« The End Of A Long Journey »

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.

(Look at the entire interview by Patricia Tanne & Gwendal Perrin by clicking this link)

(Interview en français en cliquant sur ce lien)

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 old 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 audiences, 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.

Artifact

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 million.  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 ».

Charities

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 ».

Last summer, a partnership was considered between Partners in Health, 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.

Internet :

Thirty Seconds to Mars: http://thirtysecondstomars.thisisthehive.net/blog/

Jared Leto: http://jaredleto.com/thisiswhoireallyam/

Twitter : @jaredleto@ShannonLeto@tomofromearth


Interview

First of all, congratulations for the Guinness Book record and for the EMA Awards. Was it planned? If you were told that this tour was going to be so long, would you have say ok? Will you redo it?

Tomo: I think we would have. We love touring.

Jared: Yes touring. It’s the journey of our lifetime. When we will look back, this would be one of the pinnacles of our creative lives, right?

Tomo: The answer to your first question is no, 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 (laughs)

Did you plan it was going to last two years?

Tomo: We knew that we were gonna go and go and go as much as possible. I think that we were hoping. But you never know, I mean. You know people have to want to come to the show and people kept wanted to come.

[Jared shows us the triad he got on his BlackBerry. He likes to look the inside of the triangle and play with it.]

Are you planning to release an acoustic album with every unreleased songs?

Tomo: An acoustic album?

Yes with songs like Under Pressure, The Believer, Old Blues Song…

Tomo: Whaaaa… You’ve done your research!

No, I know you… Are you planning to release them one day?

Tomo: When we talk about it the answer is no. These songs existed then. But I mean you never know. We definitely talk about doing an acoustic album. 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. The songs of the past generally intend to stay in the past but anything is possible.

This could be a good idea to do it. A lot of people like the acoustic versions of the songs

Tomo: We like them too

It’s nice to hear them on stage

Jared: Yes, acoustic? That would be fun

Is the French audience different from the American one?

Tomo: All audiences are different from one to the other. But 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, and language has no barrier. In all different places that we go, we were all together for that just one thing.

Do you think that the French audience has a particularity?

Tomo: I don’t think so. I think that 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.

Jared: Alleluia, we are just people!

What kind of passions do you have apart from music?

Jared: We are explorers in creative outer space. We explore our creative and organized chaos. I try to share my perspective with people.

What about your paintings? Are we going to see them?

Jared: I think so, maybe one day. We will have to publish them.

Will you show them somewhere?

Jared: Paris, pourquoi pas? (in French) That could be amazing.

About Artifact, do you consider this documentary as a sort of therapy?

Jared: I think that in a way it’s therapeutic to exercise our demons and also it’s a statement about the business in general. I think a lot of people don’t know how a record deal works. I think a lot of 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 talk about the history of music. We talk about the future of music. We talk about what a crazy difficult time this is for any battle and battle industry. We talk about the creative elements of music and work on the guinea-pig of the film in the sense that you see these really smart experienced people talking about the music business past, present and future and we show Thirty Seconds to Mars in the process of making a record while fighting a law suit with EMI. And we also show EMI unraveling and battling and doing what they do.

Will you show the tour inside the documentary?

Jared: The tour? No, it’s a different film. There’s a film for the live tour, Artifact is the making of.

When we look at your fan club named the Echelon, it looks like your fans consider themselves as family. Don’t you think that sometimes the Echelon looks like a cult?

Jared: I think so. I think it’s ok. There are a lot of negative connotations to the word “cult” but there are also some not so negative connotations. I think because of precedents the word takes a lot of negative sense but there’s a very communal aspect to what we’re doing, which is the friendly word for cult: communal and people are bonded together by a common cause, they share an experience together, they form a community and make bonds and I think there is a religious element in all that.

Jared, in a recent interview you said you would like to be more involved into charities. How?

Jared: I’ve made a book. I’ve been working on this book for about a year. It’s taking a lot of time because there are 3,000 photographs to go through. And I hired one designer. I fired them because they were not working right on the project. I also finished another book called Notes from the Outernet[1]. Hey Shannon! (Jared shows the size of the book to his brother) Haiti book is big, Notes from the Outernet is small but thick, 800 photos.

[Jared explains to us that the photos in Notes from the Outernet were taken with his BlackBerry and that’s the reason why the book cannot be bigger than it is, photos cannot be enlarged.]

What about a possible partnership between the band, the Echelon and Partners in Health[2]?

Jared: You never know. 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 Partners in Health, it’s a great organization. There’s a great book about Doctor Paul Farmer called Mountains beyond Mountains[3].

Yes, I read it

Jared: You read it? Good book.

Doctor Farmer is really a good man. A good doctor.

Jared: Yes a good man…

You are also very involved into Ecology. Are you going to become the George Clooney of Ecology?

Jared: 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 and that’s why we continue to do as much as we can.

Except this one, what is the most stupid question you were asked?

Tomo: You just did it! (laughs)

No except this one!

Jared: There was this one asking what kind of fruit we want to be… (laughs)

Tomo: If you were a fruit, what kind of fruit would you be? (laughs)

And what did you answer?

Tomo: We didn’t! We refuse to answer questions like that (laughs)

Jared: A coconut (laughs)

Internet :

Thirty Seconds to Mars: http://thirtysecondstomars.thisisthehive.net/blog/

Jared Leto: http://jaredleto.com/thisiswhoireallyam/

Twitter : @jaredleto@ShannonLeto@tomofromearth

Gwendal Perrin

Journaliste, social media manager et miauleur professionnel. Juke-box exigeant, esprit Bauhaus et tonalités mineures. Dérive saisonnière Eurovision. Contact : perrin.gwendal(a)gmail(p)com.