Thirty Seconds To Mars

  • Rock band formed in 1998 from Los Angeles California. Members of the band are brothers Jared Leto (lead vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, songwriting), Shannon Leto (drums, songwriting) and Tomo Miličević (lead guitar, bass, violin, keyboards, backing vocals).
  • The brothers had been playing music together since childhood – their mother was a hippie, and she encouraged them to get involved in the arts. In 1992, Jared moved to Los Angeles and started acting, getting roles in TV and films. Later in the 90s, he began to devote more time to music. In 1998, the brothers decided to form the band, adding a guitarist and bassist to the group. They played their early concerts under different names, and eventually settled on Thirty Seconds to Mars, supposedly taken from a manuscript titled Argus Apocraphex. They made some demo tracks, which led to interest from record companies, and they were signed in 1999.
  • They began recording their debut album in 2001, working with producer Bob Erzin, who earlier had worked with progressive rock artists like Pink Floyd, Phish, Peter Gabriel, Alice Cooper and Lou Reed. The self-titled album 30 Seconds To Mars was released in August 2002. It was a concept album, characterized as progressive metal with new wave and electronic elements. Initially, it did not sell well, but over time, as the band became more established, sales continued, and worldwide sales now have exceeded 2 million copies.
  • The band gained a fan base as they toured, and in 2003, Tomo Miličević joined the band, replacing guitarist Solon Bixler. They released their second album, A Beautiful Lie, in 2005. The alternative rock album was successful, earning platinum certification, and peaking at #36 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Two singles were popular – The Kill was their first to enter the Hot 100 chart, and it peaked at #3 on the Alternative Songs chart, remaining on the chart for 50 weeks; and From Yesterday reached the top of the Alternative Songs chart.
  • They recorded their next album in 2008, but its release was delayed due to a year long battle with their record company over contract issues, as the band wanted to sign with a new record company. The dispute was resolved, with Thirty Seconds To Mars signing a new contract with their old label. The dispute was documented in a film called Artifact that Jared Leto directed (using the pseudonym Bartholomew Cubbins) and released in 2012 – the film received the People’s Choice Award for Best Documentary at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. The album This Is War finally was released in December 2009. It sold 4 million copies worldwide, and 2 singles topped the Alternative Songs chart – Kings and Queens and the title track This Is War. A third single, Closer To The Edge, was the best selling rock single in the UK in 2010. The music video for Kings and Queens won Best Rock Video at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards.
  • In 2013, they released their next album, Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams. Its first single, Up In The Air, was launched on a rocket into space and delivered to the International Space Station, where the song premiered. It reached #3 on the Alternative Songs chart, and the music video for the song won for Best Rock Video.
  • Their most recent album is titled America, released in April 2018. There is a shift in style on this record – less alternative rock, more electronic and pop, though it certainly retains their rock roots. Both singles released to date – Walk On Water and Dangerous Night – were top 10 on the Alternative Songs chart, and the album debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 chart.
  • This band is an excellent modern rock group, with music that avoids today’s pop rock formula that is so predictable. If you’re looking for rock music for this millenium, you should give them a listen. Here is their award winning video, Up In The Air. It’s a little long, but worth the watch!

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