Interview: Thirty Seconds To Mars by Kathryn Kyte [5/21/13]
(L-R) Shannon Leto, Jared Leto, Tomo Milicevic
It all started with an “improper” fist pump, which soon began a quirky exchange with the lads of Thirty Seconds to Mars. Speaking on their brand new album, Love Lust Faith + Dreams, the rock trio consisting of Jared Leto, Shannon Leto and Tomo Miličević delved into punchy commentary about the making of the record with added random spurts (mostly thanks to Shannon’s ‘don’t live in fear’ mantra). Here’s what went down.
On making the album:
Jared:”It was recorded all over the place, from Tokyo to Berlin to Poland to Austria to India to Malibu to Coachella. Traveling around made it a better album, these places can really inspire and walking around Berlin for instance is just beautiful. The richer your life the richer your art is whether it’s writing, painting, film, making music and it doesn’t necessarily come from traveling it could be a rich family life, a rich life in the wilderness.”
On family back home and on the road:
Tomo: “We sure are all close with our families at home, really close, but when on tour you form that sense of family because of the shared experiences you’re all having together, so that’s another form of it.”
While bands often play an abundant amount of shows, touring often across continents, Thirty Seconds To Mars has something special that no other band does – they hold the Guinness World Record for curating the longest rock tour, ever. Ever.
Jared: “It was incredible dude. It feels like we climbed a mountain and it was one of the most beautiful experiences. We didn’t set out to break any record or anything like that we just actually toured that long – it was f****** great, at times sure kind of grueling, but man we toured straight for 2 years and four months and it wasn’t like we had any month long break in between – we just did it all.”
After the mother of all tours concluded the boys held ‘Mars 300′ to celebrate, which was honoured with a plaque in New York and acted as a way to say farewell to two plus years of touring their rock finesse.
Love Lust Faith + Dreams is a formation of visceral memories and nostalgia and songs like “Bright Lights”, “Birth”, “The Race” and “Up In The Air” startle the heart with pleasurable chord progressions, consuming vocal chants and at the core, stunning lyrics penned by lead singer, Jared Leto. These stories evolve through confessional margins with orchestration that rumbles at the right speed. There’s a sensual awakening in the tracks that doesn’t play off sappy-seeded straight shooting romance, it’s the steps between, the bumps that inflict and the aftermath of reasoning.
[“The Race”] Love is a dangerous game to play / Hearts are made for breaking and for pain / I’m selfish and I’m cold / I promise you I said / Never again / Never Again / No never
Hey, it began with an ending / Hey, we were fighting for the world /Hey, my desire never ending / Hey, the, the race. The race
[“Bright Lights”] Demon where did my angel go / Vacant, vapid, stupid, perfect / You are the one.
A new day / A new age / A new face / A new lay / A new love / A new drug / A new me / A new you.
Bright Lights, big city / She dreams of love / Bright lights, big city / He lives to run
Jared: “Each of the songs deal with one of the four categories – love, lust, faith and dreams. Songs like “Bright Lights” is about love and dreams while other songs relate to one of the other topics. “Bright Lights” is a very special song for us because it’s quite unlike anything we’ve done before, it’s expansive and if you’d hear it you wouldn’t think it was a Thirty Seconds to Mars song. It’s the most overtly narrative song on the album and I really hope we can do a video for it.”
Tomo: ” ‘Bright Lights’ is the song I connected with right away actually, I just really hear the lyrics in it you know.”
*When asked where the songwriting comes from Jared pointed straight to his head.
Jared: “Each of the songs come together in their own way. Sometimes its not from writing on paper, sometimes it’s from a guitar, piano, computer, string instrument – every song has its own voice.”
While the exchange between Tomo, myself and Jared continued Shannon had an enjoyable time cracking random jokes and trying to be difficult, because that’s apparently him.
“That’s what he does he ruins good things, he’s known for trying to ruin questions,” explained Jared.
For example, when asked what the band hopes fans appreciate and what they hope to achieve this time around, guess who said “world domination”. But, he does have a memorable laugh worth hearing.
Besides world domination obviously, Jared stated, “I hope that people enjoy the album for sure and art is a two way conversation and I hope they get something from it. I hope it provokes, inspires, challenges, entertains.
The very last song “Depuis Le Début” fades with the sound of a revved up doll finally winding down and seals a 12-track album with a smooth fade to black sensation. The album does just the same – tightly wound buried fury that seemingly evaporates, but is never lost.
*fist pump out*
Love Lust Faith + Dreams is available now.