Jon Theodore, one of the newest names on the lips of drummers everywhere, is the man behind the multi-textured and rhythmically complex drumming of The Mars Volta, one of the most unique bands to come to recognition in years. Ask him about what he's playing, though, and you're more likely to hear the words "ritual", "sacrifice", and "liberation" than "technique" or "rudiments".
Jon Theodore was born in 1973, and as soon as he discovered the drums, he hit them as often and as hard as he could. Growing up, he practiced all the time, and he practiced hard. He took some drum lessons in high school and practiced his rudiments, Stick Control, and Syncopation. But when Theodore started listening to heavier music, he liberated his playing from the boundaries of technique.
After high school Jon attended Oberlin College and spent all of his time listening to music and playing in various rock bands. It was during a gig with the band Golden that he met Omar and Cedric (of The Mars Volta). Some time later, he came home to a message on his answering machine asking him to play drums for their band. As soon as the band was formed, they moved in together and spent all of their time rehearsing to get to know each other musically and to create a sound. Their goal: to dispose of any labels, genres, or other limitations that could be placed on their music.
The latest release from The Mars Volta, entitled Frances The Mute, is a groundbreaking album for both Jon and the band. It is their second major release, and the first album for which they recorded the drums alone, and to a click. Jon felt that since he knew the song arrangements note for note, this would enable him to be more consistent, more precise, and more powerful. Take a listen and experience The Mars Volta for youself, they're sure to be around for quite some time!