Update: The Mars Volta have announced a staggering 18-LP box set.
Experimental rockers The Mars Volta have unveiled a mysterious teaser video eight years after breaking up. The seven-second clip references lyrics from the 2002 song “Concertina” and seems to depict an altered rendering of the artwork from their 2003 debut album, De-Loused in the Comatorium.
The tease follows Clouds Hill Notes’ recent acquisition of Mars Volta member Omar Rodríguez-López’s entire song catalog and publishing rights, including a partnership with Wise Music Group to handle publishing for The Mars Volta. The Grammy-winning act features primary members Rodríguez-López and singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala, who formed the band after the initial breakup of At the Drive-In. Following a critically acclaimed run of six albums, The Mars Volta officially broke up in January 2013.
Could the tease mean new music? Fan theories flooded the band’s subreddit this morning, with many leaning toward reissues or remastered versions of early Mars Volta material.
“Concertina” appeared on the Tremulant EP, the band’s 2002 debut, and the tease features partial lyrics from the song, sung in Spanish: “La Realidad De Los Sueños” (The Reality of Dreams).
According to the press release from Clouds Hill announcing the publishing deal, the first part of the new partnership was a digital release of the Tremulant EP, which recently arrived across major streaming platforms. However, the tease says “Coming Soon”, so it’s likely that whatever is brewing is not that release.
In 2019, Bixler-Zavala hinted at a Mars Volta reunion, suggesting that he and Rodríguez-López were in the studio. “We are in the kitchen finding new ways to through curve balls,” he said at the time.
Meanwhile, Rodríguez-López released The Clouds Hill Tapes in 2020, a triple album of songs recorded at the studio in Hamburg, Germany, with various collaborators. The musician considers the studio his “refuge and inspiration for many years,” leading to the new publishing partnership with Clouds Hill.
“After being Omar Rodríguez-López’s friend and business partner for such a long time, I am honored and proud that he decided to also entrust me with this catalog,” Clouds Hill CEO Johann Scheerer said in a press release. “Our HQ in Hamburg is now responsible to push this unique catalogue back into everyone’s minds.”
That sure sounds like a hint at a Mars Volta reissue campaign. The band’s LPs have been in-and-out of print over the years, with vinyl pressings going for big money on the secondhand market. But the tease could also refer to brand-new music, if Bixler-Zavala’s 2019 social posts ring true.
Check out the teaser below, followed by the newly released digital stream of the band’s 2002 Tremulant EP on Apple Music and Spotify.
COMING SOON #THEMARSVOLTA pic.twitter.com/khB3aosupb
— Clouds Hill (@cloudshillmusic) March 4, 2021