Fans of expansive-rock (this is the new euphemism for modern prog, by the way) rejoice, as it has been revealed that absolute heroes of the genre The Mars Volta have started on their new album, the first since last year's Octahedron, which received a reasonable reception from us (via StereoKill and our own boards).
A few days ago a tweet indicated that the Texan group were over at InfraSonic Sound Studios in Los Angeles getting to work on whatever they had to get to work on. It read:
The Mars Volta in-studio here for pre-production.
Which is clear enough. I guess the entire process - lyrics, music and all - has been going on for a while now, but it's undoubtedly good news that something more concrete is happening, especially after all the talk of various recordings being ditched and general uncertainty.
As alluded to in a recent interview with Rolling Stone Magazine, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez - for so long the sole driving force behind the band in the studio - has learned to let others have a go, too. How, exactly? Well, from working as a director on his (well, released ones anyway) film debut, The Sentimental Engine Slayer, which we posted about here.
He said that it's been hard for him to gradually release control of the recording and writing process, with the music being handed over to Cedric Bixler-Zavala, who is penning the lyrics for the album, in isolation.
"This is very hard for me and there's not a day where I look at the phone and don't want to call him, asking, 'You got something? Come on!' This is my first challenge, to let him do it at his own pace. He's always painted by what I told him, and I didn't say anything. I want his stories."
"I've had 10 years of being a dictator. From 2002 to 2007, I cannot tell you how unfun it must have been to be around me. I worked from 11 in the morning until 2 in the morning, no breaks, no going out for lunch, no days off.
"I drove an engineer mad. Another renounced me. I understand it now. And now, I stop, I eat lunch, I play with the dog, and I get four times as much done now than when I was choking it to death. Now I come back invigorated. I'm definitely happier."