Published May 15, 2009Never short on opinions, the Mars Volta's Omar Rodríguez-López has put in his two cents about the swine flu, labeling the media's coverage of the illness as "an act of terrorism" against the band's adopted home of Mexico. The guitarist recently made the comment in an interview with NME, in which he denied that the country is struggling to cope with any sort of outbreak.
"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 said. "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."
Rodríguez-López went on to tell NME the biggest effect swine flu has had on Mexico is on the economy, which he again stresses is the result of negative coverage from the foreign press.
"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."
In other less politically heated Mars Volta news, the band have a new album due out on June 23 called Octahedron, as previously reported. Rodríguez-López said he had "the spirit of Syd Barret's solo records and people like Leonard Cohen and Nick Drake" while making the record, which is mainly acoustic.