The Mars Volta Drop First New Song in 10 Years ‘Blacklight Shine’

It’s The Mars Volta, everybody — they’re back and they’re shining. When the bongos let rip at the start of their first new single in a a decade, you know you’re in for a blast. The song is called “Blacklight Shine.”

It emerged Tuesday (June 21) after The Mars Volta, the post-hardcore prog-rock band led by former At the Drive-In members Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, spent the preceding two days teasing music at a pop-up art installation in Los Angeles.

Hear “Blacklight Shine” near the bottom of this post.

The new tune is The Mars Volta’s first material since 2012’s Noctourniquet album and the group’s subsequent breakup. The track is a Latin-influenced, percussion-heavy, almost Chicago-like smooth jam that finds singer Bixler-Zavala dipping into Spanish. Its lyrics illustrate “a wave of rolling blackouts washing memories onto shore, a heartbeat that still remembers everything,” according to the vocalist in a Tuesday press release.

The Mars Volta’s first live shows in the same 10-year span have also been announced. See the dates below. Tickets go on sale this Thursday (June 23).

After At the Drive-In broke up in 2001, Bixler-Zavala and guitarist Rodriguez-Lopez formed The Mars Volta. At the Drive-In bandmate Jim Ward formed Sparta. The Mars Volta then released six studio albums, beginning with 2003’s De-Loused in the Comatorium, which features Red Hot Chili PeppersFlea on bass guitar. (The Mars Volta are pictured above in the De-Loused era.) At the Drive-In briefly reunited in 2011 and 2016. Bixler-Zavala and Rodriguez-Lopez moonlighted as a garage rock group called Antemasque in 2014.

In 2019, Bixler-Zavala tweeted about a Mars Volta reunion, “What it’s NOT going to be is your ‘fav member lineup’ playing their ‘classic records’ in full etc. Maybe we’ll play old shit, who knows how we feel.” (However, the tweets have been removed from Twitter.)

He continued, “Our past campaigns never relied on playing requests or going fully backwards. … It’s new shit, new people, left turns, tangent inconsistencies, mazapan dreams and churro wishes.”

The singer added, “I will say this though, when [Rodriguez-Lopez] played me a grip of new shit I fucking cried. Like Claire Daines [sic] in Romeo + Juliet cried. Yeah, it was fucking weird. It’s in its infancy right now. No deadlines, no ball tripping, no drama, just two grown-ass men using essential oils and bold new perfumes, shooting ideas and scooting their ass across the fucking lawn trying to get rid of these worms.”

NEW MUSIC PLAYLIST: Keep up with each week’s rock and metal releases with Loudwire’s “Weekly Wire” Spotify playlist, updated every Friday with 50 new songs.

The Mars Volta 2022 Tour Dates

Sept. 23 – Dallas, Texas @ The Factory
Sept. 25 – Atlanta, Ga. @ The Tabernacle
Sept. 27 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ Opera House
Sept. 29 – New York, N.Y. @ Terminal 5
Oct. 1 – Boston, Mass. @ MGM Music Hall
Oct. 3 – Washington, D.C. @ The Anthem
Oct. 5 – Toronto, Ontario @ Massey Hall
Oct. 6 – Detroit, Mich. @ The Royal Oak
Oct. 8 – Chicago, Ill. @ Aragon Ballroom
Oct. 11 – Denver, Colo. @ Mission Ballroom
Oct. 14 – Seattle, Wash. @ Moore Theatre
Oct. 18 – San Francisco, Calif. @ The Warfield
Oct. 21 – Los Angeles, Calf. @ The Palladium

The Mars Volta, “Blacklight Shine” Artwork

Clouds Hill

Clouds Hill


The Mars Volta, “Blacklight Shine” Video

The 10 Biggest Rock + Metal Bands With the Most Lineup Changes

But they’ve all made it work.


Author: showrunner