It’s time to get excited for Thirty Seconds to Mars’ Jared Leto again

It’s time to get excited for Thirty Seconds to Mars’ Jared Leto again


Text: Rachel Chan

Image: Facebook | jaredleto

Jared Leto’s roles as a comic book villain and a transgender woman might have garnered him recognition in film, but the front man of Thirty Seconds To Mars is also a versatile musician. We celebrate the actor and musician ahead of the release of new album America, out on 6 April

1. He put together the longest running tour which got the band a place on the Guinness World Records
One really wonders how Leto finds the time to act and sing. Formed in 1998 with band mates Tomo Miličević and Leto's brother, Shannon, Thirty Seconds to Mars toured around the world for two years promoting their third studio album, This Is War. Starting in 2009, the band played 300 shows in 60 cities over six months, earning them a Guinness World Record for the most shows played during a single album cycle. Leto commented, “We thought documenting this for posterity with the Guinness Book of World Records would be fun especially as we aren't any good at growing our fingernails very long or cultivating the world's largest squash.”

2. He fought for freedom
In 2008, the 46-year-old and the band found themselves embroiled in a year-long US$30 million lawsuit with Virgin/EMI Records. Adding onto their debt of more than US$2 million for creating This Is War, the record company accused the two brothers of not delivering three out of the five albums under their contract, which they terminated after nine years. "We're all trying to figure out ways to share our music with the world, in new and exciting ways that don't force us to have to sign some convoluted record contract that's designed to keep us terminally in debt for centuries," said Leto in an interview.

"We weren't the Rolling Stones or some supergroup, otherwise maybe we could afford to battle a corporation for some time,” he added. “We were a small band who had a little bit of success who believed in the fight for fairness." The whole drama was then documented in Thirty Second To Mars' 2012 documentary, Artifact.

3. He directs and edits their music videos
Leto's a man of many, many talents, and one of them is helming the creative direction of Thirty Seconds To Mars' music videos. Other than directing Artifact under the pseudonym of Bartholomew Cubbins which won the People's Choice Awards for Best Documentary, he directed short films for the band's songs, 'Up in the Air', 'City of Angels' and 'Do or Die'. For 'From Yesterday', the band travelled to China to film with 400 soldiers.

4. He launched Camp Mars with the band
Wanting to spend more time with their fans and to show their appreciation to them, Thirty Seconds To Mars created an intimate festival just for them. An effort that started in 2015, fans can enjoy a three-day camp/concert with the band members with activites such as yoga, meditation, late night movies and star gazing. He said in an interview: "We have always looked to do things for our audience that are fun and unique. What better way to celebrate the summer than in beautiful Southern California with the Mars family in full."

5. He ventures even further into the music business
With a fat paycheck from both acting and singing, Leto has also invested in numerous technology and music companies such as Spotify, Reddit, Uber and Airbnb. "I look for things that excite me. Companies that are changing the way we behave. Founders or CEOs that are incredibly passionate smart geniuses. And opportunities that will teach me something," he said.

Thirty Seconds To Mars' latest album, America, will be released on 6 April. For last week's #ManCrushMonday, click here.