"Rodriguez-Lopez grew up in El Paso, Texas, but spent some of his childhood in North Carolina, where he would become confused with his self identity. He would straighten and dye his hair blonde and even went through a time of violence. After leaving the city before the age of 18, he spent time traveling across America. During this time he saw his life going nowhere, as he abused drugs such as heroin and crack cocaine, and engaging in such activities as "dumpster diving" to obtain food. He was a self-proclaimed bum."
"During the time of At The Drive-In, I was still a drug addict, so I was very much under the spell of not liking yourself and not believing in yourself, hating yourself and trying to destroy yourself at all costs. So, what that did was hinder my true self, to hinder what it is I'm capable of. I was constantly putting myself down and limiting my role," explains Omar. "I think a lot of that came out of fear, out of saying, 'I'm not good enough to... I'm not smart enough to... I couldn't possibly... So I'm just...,' and once I quit doing drugs and once I started The Mars Volta it started flipping and it became the opposite, it became, 'Wait a minute, I can do anything I feel like doing. I'm only limited by my imagination.' And all of a sudden there was this big realization that, 'Wow, that applies to everything in life.' So, if I want to grab control of our business and if I want to grab control and have it be my band and not have it be this fake democracy we had in At The Drive-In then I can do that, too."
"Contrary to the popular belief that once rock stars sober up their music sucks, it took getting clean for things to really take off for Omar. "I bought into the great lie of drugs which is, 'You need me in order to be creative. You need me in order to be yourself','" he says. "And once I saw the other side and said, 'Oh, well, not really, actually all that's doing is magnifying things that are already inside of me. So, why can't I be the magnifying glass? Why do I need something?' Once I sort of grabbed onto that thread it's been hard to let go ever since. "
"...Rolling Stone lists him in their current "Top Greatest Guitarists of All Time", but he is so much more. He's a brilliant composer (he writes every single note you hear on a Volta album as well as his solo work), bandleader, producer (he's produced every solo and Volta album since their 2001 debut, which he co-produced with Rick Rubin), label/production company owner of the newly formed Omar Rodriguez Lopez Productions (which grew out of GSL Records when it closed in 2007) and perhaps most important, a visionary!"