It's impossible not to chuckle a bit when hearing Omar Rodriguez-Lopez describe 2016 as a “pretty mellow year for me.” This is the year when the ambitious and prolific artist-producer will release 12 new solo albums via Mike Patton's Ipecac Recordings, at a rate of one every two weeks until the end of the year.

The third of the 12, Blind Worms, Pious Swine, will be available this Friday, and finds the Puerto Rican sensation taking a slightly darker alt-rock turn from his previous two offerings: Sworn Virgins, with its '80s goth/industrial aesthetics, and Corazones, a pop soundtrack for a film that remains unreleased. It's certainly different from his work in his various other projects, including At the Drive-In and The Mars Volta, both of which made him a household name at the turn of the century.

Are you planning on shooting a video for each album single?
I'm not sure. I'd love to try, but with all the touring that we're doing right now, and we're writing our record with At the Drive-In, I'll have to see how many we can make to support the series. I'm not sure I can make one for each one. [Laughs]

You mentioned reuniting The Mars Volta in an interview with Rolling Stone last month. Is that a sure thing or something you're hoping for?
Oh I don't know, that's just me talking. Of course it would be great at some point to put a lineup together and make a record. These are our babies. They're what we've nurtured, what Cedric [Bixler-Zavala] and I have been doing since we were kids in El Paso throwing rocks in the desert.

You're going to tour Japan with ATDI this month. What happens next?
I think we come back in September and then we have some time off and then we've already been recording and stuff but, as far as an actual tour, we might be touring until next year or start up next year again. For now, [ATDI] is our focus. Once we do that and tour the new At the Drive-In record, then we'll start writing Mars Volta songs.

It's so great, it's so much fun touring with Tony [Hajjar] and Paul [Hinojos] and Keeley [Davis] with At the Drive-In. We have such a great dynamic and energy going. It's inspiring and we constantly have all these ideas coming out and that's the place where artists are supposed to exist. A fun, nurturing environment.

Isn't your birthday coming up next month?
Awww, come on, yeah! [Laughs]

I just had this idea where maybe you were hitting that point in age where you want to reconcile with everyone or something. [Rodriguez-Lopez is turning 41.]
Nah, I think anyone with intelligence doesn't want to have any bad blood. Or I should say that when you have a tad more experience, you're able to deal with conflict in a more intelligent way. When I was a kid, I was just dumb as fuck. No, I'm kidding. When you're a kid, you just have a higher level of ignorance … I mean, I speak for myself. I was unevolved in that way emotionally. You have a conflict and say “screw this” and you run away from it. As you start to gain intelligence, you realize that most conflicts can be resolved if you simply communicate, use your inner intelligence, and as long as you're honest with yourself and with the other person, it can always resolve conflicts.

Especially with family and longtime friends. There's always going to be a connection that's undeniable.
Yeah, exactly. It's completely undeniable. I played with these guys since I was a kid. Paul from At the Drive-In was the first person I ever played with besides my family, besides my dad and my uncles. He's the first person I met in El Paso and started playing with. We all have deep roots.

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