The massively influential post-hardcore band At The Drive-In, that spawned The Mars Volta and Sparta, will “break their silence”.
The Texan band broke up directly after their first Australian tour and Big Day Out performances in 2001.
Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez went on to form the cult space-prog act The Mars Volta, while Jim Ward, Tony Hajjar and Paul Hinojos created post-hardcore quintet Sparta, and Ward continued with Sleepercar and a successful solo career.
During their eight-year, three-album career, At The Drive-In became massively influential for their complex, turbulent take on post-punk, post-hardcore and alternative rock.
Their final album, 2000’s Relationship of Command, appeared on multiple ‘greatest albums’ list, of the decade, the 21st Century, and even of All Time.
The member’s split was particularly acrimonious, but over the last decade there have been some conciliatory statements from the members.
Now, on the band’s Twitter account and on their webpage, a cryptic message appears: “¡ATTENTION ! To whom it may concern: AT THE DRIVE-IN will be breaking their 11 year silence THIS STATION IS …NOW…OPERATIONAL” (the final sentence a line from their biggest single ‘One Armed Scissor).
We spoke to Jim Ward last August, and he discussed returning to Sparta after a long solo effort. He also seemed to keep the door open by complimenting his former bandmates in The Mars Volta, confirming, “We’re all cool.”
“Their level of musicality is unending,” Ward notes, “and I think they’re exploring where they can go. I admire it, for sure.”
He’s impressed as a musician, “And as a friend, too. I mean, there were years where we didn’t really talk, and now years where we do talk. You go and see them play and you hang out… it’s fascinating to me. I ask Omar what records I should put in the jukebox at the bar in certain genres because I know his knowledge is deep and I appreciate that.”
Check out our chat with Ward below.