Exclusive: Jared Leto of Thirty Seconds To Mars Talks "City of Angels" and "Dallas Buyers Club" Soundtrack
Tue, 26 Nov 2013 10:06:50
Thirty Seconds to Mars Photos
Thirty Seconds to Mars Videos
Thirty Seconds to Mars push the boundaries once more on Love Lust Faith + Dreams.
In fact, the edge of alternative music expands once again with this utterly unique and undeniable aural journey. It's the band's best offering and a landmark for 2013. Moreover, they've brought it to life via such inspirational vignettes as the visuals for "City of Angels", an invigorating look at Los Angeles. In between it all, Jared Leto has given an Oscar-worthy performance in Dallas Buyers Club and also contributed a heartfelt acoustic rendition of "City of Angels" to the film's soundtrack.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Jared Leto of Thirty Seconds To Mars opens up about "City of Angels", Love Lust Faith + Dreams, the Dallas Buyers Club soundtrack and more.
With Love Lust Faith + Dreams, you've created an experience much larger than the album.
I appreciate that. I suppose I've always thought about music in visual terms and the visual elements in musical terms. They overlap and fall into one another in a pretty graceful way. I guess I'm lucky because I have a bit of vocabulary and some experience having made these little films over the years. It gives me a chance to play around, paint, and create with different materials so that's kind of fun. I've always thought about this as a really cinematic record, and I'm glad I've had the chance to make these three clips to go along with the music.
Was the "City of Angels" clip something you'd envisioned while writing the song? It fits the song, but there's a larger vision.
Yes, I knew for a long time that I wanted to tell a story about hope and dreams. I wanted it to be incredibly personal. I knew that it would get into some of my story and my brother's story as well as Tomo Miličević's story. I knew that in order for it to connect and communicate above and beyond just the band, Thirty Seconds To Mars, or this song that it would be great to invite other people to be a part of this story. So, I added a pretty wide variety of people to the narrative, and it was a really interesting process to interview Kanye West, James Franco, and also a kid who's homeless and lives on the street. That made the project and the piece much more dynamic.
For as personal as it is, it's a universal human story. The story transcends the music.
Thank you, it's a really personal story. One thing that's interesting is, whether it was Kanye, Shaun White, or Selena Gomez, these people have all been in front of the camera a lot. However, there was something different both for them and me. I had done quite a few interviews over the years—myself and interviewing other people—making film and doing documentaries. There was something really personal about talking to these people peer-to-peer and artist-to-artist. I got the sense that they were really trusting of me in the process and shared things they normally wouldn't have otherwise. We all benefit from getting a deeper insight and light into their lives that we normally wouldn't, which is fascinating.
When was the moment you felt like Love Lust Faith + Dreams crystallized?
I was always making an album. I wasn't making a collection of singles. This record is a left turn for us. I think it was unexpected in a lot of ways. I think it surprised people in a lot of ways. I think that this album made it okay to like Thirty Seconds To Mars for a great deal of people. It's a brave album. It's not a record filled with repeat offenders. It's not a follow-up to another album. It's its own work. In this day and age of the pop single, it goes against that formula and sort of thinking. At the end of the day, I made the record that was in my heart, my head, and my gut. Shannon and I spent a lot of time working on this album. We worked very closely. It was a really special project. You know, the last time we made an album we were being sued for thirty million dollars courtesy of EMI. We didn't have that kind of pressure this time. There was a different spirit, a lot of freedom, and it felt good.
How do you feel like "City of Angels" (Acoustic) on the Dallas Buyers Club soundtrack entwine with the movie?
I know that there are some proceeds going to charity. I hope that helps. I hope there's some good that comes from that. To be honest, the charitable aspect was the main motivation for me participating in that. I generally keep music and film very, very separate, except when it comes to the short films or documentaries we may make that have to do with Thirty Seconds To Mars. I was happy to be invited. It's a very special project. Dallas Buyers Club is my first film in six years. We're all shell-shocked by the enormous response that the film itself has gotten. It's nice that we have a version of "City of Angels" out there that's imperfect, acoustic, and an intimate look at this really important song for us. We're playing the song night-after-night on this massive arena tour we're doing. We're playing in front of tens of thousands of people or more every night. The song has become a staple already in our live show. I'm excited, very grateful, and thankful. I've got a lot to be grateful as we head into this holiday season, my friend.
Don't forget to check out the Dallas Buyers Club Soundtrack on iTunes!
What's your favorite Thirty Seconds To Mars song?