By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
“There are certain aspects of speaking in tongues involved in this,” says Bixler-Zavala, with a hint of wryness. “Buñuel movies and certain Jodorowsky movies, we can identify with them. I think we live Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo on a day-to-day basis — you know, the one where the Amazon tribe drags a huge boat over a hill in the jungle? This band has been pushing the boat over the hill.”
“I really don’t understand a lot of what I’ve been doing until I have a couple of years away from it,” says Rodriguez-Lopez, seemingly in wonder. “I always feel like doing a record is a mad frenzy, like a rush to get certain parts executed or certain surface ideas executed, and there’s so much happening beneath the surface.”
Which is one explanation for why he prefers not to think too much about what he’s doing in the studio. When he recorded Bixler-Zavala’s vocals, he rarely allowed the singer to do more than one take.
“I just want to let the intent be there,” he says, “so I just let everything happen according to its feeling.”
One would guess that considering their furiously concentrated compulsion toward their elusive muse, the duo might be concerned about losing their audience. Not so, says Rodriguez-Lopez.
“We definitely never think about our audience when we’re making music. Our time for thinking about our audience is playing live, because we’re sharing our insides with them. But in terms of making music, we treat thinking about an audience as a dagger point at our hearts. It’s never been important before, and it shouldn’t be important now.”
Which is not to say they’re ungrateful for their rabid, loyal believers. “We definitely enjoy where this is taking us,” he says, “and having a larger fan base now and what it allows us to do. But we recognize that the most important thing is our intent. It’s like we put horsy blinders on — we’re just trying to move forward through the crowd and get to wherever it is we’re going.”
THE MARS VOLTA | Amputechture | Universal Motown