The Mars Volta are no more. Frontman Cedric Bixler-Zavala made the announcement last night via an absurdly long series of tweets, which we guess is somewhat fitting given the band’s proggier inclinations. He referred to his now-former Mars Volta and At the Drive-In bandmate Omar Rodríguez-López’ new band, Bosnian Rainbows, which shared a new song yesterday.
“Thank u 2 all VOLTA fans u deserved more especially after the way u rooted for us on [2012’s Noctouriniquet],” Bixler-Zavala wrote. “But Bosnian Rainbows was what we all got instead. I can’t sit here and pretend any more. I no longer am a member of Mars Volta.” He didn’t detail the reasons for the split but said he wanted a “full-scale American tour” behind last year’s album.
As Bosnian Rainbows, Rodríguez-López teams with drummer Deantoni Parks, keyboardist Nicci Kasper, and singer Teri Gender-Bender, who’s also in experimental noise outfit Le Butcherettes. “Torn Maps” is a snapping, new-wavey alt-pop song with, true to Gender-Bender’s name, androgynously piercing vocals. Aside from the blazing guitar work and an oddball synth interlude, it’s a reminder of that time in the early 2000s when new-new-wave acts like stellastarr*, Hot Hot Heat, and Edward Sharpe precursor Ima Robot were popping up out of the ’80s-vintage woodwork.
Mars Volta’s split doesn’t come as a total surprise. Last year, when Bixler-Zavala and Rodríguez-López reunited their pre-Mars Volta band At the Drive-In for live shows, Rodríguez-López bluntly acknowledged that the reunion was about money and nostalgia. He also said it probably wasn’t going to lead to new songs. None of which boded well for the At the Drive-In members’ other group together.
Listen to Bosnian Rainbows’ “Torn Maps” and peruse some of Bixler-Zavala’s tweets below.