Nothing can stop Thirty Seconds to Mars except themselves! They recently received two MTV European Music Awards (Best Alternative and Best World Stage) and they are going to enter the Guinness Book of Records for the most shows played during a single album cycle. After two years and 300 shows touring all over the world, the band would like to have a long break… but without resting on their laurels.
Even if Jared is sick and exhausted, touring remains for him “the journey of our lifetime. When we will look back, this would be one of the pinnacles of our creative lives.” About the Guinness Book record? Tomo smiles: “We did not want to break the record, it just happened because we can’t stop touring. But maybe it was planned at one time… No I was kidding.” And about the length of this journey: “We knew that we were gonna go and go and go as much as possible.”
The band intends to have a long rest just after this epic tour. But, they did not deny that they thought about releasing an acoustic album of some of their olds songs: “A lot of the stuff that Jared writes starts on acoustic, a lot of times they sound really amazing that way and we talk about doing that type of things but we’ll see”, Tomo says.
About the differences between the French and the American audience, Tomo indicates that “the thing that’s interesting is how they are similar. They are all connected and unified by this one common thing, just songs and music. […] we are in it together. You’re French, I’m Croatian but I grow up in America. They’re American [Jared and Shannon] but they have French in them, in their heritage. We are just people.”
They of course have passions apart from music, Jared smiles and says: “We are explorers in creative outer space. We explore our creative and organized chaos.” But the man is a multiple talented artist: actor, singer, musician, song writer, composer, director of the band’s videos, he is a painter as well and does not seem to be reluctant to show his art to the public soon.
However, in August 2009 while recording This is War, the band had to fight a terrible battle against EMI, their record company, which suited them for abusive breach of contract and asked for $30 millions. The case was settled more than a year after and the band decided to tell the story of this fight in a documentary: Artifact. This movie is an intimate close-up on their lives at this very moment, and sometimes looks like a therapy to forget these troubled times. Jared confides: “I think that in a way it’s therapeutic to exercise our demons”. He adds: “I think a lot of people don’t know how a record deal works. […] people are confused why artists are continually in the position where they have to battle the record company and we explain a lot in the film. […] we show Thirty Seconds to Mars in the process of making a record while fighting a law suit with EMI.”
Thirty Seconds to Mars is not a band like the other ones thanks to its fans, which are named the “Echelon”. Their actions contributed in the increase of the band’s popularity. Jared, Shannon and Tomo consider them as members of their own family and … maybe of a cult? Jared peacefully answers: “There are a lot of negative connotations to the word “cult” […] but there’s a very communal aspect to what we’re doing, which is the friendly word for cult: communal […] people share an experience together, […] and make bonds and I think there is a religious element in all that.”
For several years, the band has campaigned for the protection of environment. The video that was shot in the Artic for A Beautiful Lie 2.0 pleads in favor of this cause and a website was even created in 2007: www.abeautifullie.org. Jared adds: “I’d love to become more involved in that but it’s always a question of time. You cannot be so much in it in a day but we certainly do as much as we can.”
Jared also fights for a country close to his heart: Haïti. Shannon and he spent some time of their childhood in this Caribbean island and have created a special bond with Haitian people. One year after the disastrous earthquake of 12 January 2010, Jared went back to Haïti and took several pictures. He decided to publish them in a book to raise money and give 100% of net profits to charities that help Haitians in the country itself. The book is now on post-production but “It’s taking a lot of time because there are 3,000 photographs to go through.” (http://30secondstomars.shop.musictoday.com/Product.aspx?cp=366_50519&pc=30AM39)
Last summer, a partnership was considered between Partners in Health (http://www.pih.org/), an organization founded by Doctor Paul Farmer that helps poor and sick people in the world, and the band. About this project, Jared says: “Partners in Health is a great organization, they gave results. I’ve learned a lot from them and we’d love to continue doing things with them.”
The last show of the Tour is planned to happen at Saint Peter’s Church in Chelsea, New York, on 9 December. The last one before the break but as we all know Jared Leto is not the kind of guy that can remain idle for a long time.
Thirty Seconds to Mars: http://thirtysecondstomars.thisisthehive.net/blog/
Jared Leto: http://jaredleto.com/thisiswhoireallyam/
Jared Leto: @jaredleto
Shannon Leto: @ShannonLeto
Tomo Milicevic: @tomofromearth