Stranger in a Strange Land

This new album by 30 Seconds To Mars is a big surprise!
J.L.: Oh yes! But before you surprise people, my goal was especially surprising myself. I hate complacency. Conversely, the unexpected is a feeling that I love and I think “love lust faith + dreams” surprise as people who have never listened to 30 seconds to mars than those who think they know who we are. I immediately imagine the fans reaction: “Wow, this is really 30 seconds to mars?” I like it in advance. This disc is a real trend, it is very dynamic and diverse, with powerful guitars, beautiful orchestrations, electro and more intimate times.
The electronic side may be the most surprising. This is the first time you go as far in the genre, on the single “Up in the Air” in particular.
J.L.: On our first album, we still experienced a lot of electronic music. “Hurricane” is also a very electro title, like “Stranger in a Strange Land.” This is something that has always appealed to us, but it was perhaps more buried under the surface. What is different today is that a title like “Up in the Air” is much more simple and minimalist, so the synthetic elements stand out more when the guitars are absent.
However, there are titles where the guitars are very aggressive, as the heavy almost vehement “Conquistador”.
J.L.: This is an intentional guitars 70’s return, this title is much like our first pieces, but far more nervous and saturated. This is the kind of song that causes us to lose control. I think it will wreak havoc on stage, it will be relentless.
Do you feel like conquistadors when you step on stage?
J.L.: Sometimes, yes, we seem to be warriors. We must be in this state of mind before stepping onto the arena, you have to be ready to fight a battle. It is also the rock’n’roll: a clash of every moment.
On “The Race,” we see the perfect fusion of electronic and rock. There is a feeling very Depeche Mode
J.L.: This is one of the groups most important of my life. They had a huge influence on me and Shannon. I have always been fascinated by the peculiar way the synthesizers merge with more rock elements. But more than anything, I’m crazy about their songs. I mean, it’s easy to make a dancing title with boxes to beats and synths. Except that in many cases it is hollow. With Depeche Mode, there are excellent songs, and just play the acoustic guitar to realize their potential. These are very great songwriters, and this is one of the few groups to have me adhere to electronic music. So obviously when we started working on the electro parts, we immediately worked with Depeche Mode in a corner of our minds. It was the gold standard, the way to go.
The album also contains a beautiful piano ballad, “End Of All Days.” In this song, you say “I’ll punish you with pleasure, I’ll pleasure you with pain.” It’s very sadomasochistic, right?
J.L.: Indeed, and on reflection, I have come to the conclusion that life itself is a matter of pleasure and pain, don’t you think? The album is called “Love Lust Faith + Dreams” and each song sticks to one or more of these words. “End Of All Days” develops the theme of faith and lust. “Up In The Air” evokes dreams and lust … The artwork will include a chart that will allow people to know the theme of each song. “End Of All Days” is a special piece, it is very important to me. I made up ​​on acoustic guitar. Initially, there was this very dark bluesy approach really. Then I transposed the piano song into a gospel kind of dark, a mantra about faith and commitment. It’s a very passionate song, but also excessively sexual.
Is love, lust, faith and dreams are words that define you?
J.L.: Yes and I think they also define each of us. I think it is not possible to live a fulfilling life if it is devoid of love, lust, faith and dreams. But lust is not necessarily linked to sexual appetite, some people can see the attraction there for good food, for art or for life in general. I remain firmly convinced that these four themes are essential to the development of each. In this sense, we can say that “Love Lust Faith + Dreams” is a concept album.
“Bright Lights,” one of the tracks on the album, is very effective. It feels like the second single …
J.L.: Indeed, there is a good chance that it becomes … I love this song, it inaugurated a new era for us. The synthesizer, in general, reminds me of my childhood. My first instrument was the piano, but the second was a synth. I bought it when I was twelve years old used synth spotted in the classifieds. I loved the sound of this thing, it was so different from other instruments. Everyone played the guitar, while the synth sounds were unique to my young ears. I thought it was cool.
Does that mean you play all synthesizers on the album?
J.L.: Yes, almost all. Shannon also plays a bit.
The song “City Of Angels” is one on which we recognize as the contemplative key 30 Seconds To Mars. Is it an ode to Los Angeles?
J.L.: Yes, totally. I wrote this song years ago, but I had never finished. I was not ready, I needed to grow as a musician. It has long been at my side, it was comforting somehow. “City Of Angels” is about my home, a place where I feel safe and allows me to use my creativity. It’s a song that evokes the influence of the environment on self and art. It turns out that my house is in Los Angeles, but for others, it could be Paris, London or New York.
Los Angeles is also a city that fits perfectly with the themes of this album …
J.L: It’s true, I had thought of it. Los Angeles is the epitome of California, a place where all dreams are possible, especially with the film industry. There is a certain magic in this city, something romantic, mysterious and dark at once. It is a universal city. Even if you’ve never been to Los Angeles, you imagine yourself exactly how it can be exhilarating to race down Sunset Boulevard in a nice car board, listening to loud music and watching the hills above you. Or at the edge of the ocean on the Pacific Coast Highway. Yes, this record offers Los Angeles.
There are also particularly epic titles like “Pyres Of Varanasi” that evokes the sacred city of Varanasi, India.
J.L.: Well done! It’s a beautiful place, it’s where the song was composed. It is where they burn the bodies of the dead, on the Ganges, for over five thousand years. They say that if your body burns in Varanasi, then it means that the cycle of reincarnation is broken and your mind will go straight to Nirvana. This is a very important place in Hinduism.
Have you bathed in the Ganges?
J.L.: Yes, but be careful and keep your mouth shut.
How long did you stay in India?
J.L.: A few weeks. It was a great trip, a collision of sounds, colors and thoughts. I miss the country. It inspired me a lot, it was a catalyst for creativity. I also took lots of pictures, I think I’ll release a book of photographs on the subject … Going to India is one that changes your perception of life experience, you come back transformed.
For this album, it seems that you have been wanting to take control of the production …
J.L.: Indeed, Steve Lillywhite coproduced four titles, and I am responsible for the rest. I have always held the position of co-producer, but this time I really wanted to oversee all stages. Anyway, it does not change much because at the end the producers who worked on our previous albums were only following my instructions. It’s just that before, I do not necessarily had the experience to take care of it myself. Today, I feel comfortable in the chair manufacturer, much like when I realize our videos, I do not have to answer for and I can give life to all my desires. I always had the habit to manage all the group: the clips, songs, aesthetics and even our press photos! It was natural that I come one day to take care of the production.
Does that mean you have trouble trusting people when it comes to your baby?
J.L.: No, I trust. I have a great team around me, I can not do everything alone. I, Shannon, Tomo … Everyone contributes in their own way, but because I am the sole songwriter for 30 Seconds To Mars, I bear the responsibility for the project on my shoulders alone. I am the only one to have an overall vision of the project, so it’s my job to manage up to things. I wish I could take care of everything, but I am not superman. I am therefore obliged to trust people … but not just anyone. I can be strong at times, but for the quality of the project. One must understand that shooting a video, it’s total chaos. You have to control it all with an iron fist, otherwise you risk losing all substance. You being just the captain of the ship in a storm.
You can imagine the chaos during the filming of the video for “Up In The Air,” with many extras and a multitude of visual ingenuity.
J.L.: This is a very ambitious video. Not in terms of location, since there is no ice or Wall of China, but rather in terms of visual impact. There were lots of cameras that turned into different formats, it was quite a challenge for me in terms of production. The cast was pretty incredible, classic. I wanted to use visual metaphors to cause a feeling in the viewer
What is the meaning for example the zebra, which also appears on the cover of the single?
J.L.: For me, it symbolizes the dream. We also see a lion, love, a snake, lust, and a wolf that evokes faith. Each animal that can be seen in the video refers to the title of the album
Dita Von Teese appears in the video. Is the embodiment of lust?
J.L.: It would be hard to say otherwise … She is the personification of lust, that’s probably why I chose her. Also because we are friends, we know each other for a while. It was really fun to work with her.
If “This Is War” sounded like a declaration of war, you seem calmer on “Love Lust Faith + Dreams.”
J.L.: “This Is War” deals with conflict, survival and the fight against the corporations, the millions of dollars thrown through the windows of this dying industry record. There was rabid and rage every moment in this record. But we survived it all, we got out alive from the ruins and we exult on every song “Love Lust Faith + Dreams.” We have hope, this record symbolizes our rebirth. I think many people will be surprised by the optimism that emerges. The final song, “Depuis Le Debut” transcribed out this impression.
With the sound of this music box to complete the record …
J.L.: A symbol, since this music box is the one that is used from our mother we fell asleep Shannon and I when we were little. Good night… (in french, Ndr).

(Credit for photos:

The Blind Magazine - Jared Leto

IN: The band’s new album is titled “Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams.” Which of these is most important to you?

J: I believe that these items are essential as they form a vital ensemble life. I could not live without one of them.

IN: What has influenced the writing of this album?

J: I have not listened to a lot of music for this album. I mostly turned to photography, film and literature, but I have not been directly inspired. Books have always been a big influence for me and I think it shows in the album at the same level as it is the story with dialogues lectured by way of lyrical element.

IN: What was the biggest challenge of this fourth installment?

J: I think the biggest challenge was to finish in time. I worked on it for two years and it is a lot for an album.

IN: This album is it more personal than the previous?

J: I do not know if it is more personal, but it is, in any case, certainly more thoughtful. The previous album was clearly influenced by the battle between us our record.

IN: What is sexual in this record?

J: It deals with lust and desire which are important themes to explore. Some lyrics are very sexual. This is a significant part of my life, like dreams, faith and love

IN: What is the meaning of the zebra as you can see in the video and on the cover of the first single, “Up in the air?”

J: For me, there are four animals that represent the title of the album: the lion represents love, the snake is lust, the wolf means faith and zebra is associated with dreams.

IN: Who had the great idea to send the first single from the album in space?

J: It was me, thank you. I wanted to do something impossible. It was unforgettable! So great, so cool… Send the single in space, be in the control tower and talk to the astronaut, it was really a celebration for this new chapter.

IN: What is the advantage of this new section?

J: This is not just a rock record. It’s more immersive, more atmospheric. I think it will surprise a lot of people who think they know the group.

IN: When is there a concert in space?

J: We’ve already thought about it, would be a little crowded for the Soyuz spacecraft that is, for now, the only way for people to go into space. It’s intense but not impossible and it will happen. Someone has probably already planned to do so. I am sure. Music has already been played from a space station before sending our single in the air. People do all sorts of insane things.

IN: The last track of the album is “Depuis le debut.” Is it not a curious title for a late tracklist?

J: I like the idea of ​​a complete album with a song that refers to the beginning.

IN: Why did you choose to give it a French title?

J: Why not? (Laughs). It is a language of love.

IN: Would you like to sing in French?

J: Yes, I would. It is a beautiful language for singing.

IN: What do you do when you have disagreements with the other two members of the group?

J: We must give each other space and I think we know how to take advantage of a disagreement. We learned to work with each other since then and we have acquired a great experience. We treat them with respect and kindness.

IN: What soundtrack would you have loved to compose?

J: I would not have to compose a soundtrack.

IN: Why not?

J: I never will provide as much work for a film by somebody else (laughs). It takes a long time to make an album… Maybe if David Fincher asked me or if Stanley Kubrick was returning from the dead, I would.

IN: And if it was for your own movie?

J: If it’s for my own film, maybe. It’s fine to put sound on pictures but I prefer to create images of sounds. I’m probably better in that sense but it’s an interesting question.

IN: What are your best memories on stage?

J: I spent so many good times in Paris …

IN: Is this a typical response that you speak in every country?

J: No. I think about it now because I’m sitting here to tell you but it’s true we did good shows here. We played at Bercy and it was amazing. The last time we came, we played two good dates at Zenith. We will be at the Grand Palais next summer and I’m sure it will be good too.

IN: What artists do you hate being compared to?

J: People need to stop comparing ourselves to Dolly Parton or Grateful Dead because it’s very strange (laughs). We are not really compared to other groups. We have our own thing.

IN: “Life on Mars” has been one of the first group pseudonyms in tribute to a David Bowie song. What did you think of his recent return?

J: I think it’s wonderful. It’s great that he can sing whatever he wants, whenever he wants. Obviously, he does it out of love for the creation and not by obligation so that’s nice.


Happy 35th birthday, Tomo Milicevic! (September 3, 1979)

"We’ve had other musicians play with us before but no one has been a part of it in the way that Tomo has. No one has believed in it the way he has—wholeheartedly without reservation. He’s in it with the purest of intentions. It’s wonderful to have found that. Tomo will often elevate an entire song just with a brush stroke. He’s gifted in that way." -Jared Leto

"Tomo is committed, he is loyal, light, he is funny. He’s just a good guy. What you see is what you get, usually, with Tomo." -Shannon Leto

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God, when I meet you, I’m gonna be pretty. If it’s the last thing I do. I’ll be a beautiful angel.

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Conferenza Stampa con Jared Leto per Dallas Buyers Club - Festival Internazionale del Film di Roma



Giel spreekt met Thirty Seconds To Mars tijdens MTV EMA (by 3FM)