Local Wire

The Mars Volta

Maybe it was his non-fro or lack of a hyphenated name, but Jon Theodore, longtime drummer for Latin prog rock act The Mars Volta, has left the band. Now, the earthy surnamed and mop-topped shadows of singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala, guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and bassist Pablo Hinojos-Gonzalez will fall upon new drummer Blake Fleming, who sat in the mighty Volta drum throne five years ago on some of the band's earliest demos. The band has covered quite a bit of territory since then, especially considering the pair of ginormous concept albums that waxed philosophical about getting suicide right (2003's De-Loused in the Comatorium) and a diary found by late bandmate Jeremy Ward (2005's Frances the Mute). The band's upcoming album, Amputechture, due September 12, is less high-concept and more Rod Serling's Night Gallery, with nonlinear and disconnected stories, all murmured in the same voice. Our tip for incoming skin-thwacker Fleming — adopt a patchouli-tinged South American middle name. We like Huehuetenago. And while you're at it, lose the first name. "Blake" is so John Hughes.
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Casey Lynch