Follow TV Tropes


Trivia / The Mars Volta

Go To

  • Author Existence Failure: Jeremy Michael Ward, who passed away from an overdose at 27. Isaiah "Ikey" Owens would later on pass away in 2014 from a heart attack.
  • Black Sheep Hit: "The Widow," while not stylistically out of place with the rest of the band's work, is notably the shortest song on Frances the Mute, but even then the single version edits out about two and a half minutes of abstract sounds afterwards. It's also their biggest hit by a fairly substantial margin.
  • Advertisement:
  • Creator's Favorite Episode: Frances the Mute is Juan Alderete's.
  • Executive Meddling: The reason why "Cassandra Gemini" is split into eight tracks on the CD (the band would've only been paid an EP's worth of wages for a five-track CD, even a seventy-seven-minute-long one) and why the title track of Frances the Mute was left off the album. In a more minor case, the band considered "Son et Lumière" part of "Inertiatic ESP", but it ended up an Album Intro Track with its own title at the label's insistence.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The band encouraged bootlegging of their live shows, so there are dozens if not hundreds of shows circulating online.
  • Life Imitates Art: A case that will probably give many people nightmares. See the spoiler-marked text in the Nightmare Fuel section about Frances the Mute for details.
  • Advertisement:
  • Throw It In!: According to Cedric, this was a major part of the lyric writing process for Frances the Mute - at some points he would just sing random gibberish and then form it into coherent structures later. In some cases they apparently kept some of the random strings of words, because they considered his first reaction to the music to be the most honest.
  • What Could Have Been: This was very nearly the artwork for Amputechture.
    • Frances the Mute was intended to be be originally five songs (six if you count the title track), however Universal forced the song "Cassandra Gemini" to be split into eight pieces (and not by the song movements mind you) due to the album coming off as an EP than a full release. Weirdly enough, online MP3 retailers have the original intended five tracks (with "Cassandra Gemini" as a 32½-minute epic).
    • Frances was intended to have the title track, actually; however, due to the CD's limitations of 78 minutes (which the album passed), it was not included and was instead put alongside the "The Widow" single. At one point the band wanted a double album with only "Cassandra Gemini" on the second disc, but the record company vetoed this.
    • Advertisement:
    • The record company wanted "Goliath" to be the lead single from The Bedlam in Goliath, which is quite understandable as it's one of the catchiest songs on the album. However, it's seven minutes long, which is far too long for a single that isn't "Hey Jude", and the band, understandably, didn't want it edited down, because the ending is just as epic as the main part of the song. It's kind of surprising no one thought of compromising by editing it into two separate songs - there's a clear musical shift in the middle that could've served as a split, in a sort of Bob Dylan "Like a Rolling Stone" sort of fashion. Ultimately, "Wax Simulacra" (a good song, but not that good) was used as the lead single. "Goliath" was released a vinyl single later on, with the album version, two versions of a remix by rapper El-P, the album version of "Tourniquet Man", and a remix of "Tourniquet Man".
    • One not related directly to the band is that Cedric once performed in a band with Beto O'Rourke, who later became congressman from El Paso and attracted nationwide attention with his ultimately unsuccessful bid for the Senate (though he came closer to winning than any Democrat had in decades and is generally agreed to have had coattails that lifted several Democratic congressional candidates to victory). O'Rourke is now considered a serious contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, should he choose to seek it. It would certainly have been fascinating had a U.S. Senator and the front man of the Mars Volta and At the Drive-In once played in the same band.
  • Word of God: The song "Frances the Mute" is a "decoder ring" for the album of the same name. Fan analysis of the song responsible for the spoiler-marked section under Concept Album on the main page.
  • Writer Revolt: "Abortion: The Other White Meat" (see Epic Rocking on the main page) was apparently a case of this. The festival organisers had evidently told the band that they had to play "The Widow" and their other hits. In protest of this, the band improvised a 50-minute set and didn't play any other material. Cedric also sat on the side of the stage with a typewriter, evidently composing a letter reaming out the festival organisers for attempting to impose creative restrictions on the band.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: