When The Mars Volta broke up last year, it appeared to stem from the deteriorating relationship between vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala and guitarist Omar Rodrígues-López. The pair first began playing together in the mid-’90s with combustable post-hardcore band At The Drive-In, and after that group split in 2001, the duo quickly brought The Mars Volta to life. Now, after just over a year apart, it appears Bixler-Zavala and Rodrígues-López have rekindled that partnership again. Only, instead of relaunching The Mars Volta, they opted to form a new band, Antemasque, with former Mars Volta collaborators Flea (who played bass on 2002 De-loused In The Comatorium) and touring drummer Dave Elitch.
Though it was only announced two days ago—via ESPN of all places—Antemasque has already released a pair of songs via its Bandcamp page. Both “4am” and “Hangin In The Lurch” lack the expansive explorations of The Mars Volta, instead suggesting that 2012’s At The Drive-In reunion signaled a shared desire to return to something a bit more direct than the bloated beast The Mars Volta had become. It’s hard to say how much of a focus Antemasque will be given, but with Rodrígues-López releasing over two dozen solo albums in the past decade while also joining Le Butcherettes and forming Bosnian Rainbows, juggling bands is his forte.