The Mars Volta Biography
This experimental Alternative-Rock Texas USA-based outfit was assembled in 2001 by two ex-members of At The Drive-In, vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala and guitarist Omar A. Rodriguez-Lopez; the pair teamed up with keyboardists Isaiah 'Ikey' Owens and Jeremy Ward, bassist Juan Alderete, drummer Jon Theodore and The Mars Volta was born.
In the spring of 2002, the group recorded an EP entitled "Tremulant", on their own Gold Standard label; in America and Europe, the band developed a solid network of fans from their energetic live shows.
The Mars Volta issued their debut full-length disc in June of 2003 on Universal Records. Jeremy Michael Ward tragically passed away from an apparent drug overdose on May 25, 2003, just a few days before the album's release. "De-Loused In The Comatorium" would have Flea playing bass on all tracks, excluding "Televators", would even feature John Frusciante, another of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, playing guitar on "Cicatriz ESP"; the album eventually broke the top 40 of The Billboard 200 chart.
The band returned in early 2005 with a second stunning album, "Frances The Mute", the Latin influence, is more evident than ever, with Bixler-Zavala often alternating between Spanish and English lyrics; the CD peaked at #4 on The Billboard Top 200 chart and hit #6 in Canada while the lead single, "The Widow", smashed into the U.S. Modern Rock chart at #7. From this point, percussionist + keyboardist Marcel Rodriguez-Lopez, the younger brother of Omar, was permanently added to the band's roster.
In September 2006 The Mars Volta released their third studio record,
"Amputechture", it reached the #9 position on The Billboard
200; in addition to contributions from John Frusciante, the album also
features Paul Hinojos' first studio work with the band since joining as
a touring musician in 2005. Hinojos who left Sparta
that year, previously played with Bixler-Zavala and Rodriguez-Lopez in
At The Drive-In.
Jon Theodore left right after recording this album, he resurfaced in mid-2008 as one half of One Day As A Lion, a duo also featuring Zack de la Rocha.
The highly anticipated next album from the band titled "The Bedlam In Goliath" was released in late January 2008, the disc debuted at #3 on The Billboard 200, selling over 54,000 copies in its opening week. The disc, recorded with new drummer Thomas Pridgen, included the single "Wax Simulacra" which was awarded a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance at the 51st annual Grammy Awards ceremony.
The Mars Volta's fifth studio album, "Octahedron", was released
in June 2009 by Warner Bros. Records in North America and on Mercury Records
in the rest of the world. The first American single was the emotional
and intense "Since We've Been Wrong" while overseas it was the
strong Rock tune "Cotopaxi". The album eventually hit #12 in U.S. and #16 in Canada.
It was also around this time that Ikey Owens left the band.
In March 2012, The Mars Volta released "Noctourniquet"; the album, which reached the #15 position on The Billboard 200, contained 13 new songs including the first single "The Malkin Jewel", an heavy psych-jam tune that has quite a different vibe to their usual grandiose style. "Noctourniquet" marked the recording debut of drummer Deantoni Parks.
In late January 2013 in a series of Tweets, the band's enigmatic frontman announced that The Mars Volta had decided to call it a day.
Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez soon reconciled and in 2014 resurfaced in a brand new band: Antemasque.