Thirty Seconds to Mars Interview by John Dingwall via @daily_record [5/10/13]
JARED Leto’s band Thirty Seconds To Mars have enjoyed a comeback that is literally out of this world, following the premiere of their new single in space.
A CD of their latest track, Up In The Air, was sent into orbit by Nasa with the first copy carried aboard the SpaceX cargo mission to the space station.
Astronauts then played the song 230 miles above Earth, while Jared and the band sat in Nasa’s mission control in Houston, Texas.
“I reached out to Nasa and somehow we all figured out how to make the impossible possible,” said Jared. “We put our CD on a rocket and it premiered in space.
“I can still hardly believe that we managed to make that dream a reality, but we did. It will always be a really special part of our lives.
“It really had nothing to do with the name of the band or the name of the song.
“There was a moment when we were sitting in mission control at Nasa, a room few people have the privilege to even be in, talking to the astronaut floating around when he grabbed something spinning around in zero gravity and it was our CD. We all looked at each other. I don’t think we’ll ever forget that moment.”
The single is taken from the band’s new album, Love Lust Faith + Dreams, out on May 20, and follows a period of record label conflict. EMI sued the band, who made a documentary about their experience.
“There’s a concept at work here,” Jared, 41, revealed. “It is an album that discusses these four important themes.
“The last album was about conflict. It was about survival. We were fighting our record company. They sued us for $30million and we made a film about it, called Artefact, which will be out this year.
“This album is more reflective. Very few people have heard the album and I am super-excited for people to hear it.”
Jared wrote and recorded the album over two years, with sessions in Europe and India as well as at the band’s studio in California.
During that time, Thirty Seconds To Mars played more than 311 shows in nearly 60 countries on six continents to three million people, breaking the Guinness World Record for the longest concert tour by a rock band. Co-produced by Jared and Steve Lillywhite, who’s known for his work with U2, The Rolling Stones and Peter Gabriel, Jared found time to write and record as he travelled the world.
“I just finished it a couple of weeks ago,” he said. “The first eight months I was on the road, touring with the band and writing backstage, in hotel rooms, on the bus and on planes.
“I went over to India with my engineer and my cameraman. I shot photographs and we built a studio so that we could do site-specific recordings. It was inspiring.”
Jared, who found fame in the 1990s American teen drama series My So-Called Life and played serial killer Patrick Bateman’s victim Paul Allen in American Psycho, is also making a return to the big screen.
He stars in the Dallas Buyers Club, loosely based on the true-life tale of Ron Woodroof, a homophobic man who was diagnosed with full-blown HIV/Aids in 1986 and given 30 days to live. Using non-approved drugs, he went on to survive six years.
Jared plays fellow sufferer Rayon alongside Matthew McConaughey in the lead role,.
“I lost about 30lb and I played a transsexual woman who had AIDS and was dying,” said Jared.
“I went on a very serious diet, which involved little to no food at all. I don’t think I ate more than 400 calories a day for about 40 days. It’s intense when you do that sort of thing because you make a commitment.”
Jared had been away from acting for five years.
He said: “It was the challenge. It was the part. It’s the story of the beginning of the AIDS crisis. I just fell in love with the character, with the script, with the story that I felt was an important story to be part of.”
Recalling his big movie debut, opposite Christian Bale in American Psycho, Jared admits he couldn’t stomach watching himself being chopped to bits. He said: “I never actually saw that movie. I have only seen about a third of the films I have made. It’s not that comfortable to watch yourself up there, so I generally don’t do it.
“But when I make short films for Thirty Seconds To Mars, I’m directing them and sit in the edit and get used to watching myself.”
What does he think of being lauded as “the most beautiful man in rock”?
He laughed: “I don’t pay attention to that stuff.
“I just put my head down in work mode and focus on what is important.”