Cedric Bixler-Zavala Biography

Cedric Bixler-Zavala
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Cedric Bixler-Zavala
Quick Facts

Birthday: November 4, 1974

Nationality: American

Famous: Rock Singers Lyricists & Songwriters

Age: 45 Years, 45 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Scorpio

Born Country: United States

Born in: Redwood City, California, United States

Famous as: Singer-Songwriter

Height: 5'8" (173 cm), 5'8" Males


Spouse/Ex-: Christina Carnell (m. 2009)

father: Dennis Bixler-Márquez

U.S. State: California

More Facts

education: Coronado High School, El Paso High School

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Cedric Bixler-Zavala is an American singer and songwriter, who is known for his experimental vocal effects and weirdly creative lyrics. He has been part of the post-hardcore group 'At the Drive-In' (as the lead vocalist and occasional guitarist), the progressive rock band 'The Mars Volta' (as the lead singer and lyricist), 'Antemasque' (as a lead vocalist), and 'Zavalaz' (as a vocalist and guitarist). He is known for his signature screams that became a highlight while performing for 'At the Drive-In.' For 'The Mars Volta,' too, Cedric used his emotive, screechy vocals. As a lyricist, he is known for expressing himself through his wide range of vocabulary and creating new words by combining two existing words. His lyrics are often a blend of contrasting metaphors, which use grotesque figurative language. He also experiments by switching languages in the middle of a song. Cedric has cited creative works, artists, and celebrities such as Werner Herzog, Luis Bunuel, ‘Neu!,’ ‘Doctor Who,’ and Mexican folk tales as his inspirations. He also resorted to substance abuse in the past, and that impacted his career, too.
Childhood & Early Life
Cedric Bixler-Zavala was born on November 4, 1974, in the United States of America, to the Mexican couple, Antonio-Joaquin de Zabala and Francesca Maria de Navarro. Even though his parents could speak both English and Spanish, his Spanish can, at its best, be termed "Spanglish."
The surname “Zaval” is the Castilian version of “Zabala,” his Spanish maternal surname that originated in the Basque region of Gipuzkoa.
In the early 1990s, Cedric played drums and sang for a band named 'Foss.' Beto O'Rourke played bass for the band and later became a Texas congressman, a senatorial candidate, and a presidential candidate.
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His Association with Bands
Cedric's tenor-type voice ranges from D2 to C7. Thus, he displays a wide range of vocal styles, such as consistent rhythmic shouts, which has been commonly seen in his performances with the band 'At the Drive-In.'
Along with guitarist Jim Ward, Cedric established the post-hardcore band in 1994 and performed at the band’s first live show on October 14, 1994, at 'The Attic' in El Paso, Texas.
They released the band's first EP, 'Hell Paso,' in November 1994.
The band's second EP, 'Alfaro Vive, Carajo!,' was released in June 1995. Their 21-day tour of the Southwest ended in Los Angeles, where Cedric and Ward recorded their first full-length album, 'Acrobatic Tenement.' The album hit the shelves on August 18, 1996.
The second full-length studio album of 'At the Drive-In,' titled 'In/Casino/Out,' released on August 18, 1998. Their fourth EP, 'Vaya,' released on July 13, 1999. They released a split EP in collaboration with the Czech band 'Sunshine' in April 2000.
On January 17, 2000, the two began recording their third and final full-length album, 'Relationship of Command,' at the 'Indigo Ranch Studios' in Malibu, California.
As the band's members, Cedric and Ward's first performance on national TV was on the show 'Farmclub' on the 'USA Network.'
On November 12, 2000, Cedric and the band's drummer, Tony Hajjar, were hospitalized after members of 'At the Drive-In' met with a road accident. Even though none of the band members was seriously injured, the accident had a profound impact on them.
In March 2001, less than a month before their U.S. tours, 'At the Drive-In' disbanded. The members, however, referred to the break-up as an "indefinite hiatus." The band's final performance was at Groningen's ‘Vera,’ on February 21, 2001.
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'At the Drive-In' finally disbanded due to a combination of reasons, such as creative differences, Cedric and guitarist Rodríguez-López's drug addiction, the excessive hype surrounding them, and their hectic tour schedules.
Cedric, however, held himself responsible for the disbandment. He said that the band and their schedule were restricting his creative pursuits, as he wanted to explore other genres, apart from punk and hardcore. Additionally, Cedric and López hinted that they wanted their next album to be on the lines of 'The Piper at the Gates of Dawn' by 'Pink Floyd,' while other members wanted the album to feature the alternative rock genre.
Such creative differences led Cedric and López to establish their dub band, 'De Facto.' They also formed the progressive rock band 'The Mars Volta' in 2001. With this band, Cedric displayed controlled falsetto and head voice. 'The Mars Volta' disbanded in 2013.
While he was with 'The Mars Volta,' Cedric often experimented with vocal effects, creating sounds as if he were singing through a telephone, underwater, or with a mechanical voice box. Lopez stated that the amount of distortion in Cedric's voice in ‘The Mars Volta’ precluded their need for a rhythm guitarist.
Cedric also wrote the short novel 'De-Loused in the Comatorium.' It was written in the same metaphorical style that he and Ward had used for the lyrics of the critically acclaimed album of the same name.
In 2013, Cedric founded a band called 'Zavalaz,' featuring guitarist Dan Elkan, bassist Juan Alderete, and drummer Gregory Rogove. López and Cedric later reunited on the persuasion of 'Red Hot Chili Peppers' bassist Flea and formed the supergroup 'Antemasque' in 2014.
'Antemasque' released its debut album in 2014. Since Flea and drummer Dave Elitch had previously played with ‘The Mars Volta,' their fans had anticipated the band's reunion.
'At the Drive-In' officially reunited on January 9, 2012, and performed their live show on April 9 that year, at 'Red 7' in Austin. This was their first show since 2001. After 'The Mars Volta' disbanded in 2013, Cedric and López broke all connections with each other, as they blamed each other for the break-up on social media.
In 2016, Cedric had to cancel the North American tour of 'At the Drive-In,' as he had developed vocal nodules. On December 8 that year, the band released the song 'Governed by Contagions,' under the label of 'Rise Records.' This was their first song in 16 years.
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Their next album, 'in•ter a•li•a,' was released on May 5, 2017, followed by the single 'Incurably Innocent.' The EP ‘Diamanté' was released on November 24 that year. It had a limited vinyl release.
In February 2018, he ''tweeted'' about the reunion of ‘The Mars Volta' but later clarified that 'At the Drive-In' would reunite first.
On November 17, 2018, during the live show at 'Circo Voador' in Brazil, Cedric announced the final show for 'At the Drive-In,' which they performed the following night.
Solo & Collaborative Projects
In December 2005, the 'GSL Special 12-inch Singles Series' was released. It saw Cedric contributing a two-song single under his new pseudonym, "Alavaz Relxib Cirdec," which was his name spelled backward. The two tracks were entirely instrumental.
In late 2011, he released his first 7-inch record from his new collaborative psychedelic rock/folk music project, 'Anywhere,' with Christian Eric Beaulieu of 'Triclops!' and Mike Watt of 'The Stooges'/'Firehose'/'Minutemen.' They released their self-titled debut album in June 2012.
Cedric once announced that he had been working on an album with 'The Mars Volta' drummer Deantoni Parks, but the album is yet to be released.
In 2011, he started working on another album, inspired by soft ballads. The solo project eventually became the band 'Zavalaz,' with Cedric as the lead vocalist, Dan Elkan on guitar, Juan Alderete on bass, and Gregory Rogove on drums.
On June 3, 2013, they released a snippet of the song 'Blue Rose of Grand Street' from their upcoming album, 'All the Nights We Never Met,' on 'YouTube.'
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Songwriting Styles
Cedric writes in English, Spanish, and Latin. His lyrics display his exceptional vocabulary and witty wordplay. He is highly inspired by American multi-instrumentalist musician, composer, and bandleader Frank Zappa and his humor
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Cedric's lyrics also show the extensive use of portmanteaus: combining words, or parts of them, to create a new word. For example, in the song 'Noctourniquet," he combined "nocturnal" and "tourniquet."
He also takes inspiration from Mark E. Smith of 'The Fall.'
Stage Presence
While performing with 'At the Drive-In' and 'The Mars Volta,' Cedric was known for his eccentric stage presence. He would perform somersaults on stage, throw objects into the audience, adjust Lopez's effects pedals, play the maracas, and swing his microphone. He once unintentionally hit bandmate Ikey Owens, while performing on stage.
Family & Personal Life
Cedric married actor and model Chrissie Carnell in 2009. They welcomed twin boys, Ulysses and Xanthus, in 2013.
In November 2017, he ''tweeted'' that actor Danny Masterson had raped Carnell and that the song 'Incurably Innocent' by 'At the Drive-In' was about the alleged assault.
He was in a long-term association with the 'Church of Scientology' and had credited the church for his transformation while he was under the influence of substance abuse. In 2015, Cedric announced that he had quit smoking marijuana.
However, by 2017, his thoughts about Scientology took a negative turn, and he began criticizing the institution, accusing it of encouraging sexual assault victims to cover up the crime. He also accused the body of harassing both him and his wife and forcing them to cover up Carnell's alleged rape. He remarked Scientology as ''a modern-day version of The Handmaid's Tale.''
He donated to 'Smile + Wonder’ to help underprivileged children.
Cedric was deeply affected by the deaths of his close colleagues. He also expressed such thoughts in several of his lyrics.
He supported Bernie Sanders in his 2020 presidential campaign. Bernie, however, withdrew his candidature in April 2020. Cedric condemned his former 'Foss' bandmate and 2020 presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on social media, for supporting Joe Biden.

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