By: Taylor Schneider
Rodriguez Lopez productions was founded in 2008 by Omar Rodriguez Lopez. Omar’s music career started 1993 in El Paso Texas with a post hardcore band named At the Drive In. The band continued to grow until 2001 when they disbanded. Omar then founded the progressive rock group The Mars Volta with At the Drive In singer Cedric Bixler Zavala. Since then The Mars Volta has produced five studio albums and won a Grammy for best hard rock performance with their single “Wax Simulacra.” Starting in 2001 Omar co-owned GSL record label with artist Sonny Kay who is now the art director of RLP. In 2007 GSL closed their doors and in March of 2009 Rodriguez Lopez Productions was born with it’s first release titled “Cryptomnesia”
by El Grupo Nuevo de Omar Rodriguez Lopez.
Rodriguez Lopez Productions is a tight nit group located out of Zapopan, Mexico and is made up of only six bands four of which feature Omar. These bands include Omar himself, Zechs Marquise, El Grupo Nuevo De Omar Rodriguez Lopez, Big Sir, De Facto, and The Mars Volta. This label heavily relies on its devoted fan base who have been following Omar from the beginning. RLP is managed by Cathy Pellow of Sargent House records. Booking is done by Dave Kaplan and publicity by Dave Clifford. Zechs Marquise is a band consisted of Marfred Rodriguez Lopez, Marcel Rodriguez Lopez (Omar’s brother,) Marcos Smith and Matthew Wilkson. They released “Our Delicate Stranded Nightmare” in 2008 and are set to release “Getting Paid” later this year. Zechs Marquise is also signed to the prestigious management roster at Sargent House. Big Sir was founded in 2000 and consists of bassisst Juan Alderete (Mars Volta and Racer X, singer Lisa Papineau, and producer Bruce Bouillet. They had a self titled release in 2000 and they released their second album “Und Die ScheIBe Andert Sich Immer” in 2006. The Mars Volta released Octahedron on RLP in 2009 featuring the incredibly talented 26 year old drummer Thomas Pridgen who teaches at Berkley School of Music. Octahedron features the hard hitting and chaotic single “Cotopaxi.” The song incorporated unusual time signatures and roller-coaster dynamics. De Facto is a band characterized as dub that Omar and Cedric formed after the fall of At the Drive In. The band includes Cedric Zavala on drums, Omar on bass, Isaiah “Ikey” Owens on keys, and sound man Jeremy Michael Ward. Prior to the death of Jeremy Ward De Facto played many shows some of which included John Frusciante.
Omar Rodriguez could possibly be the busiest man in music. Over the course of four years the man has produced over 30 albums and has collaborated with artist such as Red Hot Chili Peppers and Erykah Badu and also directed and stared in a movie which he wrote called “The Sentimental Engine Slayer” which premiered at the 2010 Rotterdam Film Festival. Through his amazing work ethic and originality he has surrounded himself with several amazing musicians and artist. Many of Omar’s albums feature the artwork of Sonny Kay who founded GSL records. His artwork is sure to catch the eye of almost anyone. Sonny Kay is a well known artist in Los Angeles where he now has a gallery open till December 5th. Omar has produced some for himself but perhaps his best album yet is “Xenophanes.”xenophanes This album features Thomas Pridgen on drums and Grammy nominated singer Ximena Sariñana. The album was released September of 2009 through digital download plus CD and limited edition vinyl. Another excellent album released a couple months later by Omar is Solar Gambling which also features a cover by Sonny Kay. It features Ximena Sariñana on vocals and Deantoni Parks who is an amazing drummer that also teaches at Berkley. Omar and John Frusciante have been collaborating since the early days of The Mars Volta. They released “Sepulcros de Miel” on May 1stThe quartet included Omar’s brother Marcel and Juan Alderete bassisst of The Mars Volta. The Album was Originally a free download but it is now three dollars and the proceeds go to “Keep Music In Schools”
Rodriguez Lopez Production offers CD’s, vinyl, clothing, digital downloads, and art though hellomerch.com. They allow free streaming on their website for all of their artist. They do offer a few bundles like four Vinyl records for 40 bucks or four CD’s for 20 bucks. They also bundle shits with CD’s and magnets. Perhaps the coolest thing on the hellomerch is the Sonny Kay artwork. High quality numbered, and signed prints are available for some of his album artwork and The Mars Volta backdrops he designed for their 2009 tour. RLP put out a compilation album with Sargent House in December of 2009 as a Haiti benefit album.
This label is driven by a man who has no limits and who is incredibly unique and true to himself. There is something that all artists can learn from Omar Rodriguez and that is originality. His music is not for everyone but no one can deny its pure expression.