LANDSCAPE TANTRUMS (Unfinished Original Recordings of De-Loused In The Comatorium), a hidden treasure, is out now.
Landscape Tantrums (Unfinished Original Recordings of De-Loused In The Comatorium) is out now and it's truly a joyous occasion! There has always been so much mystique surrounding the legendary band. The mystery surrounding The Mars Volta and their music has always existed. Even growing up in El Paso, the mystery surrounding them did not lessen. I remember hearing stories about Omar and Cedric. However, the consensus was always how private, nice, and talented they were. I met them once at a signing and they were so nice.
I recall when I first heard The Mars Volta. It was in Mexico circa 2005 and my uncle shared the music he was into at the time. It was an instant connection and you bet I had their music on my iPod. I was hooked. Listening to The Mars Volta felt like a little secret that no one else (in my age group back then) knew about and it was amazing. Their music has accompanied me throughout the hardest periods of my life. Every time I go back and immerse myself in their music, I am taken back to that moment when I first "discovered" them. I feel the same way now that I am going through a hard time in my life and I am able to rediscover their music through a fresh perspective which is Landscape Tantrums (Unfinished Original Recordings of De-loused in the Comatorium).
The Mars Volta released their new box-set, La Realidad De Los Sueños, which includes re-mastered versions of: TREMULANT EP, DE-LOUSED IN THE COMATORIUM, FRANCES THE MUTE, AMPUTECHTURE, THE BEDLAM IN GOLIATH, OCTAHEDRON, NOCTOURNIQUET, plus LANDSCAPE TANTRUMS (UNFINISHED ORIGINAL RECORDINGS OF DE-LOUSED IN THE COMATORIUM), A PLAGUE UPON YOUR HISSING CHILDREN & EUNUCH PROVOCATEUR ON DOUBLE ETCHED VINYL UNRELEASED VERSIONS FROM THE DE-LOUSED IN THE COMATORIUM SESSION, HARD COVER BOOK OF EXCLUSIVE BEHIND-THE-SCENES PHOTOGRAPHY, and TWO PINS. This is every Mars Volta fan's biggest dream come true. Sadly, this incredible one-of-a-kind box-set is sold out (only 5,000 copies were released). However, I did get a chance to listen to Landscape Tantrums (which is now available on all digital platforms) and the two never before heard songs: A Plague Upon Your Hissing Children and Eunuch Provocateur. This box set is definitely a must have.
Fans and music lovers will love Landscape Tantrums (Unfinished Original Recordings of De-loused in the Comatorium). "It was created when the band recorded previous versions of the pieces that Rick Rubin later produced for DELOUSED IN THE COMATORIUM. Omar Rodríguez-López kept the master tapes of these sessions under lock and key, but now he has given them the green light for release.“It is the right time, to open these recordings up to the public”, he says. “As a work of art in its own right, this set also needs to be seen as the end of a story.”"
As mentioned, Rick Rubin produced the De-loused in the Comatorium album that everyone came to know and love. Although it's one of the most important prog-rock albums of all time, there is a quiet sensitivity and organic flow to Landscape Tantrums that can't be heard in De-loused in the Comatorium. “It is a central part of the band’s history” reports Johann Scheerer, “the recordings prove just how much this band had to share, even so soon after its founding. But they also show just how much force this music could have if you didn’t have a producer like Rick Rubin behind the mixing desk.” I agree, there is a rawness to this that shows how talented and how incredible this piece of work was even before reaching Rick. This comment is not to take away from the master that is Rick Rubin because it was “Rubin's spirit” that enabled the band to move forward the way it did.
After listening to Landscape Tantrums, it's like finally being to see the full painting when you spent your entire life only seeing part of it's magnificent colors through a paper tube. There are many standout moments and things in Landscape Tantrums. Cedric's voice comes through more in the songs. You can definitely hear some of the differences between his vocals here and in De-loused. For example, in Televators (Landscape Tantrums edition), Cedric's voice sounds soft yet powerful. A quality that almost gets lost in some De-loused songs. Fans will appreciate the subtle and not so subtle differences between the albums such as in vocal effects and sound effects. In fact, there are moments where the intstruments have more individual "time to shine". I really recommend listening to the two albums back to back to hear the differences. Johann Schreer, from Cloud Hills who worked with Omar on this said it best, "Anyone listening to these tracks will get a glimpse into that time, into Omar’s soul”. Luckily, the album is out now and this glimpse is now open to the world.
Last week I had the opportunity to have a lovely conversation with Pablo Schmal where we discussed his music, his podcast, and his hobbies. Pablo is a multi-talented musician who doesn't stick to one "box". Pablo is also someone who believes in mental heath and does not shy away from it during our conversation.
During quarantine he's kept busy by painting shoes just for fun. He was very proud of a pair of shoes he painted that were modeled after the new The Strokes album, "The New Abnormal". Not only has he tapped into his artistic endeavors during quarantine, but he continuously hosts his podcast, "Musicologia". He actually co-hosts his podcast with his therapist (www.pabloschmal.com/video). It's everything music related. I actually caught myself deep diving into it. I asked Pablo what prompted him to start a podcast, which involves interviewing fellow musicians and he stated that he started because he likes to learn the "behind the scenes" of things. He mentioned that he will sometimes be listening to a song and there will be an instrument or sound he can't recognize and it's always amazing when he has the opportunity to interview a musician and ask about it. We actually talked about this for a bit.
After we finished our discussion on podcasts, we discussed his latest work which includes his song Universo Inverso ft. Fer Casillas (video below). It's a beautiful song with an even more beautiful music video. The lyrics themselves talk about a love. A love so close yet, yet so far. A love that would have worked in a "different universe". Now the melody itself is soft and Pablo's vocal's really match the yearning in the lyrics. When Pablo talked about his process, he was so excited. Like many musicians, he doesn't have a specific approach on how to make a song. In explaining this, he mentioned that this collaboration for Universo Inverso was aided through a mutual friend who recommended Fer Casillas to him. This is such a beautiful song and the rest of Pablo's music is also that, a nice ride into his mind with a groovy melody.
To end our fantastic conversation, we went through a fast round of questions. Below are the answers to our lightning round:
1. Favorite food? Mole.
2. Favorite Book? El Arte de Pensar by Jose Carlos Ruiz.
3. Top 3 movies? Indiana Jones 2, Forrest Gump, and The Sound of Metal.
4. If you could travel anywhere, where would it be? Hong Kong.
Thank you to those reading this, check out his music! www.pabloschmal.com/music
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Interviews and playlists of local bands and international artists.