As we learned last week, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez is sitting on a massive cache of unreleased music, which will be released as 12 new solo albums over the course of the next six months. According to a new interview with Rolling Stone, Rodriguez-Lopez is emptying his personal vault so that he can move forward with collaborative projects — including The Mars Volta.
Following the death of his mother in 2012, Rodriguez-Lopez “resolved myself to only doing collaborative work,” he explained. “From that moment on, when I finally started the long road to accepting it and recuperating, I decided that I wanted to dedicate my time, while I’m still here, to collaborating with people and being a part of something and sharing things, rather than working on solo work, where I’m writing everything and doing everything and locked up in my studio. And from there, the idea was born: ‘I only want to be in bands now. I only want to make records with people.'”
This new mindset led Rodriguez to start several new bands, including Bosnian Rainbows and Antemasque with Mars Volta bandmate Cedric Bixler-Zavala, in addition to reuniting with At the Drive-In. “And eventually Mars Volta,” he said of his future plans.
Pressed about a potential return of The Mars Volta, Rodriguez-Lopez added, “At some point, we’d love to do [Mars Volta] again too, you know what I mean?” There’s so much to do there as well.” He added that there’s only four surviving members left in the band following the deaths of Ikey Owens and Jeremy Ward. “Jon [Theodore] and Eva [Gardner] are still alive, and we’re so grateful for that. And any true fan of the band knows that’s the real chemistry right there. Whenever we get to that time, we hope that it all lines up with whatever Jon’s doing and whatever Eva’s doing, because she’s been touring with Gwen Stefani. I just have a feeling it will. Life has a funny way of working out that way.”
Bixler-Zavala previously declared The Mars Volta dead in January 2013, attributing the band’s demise to Bixler-Zavala’s lack of interest. “What am I suppose to do be some progressive house wife that’s cool with watching their partner go fuck other bands?” Bixler-Zavala said at the time.
Rodriguez-Lopez and Bixler-Zavala have since buried the hatchet, joining forces in Antermasque and, more recently, in the reunited At the Drive-In. Speaking to Rolling Stone, Rodriguez-Lopez chalked up the short-term feud as a small disagreement between brothers that played out in the public eye.
“We’re brothers of 25 years, and we had our very first disagreement, and unfortunately it happened to be in the era where arguments can be made public,” he explained. “But having one disagreement in the span of over two decades, you’re not going to find that anywhere else.
When you look at musical pairings throughout history – Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page – usually like 10, 15 years is their limit, then they go their separate ways. Ours is much deeper than that. We didn’t end up in a band together because we were looking to form a band. We ended up in a band together because we hung out every day and played music every day, so the next logical thing was to take a band out on the road. We had one disagreement about me not wanting to do Volta at the time, and it turned into that.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Rodriguez-Lopez discussed At the Drive-In’s ongoing reunion, including plans for new music. “We’ve been writing since we let that information out,” he explained. “We wouldn’t let that information out without having – we’re not that type of band. When we announced new music, it was because we were already in that process, and we’ve definitely continued it.”
He also offered a health update on Bixler-Zavala’s vocals, which led to the cancelation of several At the Drive-In shows last month. “They found nodules in his vocal cords,” Rodriguez-Lopez said. “Untreated, that could get bad. We took the time off, and after working with a specialist, Cedric’s nodules are being treated, so we’re continuing the world tour right now.”
Read the full Rolling Stone interview here.