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|Omar Rodríguez-López with Omar Rodríguez-López Group in 2011|
|Full name||Omar Alfredo Rodríguez-López|
|Birthday/Birthplace||(1975-09-01) September 1, 1975
Bayamón, Puerto Rico
|Origin||El Paso, Texas, United States|
|Official Website||Omar Rodriguez Lopez Productions[permanent dead link]|
Omar Alfredo Rodríguez-López (born September 1, 1975 in Bayamón, Puerto Rico) is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, director and film actor. Known mainly for being the first guitar and producer of the progressive and psychedelic rock band The Mars Volta until the beginning of 2013. He is currently the leader of the band Antemasque.
Omar Rodríguez-López grew up in El Paso, Texas. After leaving Texas before the age of 18, he traveled to America. During this time he saw that his life was not going anywhere, so he called his friend Cedric Bixler-Zavala who suggested that he return to El Paso. With the help of Bixler-Zavala, he was able to return to El Paso where he joined At The Drive-In as a backup bassist and vocalist. After signing a contract with Flipside and recording Acrobatic Tenement he became the official guitarist.
Omar Rodríguez-López has spent most of his career working, and often living, with his great friend, Cedric Bixler-Zavala. Both played together in the poshardcore band At the Drive-In. While they belonged to the band, they formed a reggae dub band called De Facto. In 2001, both left At the Drive-In, of which they were members since 1993, in “indefinite interruption” to form the band “The Mars Volta”. In addition, Cedric appears in the disc A Manual Dexterity: Soundtrack Volume 1 of Rodríguez-López, soundtrack of the film, of the same name, by Rodríguez-López. The release date of this movie has been postponed indefinitely.
As a guitarist, Rodríguez-López is known for his experimental, creative and atonal style, characterized by unusual chords and complex progressions and frequent changes of rhythm, improvised solos and experimentation without rest. Rodríguez-López says he knows very little about music theory, although the melodies in the solos of the first album of “The Mars Volta” De-loused in the Comatorium demonstrate significant skill and variety.
Omar Rodríguez-López is a visionary and modern guitarist in terms of innovation and experimentation. His style shows a great resemblance to King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp and John Frusciante since these guitarists use atonal and tritonal harmonies. It seems that Fripp has considerable influence on Rodríguez-López. However, Rodriguez has said that his main artistic influences have not been musical, except for his guru, salsa pianist Larry Harlow. Rodríguez cites comedian Lenny Bruce, film director Werner Herzog, anthropologist Carlos Castañeda, and the scientist Marcelo Ortega as five important influences.The fact that these people are not musicians highlights Rodríguez’s unconventional approach to his environment, differentiating it of other guitarists of this era and past.
Omar Rodríguez-López is named for all the music heard at the 2005 release of The Mars Volta, Frances the Mute. He has also recently finished producing the following album by the Los Angeles band Radio Vago.
In 2009, the band won a Grammy in the Best Hard Rock Performance category for the song Wax Simulacra.
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