30 SECONDS TO MARS' JARED LETO & TOMO MILICEVIC
Interview by Night Watchman
Illustration by Erik Rose

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JARED LETO HAS TAKEN THE TIME TO CRAFT AMAZING WORLDS OF INNER STRUGGLE ON AN EPIC SCALE WITH HIS BAND 30 SECONDS TO MARS. FROM THE APOCALYPTIC POWER OF THEIR DEBUT, TO THE INTROSPECTIVE BEAUTY OF THEIR NEW ALBUM, A BEAUTIFUL LIE, THEY HAVE CARVED OUT THEIR OWN NICHE IN THE MODERN ROCK WORLD. NIGHT WATCHMAN CAUGHT UP WITH LETO AND GUITARIST TOMO MILICEVIC BACKSTAGE TO FIND OUT ABOUT THE PASSION THAT DRIVES THEM, AND THE REASON THAT 30 SECONDS TO MARS IS THE BAND THAT DISPROVES THE NOTION THAT ACTORS CANNOT BE MUSICIANS.

Night Watchman: Just so you know, our interviews are direct transcriptions, and the magazine is for adults, so swear as much as you like.

Jared Leto and Tomo Milicevic: Fuck!

All: (laugh)

JL: Let me turn my phone off. Weíre having a big day today because our single came out, and it was the number one most-added song in America. We knew we were getting a good response to it, but it took everybody by surprise. We also got The Used tour today, so itís like a double whammy.

NW: Oh, thatís great!

JL: We are now booked through September.

NW: Very cool. It seems like you guys have built a name for yourselves very quickly, especially for having only one album out before A Beautiful Lie.

JL: In some ways, yes. But my brother [Shannon Leto, drummer] and I have been making music together since we were kids, playing shows for years and years and years now-- decades. (laughs) But we were signed in Ď98, so it hasnít been overnight at all. Itís been a long, long road-- interesting, but long.

NW: I know you took a couple years to make the first album.

JL: The first album came out in August of 2002, and this one is going to come out in August of 2005-- three years. Most of the bands I really like take a long fucking time to make a new album: Nine Inch Nails, The Cure, and Tool.

NW: I know that first album was written entirely by you, and you recorded most of the instruments yourself-- besides your brotherís drums-- while this album was done with more band collaboration. How did the band dynamic change how you created the album?

JL: Well, Iím still writing the songs.

TM: Yeah.

JL: Itís funny; thatís the first thing everyone starts with. Itís mine!

All: (laugh)

JL: No, but there was much more. I had two other guys to bounce ideas off of this time, and before I just had my brother. I got quickly bored of that, and many times it would just end up being me alone in front of some recording device. But these guys helped elevate a lot of songs, and certainly they added all kinds of contributions-- some songs a lot more than others. But even if itís seemingly small, it ends up being something that becomes very important to the song. They participated in every single song, pretty much.

TM: Yep, except "A Modern Myth".

JL: "A Modern Myth" and "The Story". But even a song like "Was It A Dream?", Tomo played this one guitar part pretty much on his own, and itís in the second chorus. No... itís in the chorus.

TM: No, the bridge.

JL: In the bridge. But you also did something in the second chorus, and itís obviously the coolest guitar part in the song, arguably.

TM: I donít know, man. That first guitar part is pretty sick!

All: (laugh)

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