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Exclusive Interview: Jared Leto, Thirty Seconds to Mars

August 24th, 2010 by Rebecca Harper Editor

When Hulu spoke to Thirty Seconds to Mars frontman Jared Leto about the band’s latest video last week, he was calling from the beach in Tel Aviv, where he and the rest of his band were set to play another show on their world tour. By now, 30STM has played in more than 100 cities across the globe, hitting Europe, Sydney, Singapore and Japan in just the past few weeks. (It’s been so many, Leto’s lost count himself.)

Of course, the band isn’t adverse to travel. After all, many of their previous videos were shot in exotic locales, including China (“From Yesterday“) and even the Arctic (“A Beautiful Lie“). Their last video, “Kings and Queens,” however, was shot in their hometown of Los Angeles, with Leto calling it his “love letter to the city of Angels.”

Although their latest video, “Closer to the Edge,” isn’t as cinematic in scope, it was an epic undertaking, a video documentation of their “adventure around the world,” says Leto, who rocked a pink Mohawk in this video (it long gone now). And while some so-called “road videos” may depict the highs and lows that come with life on tour, “Closer to the Edge” is all about the fans as real kids talk to the cameras. “I picked people out at different shows,” Leto says. “I have 20 to 30 hours of interviews and filtered it down to make this video.” The singer teamed up with a group of five video editors and a pair of cameramen to piece together the video on what they called the “edit bus.” “We’d shoot days and work all night, until 5, 6, 7 in the morning. It was inspiring,” he says.

As for the song’s success, it’s been a bit of a surprise for Leto and his bandmates. “It seems that it has connected with our fans, and the fact that it managed to push “This Is War” to the top of the iTunes charts in Germany — knocking out Eminem, in fact — is just another thing for this modest band to be grateful for.

The band’s tour continues overseas for a few more weeks, then it’s off to Mexico before kicking off their U.S. tour and making an appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards next month, where Leto and his bandmates are nominated for four “Moonman” statues. “We’re happy to be nominated. We found out in New Zealand and it was such a surprise. Winning would be one of those great moments for us as a band. These awards are really just a way to take it all in and show our gratitude to our fans.” — Rebecca Harper (rebecca.harper@hulu.com), Editor

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