The Mars Volta photographed by Eliot Lee Hazel

The Mars Volta

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Hometown: Los Angeles, CA (USA)


The roots of The Mars Volta are found in the band At the Drive–In. ATDI imploded on the verge of breakthrough, partly due to boredom, partly to musical differences. Then ATDI members Cedric Bixler–Zavala and Omar Rodríguez–López started flirting with an experimental, dub reggae–influenced side project called De Facto, which featured Bixler–Zavala on drums, Rodriguez–Lopez on bass, Isaiah "Ikey" Owens on keyboards, and Jeremy Michael Ward on vocals, loops and sound effects.

Due to creative differences and discomfort with mainstream success and drug abuse, Rodriguez–Lopez and Bixler–Zavala quit At the Drive–In in 2001. The remaining members of the band formed Sparta. During 2001 Eva Gardner joined the members of De Facto on bass, and they recorded two songs with drummer Blake Fleming and producer Alex Newport, which became the first demo by The Mars Volta. The lineup for their first public show at Chain Reaction in Anaheim, California was Rodriguez–Lopez, Bixler–Zavala, Owens, Gardner, Ward, and drummer Jon Theodore. This lineup recorded three more tracks with Alex Newport, which became the EP Tremulant, released in early 2001 by Gold Standard Laboratories.

After the demise of At the Drive–In, Rodriguez–Lopez and Bixler–Zavala found themselves once again starting from the ground up, touring and performing in smaller venues. In their early years The Mars Volta were characterized by chaotic live shows and very heavy drug use.

Related Bands

At The Drive-In, Sparta


The Mars Volta Octahedron

The Mars Volta

Octahedron (2009)

Warner Bros.

The Mars Volta Bedlam in Goliath

The Mars Volta

Bedlam in Goliath (2008)


The Mars Volta Amputechture

The Mars Volta

Amputechture (2006)


The Mars Volta live in Tokyo

The Mars Volta

live in Tokyo (2006)

live show

The Mars Volta Frances The Mute

The Mars Volta

Frances The Mute (2005)


The Mars Volta Scab Dates

The Mars Volta

Scab Dates (2005)


The Mars Volta De-Loused In The Comatorium

The Mars Volta

De-Loused In The Comatorium (2003)


The Mars Volta/Saul Williams/Rye Coalition live in Seattle

The Mars Volta/Saul Williams/Rye Coalition

live in Seattle (2003)

live show

The Mars Volta / Saul Williams live in Madison

The Mars Volta / Saul Williams

live in Madison (2003)

live show

The Mars Volta live in Nottingham

The Mars Volta

live in Nottingham (2003)

live show

The Mars Volta Live

The Mars Volta

Live (2003)


show more

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