New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Cedric Bixler-Zavala of At The Drive-In

Posted by Amoebite, October 25, 2017 03:26pm | Post a Comment

Cedric Bixler-Zavala (At the Drive-In) What's in My Bag?

"To me John Carpenter sounds like he should have been in a Krautrock band," says Cedric Bixler-Zavala, lead singer for At the Drive-In and The Mars Volta, during his recent What's In My Bag? interview. Picking up a 12" record of Carpenter's theme to his film Assault On Precinct 13, Bixler-Zavala compares the moody, synth-based sound of his music to the experiential, avant-garde form of music that came out of Germany in the late '60s and '70s. He also found some genuine Krautrock, in the form of Cluster's debut record, an atmospheric, instrumental soundscape. "All roads lead to Germany, in regards to interesting out there music," he tells us, adding, "I love to draw to this kind of stuff because it just makes me feel like I'm there."

Grammy-winning musician Cedric Bixler-Zavala made his name as the frontman of At the Drive-In. He would later go on to earn further acclaim for his work with The Mars Volta. Throughout his varied career, he has performed with dozens of bands, sometimes playing drums, sometimes singing in English, Latin, and Spanish. He is renowned for his energetic, raucous on-stage performances.

At the Drive-In in·ter a·li·aBixler-Zavala co-founded At the Drive-In in Dallas, TX in 1994. The band toured relentlessly, sharing the stage with the likes of Jimmy Eat World, Rage Against the Machine, and The Murder City Devils. Their third album, Relationship of Command, won them considerable acclaim when it was released in 2000, although the band broke up not long afterward. They reunited twice: first in 2011 and again in 2015. They released their first album in seventeen years, in•ter a•li•a, in 2017. Meanwhile Bixler-Zavala and At the Drive-In bandmate Omar Rodriguez-Lopez founded The Mars Volta in 2001, immediately attracting attention with the release of their debut LP, De-Loused in the Comatorium. The band's star continued to rise with each sequential release; in 2009, they took home a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance category for the song "Wax Simulacra" from the album The Bedlam in Goliath. The Mars Volta's most recent studio album was 2012's Noctourniquet.

The longstanding duo of Bixler-Zavala and Rodriguez-Lopez have released a series of solo LPs together, starting with 2004's A Manual Dexterity: Soundtrack Volume One, with the most recent release being 2016's Some Need it Lonely. The pair formed a supergroup of sorts in 2014, when they launched the band Antemasque with Rodriguez-Lopez's brother Marfred, featuring The Mars Volta's Dave Elitch and the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea.

The Memphis power-pop band Big Star had a big presence in Bixler-Zavala's selections. Pulling out the soundtrack to the documentary Nothing Can Hurt Me, Bixler-Zavala extolled the merits of Big Star and its members, calling them "the American Beatles." Of particular interest was Alex Chilton, who as both musician and producer was an instrumental figure "in American underground music." Bixler-Zavala also grabbed a couple of records he thought were similar to, or even influenced by Big Star, including Guided By Voices' Alien Lanes. "I'm a late bloomer to Guided By Voices 'cause I've always been overwhelmed by the amount of releases there are," he admits. 

But which British singer/guitarist did Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez bond over as teenagers? And what current British duo does he describe as "spoken word with that Pistols attitude"? You'll have to watch the video to find out!

Cedric Bixler-Zavala - What's In My Bag?
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Relevant Tags

Alex Chilton (4), Nothing Can Hurt Me (1), Big Star (13), Omar Rodriguez-lopez (3), The Mars Volta (4), At The Drive-in (4), Cedric Bixler (1), Cedric Bixler-zavala (2), Guided By Voices (11), Amoeba Hollywood (872), What's In My Bag (378), What's In My Bag? (285)