What would you do to hear new music from The Mars Volta? If the answer is go to Los Angeles and wait in line for hours to stand inside a giant cube to hear three minutes of audio, you may just be in luck.

The Volta Cube, as it’s been dubbed, appeared in L.A.’s Grand Park on Sunday and will remain there through tomorrow, June 21st, per a cryptic post from the band. Though no recordings yet exist, the audio found in the Cube would mean the first new music from The Mars Volta since 2012’s Noctourniquet.

The long-dormant progressive rock band helmed by Omar Rodríguez-López and Cedric Bixler-Zavala broke its silence over the weekend with a mysterious post across social media containing coordinates and the dates June 19th–21st. Fans who arrived at those coordinates on Sunday found a large black cube adorned with writings similar to those found in the video. Once inside the Cube—where cell phones are prohibited—fans reportedly heard three minutes of music that many speculate is a new single.

Reddit user u/TheDaftAlex described the experience in detail.

The Cube’s mysterious nature like something out of 2001: A Space Odyssey has bred widespread theorizing, such as the audio is a three-minute song called “Blacklight Shine” set for release on Tuesday. While these theories could just be a way for fans to kill the two hours spent in line waiting to see the Cube, they see at least some support from the fact that the Mars Volta’s recently-launched Instagram follows #blacklightshine.

The Mars Volta officially broke up in 2013 shortly after the release of Noctourniquet. In 2019, however, Bixler-Zavala confirmed that he and Rodríguez-López were working on new music together in a series of since-deleted tweets.

“What it’s NOT going to be is your ‘fav member lineup’ playing their ‘classic records’ in full etc. Maybe we’ll play old shit, who knows how we feel,” Bixler-Zavala wrote at the time.

“Just remember our past campaigns never relied on playing requests or going fully backwards …it’s new shit, new people, left turns , tangent inconsistencies, mazapan dreams and churro wishes,” he continued. “I will say this though, when ORL played me a grip of new shit I fucking cried. Like Claire Daines in Romeo & Juliet cried. Yeah it was fucking weird. It’s in its infancy right now. No deadlines, no ball tripping, no drama, just 2 grown ass men using essential oils and bold new perfumes shooting ideas and scooting their ass across the fucking lawn trying to get rid of these worms.”

Last year, the band released a comprehensive 18LP box set, La Realidad De Los Sueños, comprising its entire discography and a number of previously unheard demos.


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