Cedric Bixler Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez are collaborating again musically after the apparent break-up of Mars Volta last year.
Bixler and Rodriguez-Lopez, also known for their work in El Paso-based At the Drive-In, have formed the new group Antemasque.
The new band includes The Mars Volta’s Dave Elitch on drums and the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea on bass for a song.
This isn’t the first time Flea has performed with Bixler and Rodriguez-Lopez. Flea played on The Mars Volta’s 2003 release “De-Loused in the Comatorium.”
Hints Bixler and Rodriguez-Lopez were on better terms came in early March when Bixler’s wife, Chrissie Bixler, posted a picture on her public Instagram account of Bixler and Rodriguez-Lopez holding Bixler’s twin boys at a California beach. The caption reads, “And these four guys!”
At the time the picture was posted there was no mention of Mars Volta reuniting or any musical collaboration between the two.
It’s a big change from an interview with the Santa Barbara Independent in June 2013 when Bixler was asked about how things were going with Rodriguez-Lopez.
“We’re not really on speaking terms,” Bixler told the Santa Barbara newspaper. “The falling out had been four years in the making, so the final announcement on my part was really just to let the children know that Mom and Dad were splitting up. I think there’s a lot to be identified in Kim and Thurston.”
Bixler announced on Jan. 30, 2013 via Twitter that he was no longer a member of The Mars Volta, seemingly putting an end to the band he and Rodriguez-Lopez started in 2001 after the break up of At the Drive-In.
“I tried my hardest to keep it going … I can’t sit here and pretend any more. I no longer am a member of Mars Volta,” Bixler tweeted Jan. 30, 2013. “I honestly thank all of you for buying our records and coming to our shows. You guys were a blast to play in front of.”
The Mars Volta released their last album, “Noctourniquet,” in March 2012.
In an interview with ABC-7 in mid-January last year, Rodriguez-Lopez talked about the different musical projects of the At the Drive-In members.
“For all of us who’ve known each other and been through arguments – superficial arguments – it’s really an exciting time,” Rodriguez-Lopez told ABC-7 last year. “We get to do these different projects and help each other out. Jim (Ward) just had a crisis with the Pro Tools rig they were recording on and I was able to lend him my studio and he lent me his space (Tricky Falls to shoot my film).”
Rodriguez-Lopez said ATDI members were now all open to something happening with that band beyond 2012’s reunion tour of festivals and a smattering of club gigs.
“I think now we got past the stage of the whole reunion thing and playing old songs,” Rodriguez-Lopez said before alluding to his subdued demeanor during the 2012 tour. “And I was going through some very difficult things in my personal life with my family at the time and other people were going through other things. So now we’ve come out of that and we’re able to see it in hindsight and so that’s always a good thing. So now we’re open to all sorts of possibilities. But right now everybody’s really excited about their current thing.
“Life gives you perspective,” Rodriguez-Lopez told ABC-7 last year. “When you’re creating music and you’re playing, it’s like that’s what you’re expressing. You’re expressing everything that’s happening in your life. The gears have been turning and now something new is coming out. And as that changes and grows then we all come back together with all that information, all that data and we’re able to make At the Drive-In something even bigger for us. Not in terms of success, exterior success but something emotionally for us, than it ever was at any point in our youth. So that’s something that has us all really excited.”