By at 3:29 PM Friday, November 20th 2009


Another Shakeup In The Mars Volta Rhythm Section

The Mars Volta, Music


Last month, The Mars Volta canceled a gig in Raleigh, NC, for no apparent reason. The show was supposed to be the last of the American leg of the tour, supporting their latest album Octahedron.

Thomas Pridgen

Ever since, rumors have been going around that Thomas “Predator” Pridgen, the band’s drummer since 2007, had up and left during a band rehearsal in Raleigh, due to a disagreement with singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala. Some people claim to have seen Pridgen leave the venue in a taxi.

Pridgen has now confirmed the departure via Facebook: Two days after this exchange was screenshotted, when asked which songs he played on the latest Juliette Lewis record, and what were the future plans for The Mars Volta, he replied, “I played the whole Juliette Lewis record… And yes I’m not in TMV anymore but it’s all good. I’m 25, I’ve done enough now not to have to be someone’s employee… I feel more free, honestly it’s a good feeling.”

It is widely believed that The Mars Volta’s previous drummer Jon Theodore left the band in very similar circumstances, to get out from under the pressure of control freak band leaders Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodríguez López.

Rumors identify one Dave Elitch as Pridgen’s likely replacement. Elitch apparently spoke of rehearsing with the band in Guadalajara, Mexico. A European tour is set to start in a few days.


Meanwhile, On The Internet...

  1. Kevin says:

    Really bummed to hear this. Guess I saw one of his last shows then. Caught them in Nashville right before this. Met the dude outside the venue and was cool as shit. Signed stuff. Wish him all the luck in the future.

  2. stu says:

    i don’t get the predator picture. i mean I like it, I feel like the website is a little more complete now that its the first thing that I see, but I still wonder.

  3. FernandoDANTE says:

    Have you seen a picture of Thomas, stu? Even better, a video? HE’S THE FUCKING PREDATOR!!! Except a bit more handsome, less fang-y.

  4. Stoo says:

    This sucks. I doubt they’ll find a drummer to top Pridgen, he’s a pretty exceptional talent. So was Theodore. I can see Bixler-Zavala and Lopez as a pain in the ass to work with, specially for a drummer. But I guess we’ll have to wait and see how it all works out.

  5. Kevin says:

    The real question is…Are we gonna get a review of Xenophanes?

  6. SHIT, Omar has ANOTHER album out already? And I just found out that he’s released a live album in September. And hey, there’s another one coming out NEXT month! Dammit, this guy releases solo albums faster than the time it takes to digest them.

  7. Joey says:

    Kevin, you and I were at the same show, I met them too. I’m bummed about Thomas, he was a pretty awesome drummer, but hopefully he’ll get something going.

  8. Kevin says:

    Damn right he does. Dude is a machine. We need an online discography to keep up with all of them.
    I’m bummed to Joey but knowing TMV they will bounce back.

  9. Yeah… I am actually more eager to hear what else Pridgen does next rather than TMV.

  10. Cancino says:

    Im glad they kicked him out, never liked him.

    The only true Volta Drummer without that employee feeling was Theodore, he didnt received orders on stage like the others, at least didnt follow them, he didnt have that SLAVE image.

    I miss those days.

  11. @Kevin – to answer your question, we can barely keep up with the guy and all his solo releases. Caught wind of this one, and while it’s interesting, I can’t bring myself to jump down his rabbit hole at this time.

  12. Leann says:

    Please write some more articles so that picture will go further down!

  13. 2hands10fingers says:

    I prefer Theodore as drummer.
    Prigden was too much about the fill, fill, fill.
    I felt like his personality in drumming was kind of limited.



  15. Haha. Whoa.

    You know what though… Thomas Pridgen deserves more respect than that. He’s a good drummer, he’s just got a mostly gospel background and somewhat of an ego problem. His style wasn’t a good fit for TMV anyway. Pridgen’s next move will prove exactly what kind of drummer he is. Winning Guitar Center’s Drum-Off and having everything handed to him for it… and then OVERPLAYING an entire Mars Volta album doesn’t make you the shit, and he needs to realize it.

    But yeah… John Theodore is THE FUCKING MAN. In everything he does. I found that “One Day As A Lion” EP to be refreshingly tasteful.

    • Tommy says:

      I feel like Thomas Pridgen was the BEST thing next to drugs to happen to The Mars Volta. He will be sorely missed from that band. He was a perfect drummer for them and the albums he plays on are their best. No one will agree with me there.

  16. Justin says:

    I was really into TMV for a bit, but those two divas just need to shut up and play. From their no show at the Musicares Anthony Kiedis benefit to their constant pissing in my ears over the past few records, I am over them like America is over Adam Lambert.

  17. Steven Emory says:

    Good job FernandoDANTE? This article is really just a bunch of regurgitated facebook dawdling. Fucking Br.

  18. Facebook dawdling which was later confirmed by the band, and we were amongst the first to report it.

  19. Mariaah M. says:

    This is probably the most horrible news I’ve gotten in a while. And fuck these Steve Emory’s, FernandoDANTE, this is what reporting is like nowadays.

    Get with it.

  20. Thank you, Mariaah. And we were right about Dave Elitch: Smaller drum kit. Guy sounds ok, but he probably has some adapting to do. I remember Thomas sounded kinda bad when he started touring with the Volta. Also, radically different setlist. Much more focused on the first two albums:

  21. tsalvameth says:

    guy got an afro, nuff said

  22. Michael Milk says:

    I’ve always thought that the Mars Volta would benefit from a solid jazz drummer. It’s obvious that Omar has strict boundaries about how his sound is presented both live and in the studio; a drummer with a background rooted in playing with jazz ensembles would not only provide Omar with a well rounded and formidable talent, but also one more well used to following a script when told. After all, the Mars Volta is not a traditional rock band: Omar and Cedric ARE the Mars Volta, and the other musicians comprises the Mars Volta Group (see liner notes to Amputeccture or Bedlam…) If Omar didn’t put his foot down about what was played and how, it simply wouldn’t be the same band any longer.

  23. rhythmbug says:

    Saw them in London last night, I was anxious about what to expect. But Dave Elitch blew any concerns out the window, he absolutely killed it. My god what a phenomenal drummer. DON’T LOSE THIS ONE CEDRIC!!

  24. dirtyj says:

    wtf iv seen volta 7 times now and he was my favriot drummer to date last i caught him was at the ventura theature in cali and he was fucking sick hes solos were off the hook its a bummer hes gone but maby it was the acid who knows aha

  25. Marty says:

    Didnt know they had lost Pridgen till i saw them in Sydney on the 2oth of jan. The New guy killed it though . played all the parts and didnt miss it all and hit them so hard he was out of his seat some times. I still think theodore wa sthe most organic but lets face it itS OMARS BAND AND THEY ARE PAID TO TOUR WITH ONE OF THE MOST CREATIVE AND RESPECTED BANDS ON THE PLANET so its all good
    so …yeah the new guy was awesome – good mix between Theodore and Pridgen

  26. TEE says:

    Hey check my cedric covers out on youtube..look under Voltachik

  27. cireric says:

    they aren’t control freaks, they just don’t want compromised art, where everyone contributes and waters down the inspiration. the best bands are bands that don’t compromise their ideas, either because they all agree on their ideas or because they only have one or two writers.
    Theodore left the band because they didn’t get along with him, he didn’t really like them or their music, he was just collecting a cheque.

  28. […] Thomas Pridgen’s demise, the band went on to tour behind Octahedron – perhaps their weakest outing – and get Dave […]

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