Fans of progressive punks At the Drive-In have been yearning for the band’s return since 2001, when they announced an indefinite hiatus spurred by what’s been described as a combination of surplus hype, obvious artistic differences, exhaustive touring and dangerous road habits. But the unanticipated success of ATDI offshoot the Mars Volta — dubbed by Rolling Stone in 2008 as Best Prog-Rock Band — has led many to presume a reunion just wouldn’t ever be in the cards.
Now, it appears frontman Cedric Bixler-Zavala — who, in past interviews, has taken responsibility for the split, saying he felt At the Drive-In was holding him back, creatively — may be changing his tune. In an interview with Drowned in Sound, Bixler-Zavala was once again asked about the possibility of an ATDI resurrection, and his response, while fuzzy, is likely to give fans renewed hope.
“I don’t know what to say about that really,” the frontman responded. “We’ve been making amends with a lot of the members and having some really good talks with them. And we’ve been trying to get our financial business in order because a lot of people have been ripping off that band really badly … as far as the business side goes. I wouldn’t mind it. You know, it might happen. We just have to iron out a lot of personal things. A lot of it we’ve dealt with already and I’ve apologized for a lot of things I’ve said and the way it ended. We’ll see what happens.” After At the Drive-In Split, Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez decamped for the Mars Volta while Tony Hajjar, Paul Hinojos and Jim Ward formed Sparta; Hinojos later joined the Volta, as well.
In the same interview, Bixler-Zavala was less vague about the future of the Mars Volta, who will issue their fifth studio album, Octahedron, on June 23rd. Long story short, he doesn’t see the Mars Volta slowing down anytime soon
“Being around the people in the band right now just excites me,” he said. “Plus, to have as much time off as we’ve had from it … it’s a good break to remind you what you love doing. I love it and I’ll always love it. It’s the one outlet I have that wonâ€™t get me arrested or get me in trouble. I can get away with it. I don’t know if I could collaborate with many other people.”