How can you be under the radar when you’re on the cover of Guitar Player magazine?
Well, the point is that despite an amazingly prolific musical career Omar Rodiguez-Lopez is still not on enough play lists.
We think it’s high time.
It’s truly unfair to call Rodriguez-Lopez a mere musician. The Puerto Rican-born musical wiz has as impressive a resume as you’re likely to find — he’s mastered guitar, bass, drums keyboards and even the sitar — and runs a successful production company.
He’s also collaborated with John Frusciante, Flea and a host of others.
His longest-running collaborator, however, has been singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala: Rodriguez-Lopez’ partner in music for more than two decades.
The two met when Rodriguez-Lopez, at 15, took up singing duties for Startled Calf, an El Paso band of some acclaim. They since joined forces in a number of projects, including, most notably, The Mars Volta, At The Drive-In, De Facto and El Grupo Nuevo.
Formed in 2001, The Mars Volta has probably been Rodriguez-Lopez’ most recognizable project — they earned a Grammy for “Best Hard Rock Performance” last year for their track, “Wax Simulacra.”
But it’s hardly the full scope of the man’s work. In all, he has released more than two dozen recordings, in addition to more than a dozen guest appearances on releases by other artists. And that doesn’t count his production work.
Although Rodriguez-Lopez struggled with drug addiction early in his career, he has long recovered and remains a sought-after producer and musician.
No wonder he’s on the cover of Guitar Player.
<object width=”425″ height=”344″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/d5_imGkvNlg&hl=en_US&fs=1&”></param><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always”></param><embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/d5_imGkvNlg&hl=en_US&fs=1&” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” width=”425″ height=”344″></embed></object>
(NOTE: This is part of my ongoing series of reports on guitar players who fly under the mainstream radar. Keep checking The Listening Room for future installments of guitar players you should know – JF)
Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jfitzgibbon