The Mars Volta
" De-Loused In The Comatorium"
23rd June 2003 Universal Records.
Julio Venegas, an artist from El Paso, Texas, committed suicide in 1996.
A free spirit and noted provocateur, "He was definitely someone who lived life to the full," remembers his friend, Cedric Bixler Zavalas. "Towards the end, he had acquired a really bad limp from being in a coma. He had tons of scars all over his body, and some of his closer friends used to call him Frankenstein. He had big cut marks on his throat, welts and bruises and bumps, and his arm had been shrivelled up from shooting up rat poison. He acquired so many scars it was like a walking map."
When Cedric used to sing in At The Drive-In, he wrote a lyric - 'Embroglio', on 1996's 'Acrobatic Tenement' - about Venegas, who had killed himself while that band were rehearsing. "I didn't feel it really did him justice," he continues, "I felt like a whole record should be about him."
That record is 'De-Loused In The Comatorium', the astonishing first album by The Mars Volta. 'De-Loused In The Comatorium' is an iridescent, fearless, brain-busting hour of music, a fictionalised celebration of Julio Venegas' life. Based on a story written by Cedric, it is a concept album in which the hero tries to commit suicide by overdosing on morphine.
Instead of dying, he falls into a coma for a week, and experiences fantastic adventures in his dreams, elemental battles between the good and bad aspects of his conscience. At the end, he emerges from the coma, but chooses to die.
July 8th Wedgewood Rooms - Portsmouth
July 9th Electric Ballroom - London
July 11th Move Festival - Manchester
July 12th T in The Park - Glasgow
July 13th Witness Festiva - Dublin
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