The bad split into two factions. The hairy lot begin a prog rock project, while the other lot go all heavy...

AT THE DRIVE-IN have split into afros and non-afros, NME.COM can exclusively reveal.

The El Paso band dismayed fans earlier this year when it was announced they were planning an "indefinite hiatus". This was widely interpreted as the end of ATD-I and NME.COM can now reveal the band have split into two factions, with hair being a dividing issue.

The success of last year's 'Relationship Of Command' album seemed to trouble the band's punk ethos. De Facto, a reggae side project featuring the two afro-haired members - guitarist Omar Rodriguez and frontman Cedric Bixler - existed alongside At The Drive-In.

Now, Rodriguez and Bixler have formed progressive rock influenced band called Mars Volta. Meanwhile, guitarist Jim Ward, bassist Paul Hinojos and drummer Tony Hajjar - none of whom sport afros - have formed a rock band called Sparta.

A spokesman told NME.COM: "Some tracks are flying around and both are totally different. I hope they do their side projects and go back to doing what they're best at - At The Drive-In are sadly missed."

Both bands are still with the Grand Royal label and material is expected to be released next year.

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