Fans of psychelic-Salsa-powered prog rock were devastated last year when The Mars Volta split amidst a very public spat between the band’s two core members.
Lyricist and vocalist Cedric Bixler Zavala announced the band’s demise in a series of angry tweets directed at his longterm musical partner-in-crime, producer-guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, claiming his spinoff project Bosnian Rainbows had helped kill The Mars Volta. The bitter words, combined with news of Zavala’s own solo project, seemed to vaporise any chance of a Mars Volta reunion.
Well, it seems that absence has made the hearts of the Mars Volta co-founders grow fonder, with Zavala and Rodriguez-Lopez now putting their differences aside and reuniting once more, and using a brand new supergroup to do it.
Footage has surfaced of a new band called Antemasque, thanks to (of all the bizarre sources) ESPN, which features Cedric Bixler Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, along with legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and one-time Mars Volta drummer, Dave Eltich.
The four-piece can be heard – more than seen thanks to some obscure angles – rehearsing part for a new song, and as the track’s guitar parts evolve, the familiar strains of Bixler Zavala’s wails can be heard over the muscular riffs, as Antiquiet points out.
Though there’s little other additional information on the band available – no album, no live dates – there is a series of cryptically short trailers that have cropped up on YouTube with snatches of extra audio and confirmation of the Mars Volta semi-reunion.
UPDATE 10/4: The full studio version of Antemasque’s debut single, ‘4am’, was released overnight. Listen to the brand new track – a savagely efficient hybrid of At The Drive-In’s immediacy and The Mars Volta’s savage riffs – below.
There’s also the below clip, featuring additional footage of Antemasque in the studio working on a new track, with the working title ‘4am’, that shows more of Zavala recording his vocal parts.
The presence of Flea (who can also be heard shooting the shit about his Damien Hirst-designed 1961 Fender jazz bass in the video) also marks a return to the Mars Volta’s roots. The bassist and fellow Chili Pepper John Frusciante had starring roles on the prog rock band’s 2003 debut album De-Loused In The Comatorium; re-visit our 10th anniversary feature on the landmark album here while we all collectively champ at the bit for new info regarding Antemasque.Write a Letter to the Editor