Mars Volta ex Cedric: Weed made me a monster

Former Mars Volta and At The Drive-In frontman Cedric Bixler-Zavala says he quit smoking marijuana as it turned him into a “total monster.”

The singer accepts he penned some of his finest prog and stoner-rock work while keeping up a $1000-a-week weed habit – but says he’s learned he didn’t need the drug to be creative.

Bixler-Zavala tells Vulture: “I was a total monster. I was spending $1,000 a week on weed, and everyone I was in the band with at the time smoked as much as I did.

“There’s so much stupid behaviour caused by weed, but I always had that cliche – I needed it for creativity.

“I’ve come to realise that at the end of the day, it’s only you yourself that creativity comes from. It doesn’t come from weed.”

He continues: “In this day and age, the stuff people are smoking is not necessarily even naturally grown from the ground anyway. It’s been altered to fuck you up, and fuck you up royally. I don’t even know how some people are functional after smoking this stuff. And it’s so easy to get now, you can go to stores and buy it.”

He recalls feeling bad about lining up with others who really did need marijuana for medicinal reasons. “I’d see AIDS patients and cancer patients there — and here I am buying in bulk but I didn’t really need it,” he says. “I just thought I did. I was using it to form this stoned bubble that helped me justify not wanting to interact with people.”

But he’s re-evaluated his life since those days, he reports. “I had this realisation. I know what’s going to happen when I smoke, I know how hungry I’m going to get, I know how much money I’m going to spend, I know I’m never going to be as high as the first time I did it.

“So why am I still fucking doing this? I don’t want all my art and all my life to be defined by weed. I want to be known as someone who grew up a little.”

The Mars Volta officially called it quits in 2012. Bixler-Zavala and his ATDI and Mars Volta bandmate Omar Rodriguez-Lopez now work together in Antemasque.

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.