Saturday, March 24, 2012


Earlier this year a reunion happened that no one in the music world thought ever would. El Paso, Texas post-hardcore legends At The Drive-In announced they were reforming after nearly 11 years apart, the band announced they would be playing at this years Coachella festival and now the reunion has really taken shape, with more festivals in Europe added to the bands schedule. In the wake of the At The Drive-In break-up of 2001, two bands formed - The Mars Volta which was led by singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala and guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, the other band was Sparta which was guitarist Jim Ward taking on front man duties, drummer Tony Hajjer and bassist Paul Hinojos. While both bands competed against each other in the presses eyes, for years they were all in cahoots with each other. While all the members of At The Drive-In remain to be a creative force as a group, they were also a creative force on their own.

We spoke with Jim Ward, who during the hiatus of Sparta went on to form his country-folk one-man-band, Sleepercar and his experimental music under his own name. Ward also started Tembloroso, a website that features his blog, music, musical tastes, and artists he sponsors from the El Paso area. Take a look at our interview with Ward about his career, Sparta's new plans and At The Drive-In's mega-reunion.

In your long musical career, what is the greatest piece of advice you would give to an aspiring musician today?

Do it because you love it and you won't be disappointed- tour- be confident but humble.

What influences you to still make music?

Everything I see everyday I am alive makes an impression on me one way or another, music is my release, always has been- so living I guess.

After being in the industry long enough, what are your thoughts on the music industry today?

I think we are in the midst of a real slow and painful evolution- the money aspect of music is gone in a lot of ways and people are being forced to work other jobs and play music and I think that is just fine. We will all land on our feet if we love what we do.

With Sparta hitting the road again, will fans be able to hear new music?

We are writing, but things will coem when they come- we may be working on new songs at soundcheck but I doubt they will appear live for a few more months.

Is a new album in the works for Sparta?

Yes, in some form.

From all of the projects that you have been involved in – At the Drive-In, Sparta, Sleepercar, and your solo material. What has meant the most to you and why?

Fans. I love that people care about music I make. It is incredibly humbling to think that someone takes their hard earned money and buys a ticket or a record. I am indebted for life to the fans.

You released your solo debut last year and was a different approach to you style and sound, what was your major influence in making that record?

I think being home for a bit and slowing down from years of touring gave me a new approach. I tried very hard to cultivate that and grow in a different direction. It was a joy to work on.

With At the Drive-In reuniting this year, are you excited to be hitting the road again with the band?

I am very excited.

How did the reunion come about?

It took a lot of hard work and personal time to reconnect. I am so glad we did, there has been a tremendous amount of healing between us and we love each other dearly.

When the announcement was made, it took everyone by surprise, after all these years apart how does it feel to be back? Were you surprised as to how everyone reacted?

I was surprised at the amount of attention. I knew it would be big, but things are bigger than I thought. We are taking our time and devising our course as we see fit. We will not be rushed nor forced into any situation we don't wish to be in. We are 100% in charge and that is awesome.

Will we ever get a new At The Drive-In record?

We have no period but a question mark on the future.

You also reached the new media world by blogging with your site, Tembloroso and displaying news, thoughts, projects and things that interest you. Do you feel this is a great way to connect to you audience aside from the music?

It serves my short attention span well. We are in the process of some exciting developments at that I look forward to a lot- keep checking in!

After the At The Drive-In and Sparta tours, what is next for you?

Couldn't tell you- we'll see when we get there.