Posted today on the website of prog-fusion poster boys The Mars Volta, a biography on forthcoming full-length The Bedlam in Goliath tells an odd tale of murder, a haunted Ouija board, and band leader/composer Omar Rodriguez-Lopez nearly scrapping the album.
The bizarre backstory was penned by author Jeremy Robert Johnson (Siren Promised, Extinction Journals, Angel Dust Apocalypse), and it’s possible that the story is pure science fiction. If true, it’s simply disturbing.
As Johnson’s story goes, Rodriguez-Lopez bought a Ouija board, dubbed “The Soothsayer,” for singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala while in Jerusalem. Through it, the group connected to metaphysical voices, which became a collective force called Goliath and told of a love/lust/murder triangle between a man, a woman, and the woman’s mother.
Goliath’s hunger for contact supposedly led to equipment malfunctions on tour, drummer upheaval, an injury to Bixler-Zavala’s foot, a mental breakdown of the album’s main engineer, a flooded studio, and loads of bad mojo. Threats began to emanate from the board, so the band buried it.
The bad vibes started to dissipate, but continued turmoil — odd power outages and disappearing drum tracks — almost made Rodriguez-Lopez, a tireless creative force, give up.
Johnson’s biography of The Mars Volta can currently be read at their website, themarsvolta.com, where it’s posted as a downloadable document. The Bedlam in Goliath is set for release on January 29 through Gold Standard Laboratories (GSL) / Universal.
Sadly, GSL announced last week that it could no longer afford to release new music. Its back catalog will remain available online and in stores.
Photo credit: Ross Halfin
The Mars Volta: www.themarsvolta.com
Gold Standard Laboratories: www.goldstandardlabs.com
Universal Music: www.umusic.com
Jeremy Robert Johnson: www.jeremyrobertjohnson.com
Ross Halfin: www.rosshalfin.co.uk