Basic Background Info

Birth: December 1, 1973
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Band: The Mars Volta, One Day As a Lion, Queens of the Stone Age
Genres: Rock, Jazz
Instruments: Drums
Occupation: Musician



Jon Theodore began playing drums as a teenager, performing in his high school concert band and studying percussion and arranging. Jon Theodore practiced religiously, listened to drum greats Billy Cobham, Elvin Jones, and John Bonham, and studied at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music (Ohio). At Oberlin, Jon joined Golden and played with the eclectic rock band for nearly ten years. While playing with Royal Trux, Jon Theodore met future The Mars Volta band mates Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez.

In 2001, JJon Theodore left the East Coast for Los Angeles and joined Bixler-Zavala, Rodriguez-Lopez, Ikey Owens, Eva Gardner, and Jim Ward in The Mars Volta. Omar and Cedric required more practice than Jon was used to, but their deication and drive infected him. The band twisted progressive rock with Latin and jazz elements for a unique high-energy sound. They released the EP Tremulent in 2002, followed by De-Loused in the Comatorium, which eventually sold nearly 500,000 copies. The Mars Volta then toured with Red Hot Chili Peppers.

The Mars Volta released their next album, Frances the Mute, in 2005, to mixed reviews and a #4 spot on Billboards top 200 in its first week. After recording Amputechture, but before its release, Jon Theodore left Mars Volta. He told Modern Drummer magazine, "It was long overdue and unquestionably the best thing for everyone involved. We had a great run of things, made some decent records, blew it up for a minute, and had some really great times. But the life ran out of it. I'm currently working on some pretty sweet tunes for a new project. The details will follow once it takes shape."

Since leaving The Mars Volta, Jon has worked with Zack de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine and the band the Holloys.


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1998 Golden Golden
1999 Veterans of Disorder Royal Trux
2000 Long-Stretch-Motorcycle-Hymn-Highway Everlasting the Way
2000 Red Line Trans Am
2000 You Can Always Get What You Want Trans Am
2001 Ease Down the Road Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
2001 Five & Six in Dub HiM
2001 New Features HiM
2002 Apollo Stars Golden
2002 Membranaphonics Various Artists
2003 De-Loused in the Comatorium The Mars Volta
2004 Exodus Utada
2004 Gold Fucking Am
2005 Frances the Mute The Mars Volta
2005 Scab Dates The Mars Volta
2005 Widow The Mars Volta
2006 Amputechture The Mars Volta
2006 Extinction Is Inevitable Sabertooth Tiger
2007 Aluminium Lake Concentrick
2007 Se Dice Bisonte, No Bufalo Omar Rodriguez-Lopez
2008 One Day as a Lion One Day as a Lion
2009 Spinnerette Spinnerette
2009 Old Money Omar Rodriguez-Lopez
2013 Life Coaches Alphawaves


  • Flea played bass on 9 of 10 tracks on the Mars Volta album De-Loused in the Comatorium.
  • Mars Volta band member Jim Ward died of a heroin overdose while touring supporting De-Loused in the Comatorium. Subsequently, the band canceled the second leg of the tour.
  • Jon on his Hatian roots: "My dad's Hatian. My favorite Hatian drummer is this guy called Azor...The Hatian music that moves me has the drumming from the voodoo rituals. It moves me because the patterns are connected to different spirits; it's a spiritual thing that is interconnected with dancing, sacrifice and devotion. It's fully passionate. There is nothing contrived about it."
  • Jon on California: "Los Angeles is like this sort of idyllic paradise. Obviously, the down and out in Beverly Hills kind of vibe is there, but if you come from the East Coast, you're like, 'Palm trees and bikini ladies on roller skates on the boardwalk!í I was like, I'm going to L.A. and I'm gonna learn how to surf.'"

Instruments of Choice



Drums: Ludwig
Cymbals: Zildjian
Hardware: Pearl Pedals, Drum Workshop Hardware
Heads: Remo
Sticks: Vic Firth

Pics & Clips