The Mars Volta are a band from El Paso, Texas:

Cedric Zavala - Vocals
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez - Guitar
Jon Theodore - Drums
Juan Alderete - Bass
Isaiah Owens - Keyboards

Formed in summer 2001 by Cedric and Omar, formerly of At The Drive-In (whose other not quite so big-haired members went on to form the band Sparta), the band also had a 'secret member', Jeremy Ward, who performed offstage as the "sound manipulator". Ward was however found dead in his LA home in May 2003 shortly before the release of their debut album De-loused in the Comatorium. The cause of death was suspected to be a drug overdose. The band dedicated the video for single Inertiatic ESP to Ward.

Though still at heart rock, the Mars Volta sound combines melodic vocal lines, ambient instrumental interludes, psychedelic sounds, distorted guitars and fantastic driving drum work to create an altogether distinctive sound, perhaps summed up best by the epic Cicatriz ESP. Lyrics are pure 'stream-of-consciousness' stuff. Though not as accessible as At The Drive-In, or indeed Sparta, the band produces inventive, original music which after a few listens will have you hooked.

Discography

EPs:

Tremulant
1. Cut That City 5:44
2. Concertina 4:54
3. Eunuch Provocateur 8:48

Albums:

De-loused in the Comatorium
1. Son Et Lumiere 1:35
2. Inertiatic ESP 4:24
3. Roulette Dares (This is the Haunt) 7:31
4. Tira Me A Las Arañas 1:28
5. Drunkship of Lanterns 7:06
6. Eriatarka 6:21
7. Cicatriz ESP 12:29
8. This Apparatus Must Be Unearthed 4:58
9. Televators 6:19
10. Take the Veil Cerpin Taxt 8:42
11. Ambuletz (UK-only bonus track)

Producer : Rick Rubin
Features Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers on bass and John Frusciante also of the Chilis guesting as guitarist on Cicatriz ESP.

The album, though any possible meaning at first listen seems indecipherable, has a defined concept, the death of artist friend Julio Venegas. Cedric says: “It deals with a friend of ours who killed himself about six years ago. He jumped off a bridge. Prior to that he had overdosed on morphine and had been in a coma for about a week. As he was one of the people responsible for a lot of the ways we are musically, philosophically and spiritually this is our present back to him.”

Singles:

Inertiatic ESP
1. Inertiatic ESP
2. Roulette Dares (The Haunt of) (Live XFM Session)
3. Inertiatic ESP Video (Uncut Version)

Sources: Interview quote taken from www.drownedinsound.com

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