A Conversation With 30 Seconds To Mars’ Shannon Leto

Mike Ragogna: Shannon, you’re still touring in support of your last album This Is War.

Shannon Leto: Yeah, we started in San Diego with two shows there, but now I’m back at home. It’s a sunny day in Los Angeles.

MR: Nice. Who are you going to be touring with and what cities are you visiting?

SL: We’re going to a lot of cities, and there are two parts to this tour. The first part, we’re having Middle Class Rut open up for us. Then we do a few dates here and we go to Australia. When we come back from Australia, we finish up the tour.

MR: Did you know at the time you were working on This Is War that it would generate so many singles?

SL: We knew we had something special going on during the recording process. During that process, for those couple years, there was so much going on. We were being sued for $30 million, a new president was being elected–it was a huge monumental time in our government–the world was melting financially… Those things really had an impact on the creativity on the record. I think if we didn’t go through those experiences, we wouldn’t have the album we have today. When we’re coming up with these songs, we’re not really sure of what the outcome will be because we’re so caught up in the moment, so we try to do as much in the moment and try to exhaust every idea.

MR: What is the creative relationship with you guys?

SL: It could start with a drumbeat, a guitar riff, a lyric, humming. Then we just put it down.

MR: You guys are constantly touring and Jared has had his acting career.

SL: We’re just trying to focus on what’s in front of us. My brother hasn’t done a movie in years, so he really just focuses on what’s in front of him, which is the music. We really don’t have much time off. We are always thinking about music, how we can do better and keep pushing ourselves to share the experience with people. It’s non-stop work.

MR: Plus, you guys recently had a deluxe edition of This Is War released.

SL: Yeah. The deluxe edition has this song “Hurricane” that’s on our album. This particular track has Kanye on it. And it also has a Lady Gaga cover. It’s nice, fun, and exciting to make records. It’s art and it’s another way to express yourself.

MR: So, this expanded release is basically an audio and visual continuation of the album.

SL: Yeah, and the artwork is really great too, my brother designed it. And there are some extra songs on there.

MR: What’s on the agenda as far as new releases? A new album?

SL: There could be, you never know.

MR: What advice do you have for new artists?

SL: Just follow your heart. Stick to what you believe in. Work hard, practice, practice, practice, and tour a lot. You don’t have to be on a major label to play out. You learn a lot when you play gigs. Many things form