The Mars Volta say they're not afraid of “losing fans” with new style

The Mars Volta have said that they’re not afraid of “losing fans” due to the new direction they’ve taken on their recent comeback tracks.

The Texas-formed band – comprising Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodríguez-López – returned in June with their first new song in 10 years, ‘Blacklight Shine’. They followed it up with ‘Graveyard Love’ last month, and have since announced a self-titled seventh album while sharing ‘Vigil’.

During a new interview with The Guardian, The Mars Volta spoke about how they’ve adopted a more pop-orientated sound this time around, compared to the heavier style of their previous work.

“I’m not bound by genre,” said Rodríguez-López. “The only thing that matters is if music makes you feel something.”

Bixler-Zavala, meanwhile, said that he’s noticed some negative online reactions to the group’s recent material. “Some people might see [the shift in direction] as betrayal,” he explained. “I’ve seen some people call it yacht rock. But yacht rock slaps so hard that hip-hop producers sample it all the time.”

His bandmate added: “Losing ‘fans’ is baked into what we do. I don’t know a greater happiness than losing ‘fans’. A true fan is someone interested in what’s happening now, and then there’s everyone else trying to control what you do or project on to it.

“I have an aversion to that. That sounds like school. That sounds like the government. That sounds like the police. And unfortunately that’s what a lot of people who think they’re fans end up thinking like.”

Later, Bixler-Zavala explained: “The most revolutionary thing we could do would be to make a pop record, really.”

The Mars Volta are set to drop their long-awaited new record on September 16 via Cloud Hill. Shortly afterwards, they’ll head out on a US headline tour – you can buy any remaining tickets here.

The band released six studio albums between 2003 and 2012, before breaking up due to a falling out between founding members Bixler-Zavala and Rodríguez-López.

However, the pair made amends and formed a new group, Antemasque. They also revamped their pre-Mars Volta outfit, At The Drive-In, for a new record back in 2017.

A Mars Volta reunion had been hinted at by the band’s members on numerous occasions in recent years.