Interesting Facts You Never Knew About El Paso’s The Mars Volta
When talking about the biggest bands to come out of El Paso, The Mars Volta is certainly at the top of the list & have been since 2001. With many songs to their name like The Widow, L'Via L'Vasquez, Goliath, they've been shown love by El Paso & the world. (You can see what songs are loved by your fellow El Pasoans right here)
With the announcement of a 2023 El Paso concert date, let's take a look at 12 Mars Volta facts you didn't know:
1. Omar once stated that he hated playing guitar:
It's clear that Omar-Rodriguez Lopez has some amazing guitar playing skills. But he actually HATED playing guitar. In a 2010 interview with Guitar Player, Omar has said he hated playing guitar in the past. Obviously his opinion has changed but to think he started off playing an instrument he disliked, it's crazy to think what he instrument he COULD'VE played in during his career.
2. The Mars Volta were one of the first El Paso bands to be featured in a video game:
Fans of Guitar Hero might remember a long time ago a game called Guitar Hero World Tour. On the game features a song by both The Mars Volta & At The Drive-In: L'Via L'Vasquez & One Armed Scissor. That wouldn't be the last time they were featured in a video game, you can see more right here.
3. Members of the RHCP love The Mars Volta:
Long time fans of Mars Volta might remember the Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, for performing on the debut album De-Loused in the Comatorium. He also played trumpet on Frances the Mute (The Widow & Miranda).
But RHCP guitarist, John Frusciante, has also worked with Mars Volta too. Of course he know he's played with Omar on some of his solo albums but he's been on more MV albums than Flea. He's appeared on all the albums between 2002-2009:
- De-Loused in the Comatorium,
- Frances the Mute,
- The Bedlam In Goliath,
- & Octahedron
They're not the only ones who love the Mars Volta, you can see other musicians who've shown their support here.
4. Omar graduated from school while Cedric did not:
Both Omar & Cedric grew up in El Paso, they went to school, but while Omar graduated as a Coronado T-bird, Cedric dropped out of high school. As he revealed in this old 1994 El Paso High news story.
5. Despite breaking up in 2012, the music kept coming:
In 2012, The Mars Volta took a break & during that time, Omar & Cedric still kept busy with side projects. Omar went on to form Bosnian Rainbows, while Cedric went to form Zavalaz. Both bands were short lived but they both managed to gather cult followings.
And there was another side project...
6. Cedric & Omar formed a band with Flea & Travis Barker:
Yes the final (for now) side project that was formed was Antemasque. The side project included Travis Barker on drums in 2015 (David Elitch was the drummer from 2014-2015), Omar's brother Marfred Rodriguez Lopez on bass (2014-2015) and Flea on bass in the studio in 2015. If you're curious about the other side projects BEFORE The Mars Volta, you can see them here (there's a lot)
7. The Mars Volta is a family affair:
The main 2 bands behind The Mars Volta has always been Omar & Cedric. However, Marcel Rodriguez-Lopez, Omar's younger brother, has been with the band since 2005 as the keyboardist/percussionist. He's appeared on every album, aside from 2012's Noctourinquet, and countless albums as a solo artist (Zechs Marquise or Eureka the Butcher), with his brother Omar or with other artists.
8. Music is not the only thing Omar or Cedric have done in his career:
Aside from recording music, both Cedric & Omar have had their hand in acting & composing. On Cedric's official IMDB page, he's done a lot of self appearances on tv shows. Omar is a respected director, composer & actor with his own IMDB page.
He's also directed a couple of MV music videos; including: Goliath, The Widow, L'Via L'Vasquez & Televators among many others.
9. The Mars Volta may have inspired a meme:
While we're talking about movies, The Mars Volta have been in a few movies, the most popular being Get Him To The Greek. If you've seen that gif of Jonah Hill's excited screaming, it's cause he was "singing" to the Mars Volta's "And Ghosted Pouts". Watch the scene & you'll know what I'm talking about.
10. The Mars Volta only had 1 Grammy Nomination...which they won:
During the 51st Annual Grammys in 2009, The Mars Volta were nominated for Best Hard Rock Performance. That same year Disturbed's Inside the Fire, Judas Priest's Visions, Motley Crue's Saints of Los Angeles, & Rob Zombie's Lords of Salem were all nominated. The Mars Volta WON with this song: Wax Simulacra.
11. Cedric had an epic skateboard collection:
Back in the day, Cedric was an avid skateboard. In 2009, he was interviewed by Laban & showed off his HUGE collection of skateboards which has at least 60 skateboards in the room he was interviewed in. It's not sure if he still skates but he loves skateboards.
12. One of their "final" shows was a secret show at El Paso's Club 101
According to Setlist.fm, the last time The Mars Volta played in 2008 at the old Club 101 location on September 29th, nearly 15 years ago.. It was a "secret show" and there is home footage from that concert.
The Mars Volta will return to El Paso in 2023: May 14th at the Abraham Chavez Theater (you can see all the tour dates on their website). I'm sure after 2008, the return home will be one to remember.