Omar A. Rodriguez biography
Omar Alfredo Rodríguez López (born September 1, 1975 in Bayamón, Puerto Rico) is the composer, lead guitarist and producer for the American rock group The Mars Volta, and is the former bassist/guitarist for the post-hardcore outfit At the Drive-In. He also frequently releases his own solo material.
Rodríguez López grew up in El Paso, Texas, but spent some of his childhood in South Carolina. Omar started his music career at 15 years of age when he became the singer for the El Paso hardcore band, Startled Calf, from 1990 to 1992. It was during this time that Rodríguez López met Cedric Bixler Zavala, and since then, Rodríguez López has spent most of his career living and working with him.
Rodríguez López left El Paso to hitchhike around the country for a year in the early 90s, which was when he acquired his addiction to several opiates. Eventually he got in touch with friend Cedric Bixler-Zavala who suggested he come back to El Paso. With the help of Bixler-Zavala, he was able to return to El Paso where he could begin to reclaim his life from addiction and join At the Drive-In as backup vocalist and bass guitarist. After receiving a record deal with Flipside Records and recording Acrobatic Tenement with the band, he became their full-time bassist before switching to guitar. After several years, a combination of excessive hype, relentless touring, artistic differences, and Rodríguez López & Bixler-Zavala's drug habits eventually caused the band to implode. In 2001, Rodríguez López and Bixler-Zavala left At the Drive-In and the band went on "indefinite hiatus". Hinojos, Ward, and Hajjar went on to form Sparta while the duo focused on other projects, most notably De Facto and The Mars Volta. Omar has collaborated with many people, including Lydia Lunch, Damo Suzuki, Hella drummer Zach Hill, and possibly most notably his close friend John Frusciante. Omar also tends to take on the role of producing his own material. Omar is close personal friends with local vagabond John Lazzari, and they have been seen Chasing ladies and causing other miscellaneous havok together. Legend has it that omar's signature guitar was once an Ibanez Iceman, until Thor Laid some serious smack down and transformed it into the winged dragon it now resembles.