"It’s an age-old battle between art and commerce and sometimes you have to go to war so that you can live in peace.” - Jared Leto, on the band's music ethos over the last two years
"It was a period of intense introspection and growth and challenge, and it was really rewarding. We're really proud of it.” - Jared Leto, on their recent album This Is War
“It’s going to be total f**king chaos. These shows are just madness, it’s insanity." - Jared Leto, on the bands upcoming Aussie shows
May 31, 2010. By Jordana Borensztajn.
A lot of bands claim to fight for what they believe in but very few follow through like 30 Seconds to Mars.
Throughout one of the most tumultuous periods of the band’s history – a 12-month period that involved a massive lawsuit, break-up rumours and public statements – the Los Angeles-based trio poured their hearts and souls into their third (very appropriately titled) album, This Is War.
Chatting exclusively to Nova on the phone from Los Angeles, frontman and Hollywood actor Jared Leto says that band put this album together through one of the most intense periods of its career and while incredibly difficult, it’s been an immensely rewarding record to make.
In 2008, Virgin Records sued 30 Seconds to Mars for a whopping $30 million because of an alleged breach of contract. After a year of legal battles, the case was eventually settled and the band re-signed with EMI. Leto says this album details all of the struggles they went through, and they’re incredibly proud of it.
“This album is really an examination of the idea of conflict, and the inevitability of conflict. For us, we had intense battles with our record company – personal and creative battles – and being sued for $30 million makes you think about conflict,” he says.
“But we learnt a lot, too. It was a period of intense introspection and growth and challenge, and it was really rewarding. We knew we had to make record that was everything – so we put everything into and we’re really proud of it.”
Check out the music video for "Kings and Queens"
This Is War is a grandiose, cinematic and bold delivery, and far more ambitious than the band’s previous offerings. “I didn’t set out to try to make the big-sounding songs – they just became what they are on this record,” Leto explains.
“There are moments of real intimacy and smaller quieter moments, and there are songs that are big and bombastic. I just make the song I hear inside my head, my heart and my gut.”
Above everything, This is War communicates the band’s driving force throughout its recent record cycle; the idea that you must fight for what you believe in, whatever the cost. Leto says music helped them vent their battles, gripes, frustrations and celebrations, and also gave them a strong sense of resolve.
“It was about a two-year period of my life and I was in the studio virtually every day. It was exciting and beautiful and wonderful but also really challenging and intense as well, and it can take a lot out of you,” he explains.
“There was a lot of resolution. There was a lot that we learned in general from this experience and certainly enough so that we could move on.”
“We’ve moved far enough past that to be at a place where we’ve got some resolution. But it’s an age-old battle between art and commerce and sometimes you have to go to war so that you can live in peace.”
With a string of gigs lined up for Australia at the end of July, Leto says he can’t wait to rock out for Aussie crowds and show them just how much passion and intensity the band injects into its music.
“It’s going to be total f**king chaos. These shows are just madness, it’s insanity,” Leto explains, sounding excited.
“They do get a bit out of control sometimes – in a great way. We’re just having the time of our lives and we’re so thankful we finally get to come back down to you guys to play these shows.”
30 Seconds To Mars tour dates:
Saturday 24 July - Challenge Stadium, Perth Wednesday 28 July - Festival Hall, Melbourne Friday 30 July - Hordern Pavilion, Sydney