Jared Leto dreams on grand scale via @ Herald Sun [5/17/13]
JARED Leto is a freak. The Thirty Seconds To Mars frontman is one of those rare humans who remembers everyone and everything.
And he meets thousands of people.
On a visit to Australia to present tracks from the band’s Love Lust Faith and Dreams, he inquired about someone’s child whose birth was due during his last tour here. He noticed my haircut.
While he was internationally famous as an actor, Leto had to start from scratch as a musician and the band has endured a turbulent trajectory to command the charts and the world’s stages.
It appears to be the frontman’s laser focus and attention to every detail from their social-media strategy to the videos – to charming media at listening sessions – that have now made them the kind of band whose new album release is regarded as an entertainment event.
After 15 years of trying to prove he wasn’t just another actor trying to sing, Leto is a rock star.
He credits their Guinness World Record for the Longest Concert Tour by a Rock Band – playing 311 concert shows in two years and four months – for finally affording him the confidence that this music caper was now his day job.
Love Lust Faith and Dreams is the sound of that confidence. Yet match fitness doesn’t necessarily lead to great songs. Ask any writer who has thrown out their life-on-the-road ode.
“As an artist, I am filled with as much doubt as I am confidence and I have doubt all the time, I fail all the time.
“I wrote 70 songs for this album and only 12 were good enough to put on it,” he says.
It is unsurprising considering his love of movie scores that the new record is big. We are talking ambitious in terms of soaring orchestral arrangements and bombastic intros that would usually herald the arrival of a large army of baddies were it to soundtrack a feature film.
Leto references everything from The Last Temptation Of Christ score to the analogue synthesisers used by everyone from Pink Floyd to Giorgio Moroder as responsible for generating his creative DNA.
“There is a return to that musical language which affected me so emotionally when I was a kid. It’s your creative DNA but I’m not a fan of referential music,” he says. “Usually the bands that did it first did it better, but I do think there’s something interesting about putting one foot in the past and the other into the future.”
One of his boots seems to be planted firmly on U2’s stage. The ghost of the gods of stadium rock seems to hover over a few of Love Lust Faith and Dreams songs or maybe you hear their echo because one of their studio family, Steve Lillywhite, produced four of the album’s tracks. So is this album a throwdown to claim the Irish supergroup’s throne? Thirty Seconds To Mars may be worthy contenders when you look at just how many people they played in front of during that record-breaking world tour.
“I don’t think so,” Leto says, laughing. “They are the band to beat for emotional connectivity and size and grandeur. And also the band you have to give it up to that has stayed relevant the longest. There’s songs like Vertigo and Beautiful Day, which have connected just as powerfully as the songs from the earlier part of their career. But I think we killed our influences for this album. When I hear these songs, I hear us.”
At its heart, Love Lust Faith and Dreams is a concept record. Once Leto realised that, it made its construction a much easier proposition.
“This album works in that way where every song can be attributed to one or more of those themes. Every song mentions one of those words at least once. So there’s a lot of connective tissue,” he says.
Leto’s desire to dream big led to the band launching the album’s first single Up In the Air via the International Space Station.
He also directed the song’s video, and like his previous music clips and documentaries, he is credited by the alias Bartholomew Cubbins. “It started a long time ago because I got so much s— for being in a band.
“I remember when the label had dropped us and gave us one more chance based on a gig they saw us do so they would release the song The Kill,” Leto explains.
“After watching a rough cut, I was in a cold sweat, my heart was pounding because it was so bad that I thought I had ruined any last chance we had of a career. I kid you not. That panic put me into action and I wrestled the footage into something – it was a homage to The Shining and it ended up changing our lives.”
And so he kept the directorial alter-ego whose personality has become infamous among Thirty Seconds To Mars fans.
“I’ve just kept the name and I always describe him as a person with albinism who lives in Denmark and is constantly in and out of rehab and a total a——,” Leto says.
“I have a Twitter account for him. People line up to get abused by him.”
> HEAR Love Lust Faith and Dreams is out tomorrow.
> SEE Thirty Seconds To Mars, Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, August 10. On sale May 27, 9am, Ticketek.
Posted on May 21, 2013, in Articles, Love Lust Faith Dreams Era and tagged 30 Seconds to Mars, article, Jared Leto, Love Lust Faith + Dreams, Shannon Leto, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Tomo Miličević. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.