyone to explore. I hate to say it, but I was always looking for another Deloused. Personally, I found something to enjoy in all their albums but they never quite got to those heights again. Deloused was the moment in high school where I officially became a music snob…I couldn’t understand why none of my friends liked it. Then I just figured it was too complicated for them haha.

    On a side note, I wanted my band to cover Roulette Dares and spent ages perfecting it. My favorite part of the song is that last atmospheric solo and couldn’t wait to play that shit and make some panties wet…then my band thought it was too boring and I got outvoted to drop the damn thing. Still a disappointing moment. I guess I still got them to play the Pumpkin’s Hummer…

  7. Everyone obviously has their own taste in/opinion concerning music, but for my money all of the apathy towards Mars Volta’s later output is due to lazy listening. The critics/public have complained about pretty much every single album post Frances the Mute. Every single one of their albums is worth it, if you put in the time. There is a level of complexity to each of them, that will reward multiple listens. When Nocturniquet came out…….my first impression was negative, but if you give it another chance……and keep listening…….the brilliance reveals itself. People don’t like to be challenged. Their early material was firmly planted in avant-garde territory, but at the same time was instantly accessible to the right ear/mind. Their later output just asks more from their audience. And really what is more rewarding? The album that immediately hooks you but grows stale after too many listens, or the album that reveals multiple layers and gets better every time you play it? Perhaps, neither is MORE rewarding, but I love an album that I can spend time with and watch it almost breathe and grow, as I become acquainted with it.

  8. Pending a reply from Omar this would have made a great “Where’s the Beef?” article.

    Anyway, I’m pretty bummed. Despite never really getting into the last couple of releases, I loved both De-loused and Frances the Mute.

  9. So sad to see them (and most likely At the Drive-In as well) won’t be putting out music anymore. Not only are “L’via “L’viaquez” and “One-Armed Scissor” some seriously great tunes, but they’re also a heck of a lot of fun to play along to on drums. Gonna miss these guys, best of luck to them both.

  10. They end the band on a high note at the very least…even if a bitter note, they have some stellar albums behind them and as a fan I’m certainly happy :)

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