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Walking25
08-28-2006, 04:57 PM
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Mammatus


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Interview by WINTER MILLER
Published: August 27, 2006
CATEGORIZING the Mars Volta is futile. Not quite prog, not really metal, sometimes gibberish ... it boggles. The singer-songwriter Cedric Bixler-Zavala suggested: “Self-indulgent. Strenuous.” Huh? “A punk-rock Grateful Dead.” Right. His influences? “Joan Crawford. I’m fascinated by the Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde part of her.” That’s evident on “Amputechture” (Universal), the band’s third release, due Sept. 12. One song rockets from salsa beat to savage metal guitar riff into screaming sax. So much for boundaries and expectations for two Hispanics from El Paso. Mr. Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, the composer and guitarist, cut their emo punk teeth in At the Drive-in, in 1994. They disbanded in 2001 and tumbled into the Mars Volta. Volta came from a Fellini book. Mars was, well, Mars. “The” was a homage to Pink Floyd. The new album explores the cultural delineation of crazy. As Mr. Bixler-Zavala explains, America’s crazy person is Brazil’s shaman. Currently the band is touring with the Red Hot Chili Peppers (a reprise of 2003). Mr. Bixler-Zavala spoke with Winter Miller about what he’s listening to now.


http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/27/arts/music/27play.html