Mars Volta call US swine flu treatment ‘an act of terrorism’

Omar Rodríguez-López isn't happy about how Mexico has been treated

The Mars Volta‘s Omar Rodríguez-López has hit out at the western media’s coverage of swine flu, comparing it to “an act of terrorism” against the band’s adopted home of Mexico.

Speaking to NME.COM from Guadalajara city in Mexico, the guitarist denied that the country is struggling to cope with the outbreak of swine flu.

“It’s not the hysteria that the right-wing media are making you think it is. It’s less dangerous than a common cold,” he declared.

He added: “This has been a perfect moment for right-wing republican media to say “You see! You see these filthy people? You see what they’re doing? This is very scary!” It’s another act of terrorism, it’s another terrorist tactic.”

The guitarist went on to say that he believed that the biggest effect swine flu has had on Mexico is on the economy – again due to the negative fallout from foreign press coverage.

“When you get your facts straight, there’s more infected people in the United States – in New York – than in all of Mexico City where there’s a concentration of people,” he said. “And New York has not issued an emergency. They have not shut down. They have not taken any kind of ruined economy, which is what’s happened in Mexico.

“We had to shut down because of the way it was being shown in the media and the way that the world was paying attention. But the fact of the matter is that it’s [swine flu] completely treatable and more people have died from the common flu.”

Rodríguez-López went on to say that he’s currently more concerned with preparing for the release of The Mars Volta‘s new album ‘Octahedron’], which is out on June 22.

“I had the spirit of Syd Barret‘s solo records and people like Leonard Cohen and Nick Drake,” he explained about the record, which is largely acoustic.

“It was an interesting exercise for me to make all the songs acoustic based,” he added. “In fact, now I’m finding that it’s a limitation that I have – I don’t know how to write in major keys! That’s why a lot of my songs end up sounding dark, and sad, and melancholy.

“I tried various experiments to try and write something uplifting [on ‘Octahedron’. It’s difficult for me, but that’s where I’m going now. My weaknesses are always what interest me.”

The Mars Volta visit the UK twice this summer, playing London‘s ICA on June 18, and the capital’s Somerset House on July 13. They also play T In The Park (July 10) and Oxygen (July 11).

To check the availability of The Mars Volta tickets and get all the latest listings, go to NME.COM/GIGS now, or call 0871 230 1094.