"Kill your Heroes!"

2008-03-21 07:29
Listen to the podcast:
- 30 Seconds to Mars

You’ve got the guyliner, the fashion, the hair. What’s your take on being labelled an 'emo' rock band?
I can tell you this much. Being just slightly older than the average 'emo' kid, to me, emo used to describe a type of music, you know like Sunny Day Real Estate or Jawbreaker. Like one of those old, kind of emotional punk rock bands. And I guess it’s just become something different. We don’t know, we don’t really care. If people want to call us emo, so be it. Like all things, it’ll fade and change and morph, and become something else, and then you can call us that.

Does 'rock' music mean anything to you?
I think the better way to say that is to say what is 'music' to us because in general it’s not just rock music that we love, it’s just music. We happen to play rock music and that is kind of where we were drawn to, but we’re inspired by every single form of music that there is. I don’t know if there’s anything out there that I can’t find something that I like.

Jared Leto is hot, famous, and he draws a crowd. Do you think your fans come to shows just to see him?
I suppose, like in any normal circumstance, just like any other band, the majority of people just want to come see the singer of the band. I don’t know, we don’t really think about it. We all have our restraining orders on at least three different stalkers, so…

You’re Milicevic. And then there’s the Brothers Leto. Are you the odd one out?
I don’t think there’s an ‘odd man out’ type of thing. You know, they’re brothers, and I’m a brother from a different mother.

Why did bassist Matt Wachter leave the band?
If you are familiar with our touring schedule, it’s pretty intense. Matt basically wasn’t able to handle the level of touring that we do. I mean we are non-stop. It’s the most important thing in our lives and it comes before everything else. So for him I think his family was more important. And obviously that made me sound like an idiot. It’s not like our families aren’t important to us, but touring and being in this band trumps everything. For him, I think he just didn’t want to be on the road ten months out of the year. Because that’s how our life is, we’re gone ten months out of the year. All over the world, just travelling and playing. And for us it’s great and we love it but it’s not for everybody. I mean, you can be a 15 year old kid and dream of being in a band that tours all over the world and tell yourself you that’s what’s right for you.
Who did you want to be when you were 15, playing guitar in your bedroom? Kill your heroes! Dethrone your idols! I wanted to be me, how about that?

Totally, being a teenager rocks!
Oh man, those were the days. That’s when life was good. That’s when life was easy – not a care in the world. My dad owned a bakery in America, I don’t know if you guys even know of it, it’s called Dunkin Donuts. It’s a doughnut shop; they sell coffee and doughnuts. And my job was to bake the doughnuts at night with my dad so I would bring my guitar to work, and in between waiting for the dough to rise, I would practise my guitar. I had nothing better to do. It was dangerous around there, so we just stayed inside and played music. I have to say that, when I was in that process, I hated it more than anything in the world because I felt like I was being robbed of my youth or whatever, because I had to work midnights. And now when I look back on that I realise it was probably one of the greatest things that ever happened to me because of all that time I spent playing the guitar. I would probably not be where I am if I hadn’t spent that time. I’m very thankful now that I was a baker with my dad.

30STM is a fan’s band. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done for your fans?
We’ve taken an entire group of fans on a midnight hike before. Me and Jared have taken them through the woods, made them walk around and then we would sit around and talk about ridiculous things. You know, the future and what they thought about stuff, kind of like discussion time, it’s pretty fun. Yeah we were talking to them about what they thought of the music industry and just saying what they think about what’s going on, who do they like. Asking them questions about our music and our show and what they would like to see different. It was kind of like a camp-fire Q & A with 30STM.

What do you think of the music industry at the moment?
I think the music industry is in a state of confusion and I guess it’s what you’d call a tipping point. We’re about to see a major change I think in the way things operate and the way this industry works. We’re dealing with the record label who says downloading music is a crime, it’s bad. And a couple of years ago I may have agreed with them but now I’m starting to realise that the fact is that technology is here, it’s not going anywhere, nothing is going to stop people downloading music. It’s up to the record labels and the artist together to kind of make people want to own that; you have to place some value on it. The problem is people don’t find any value in it. So they say 'why should I buy it when it’s right there for me for free.'

Explain the band's evolution, and where you're going from here.
The first record was such a very closed creative project of Jared and Shannon; on A Beautiful Lie obviously there was a band there so it was a much more collaborative process. Now this next record will be even more different. We are really reaching for the stars on this one, we’re just going for it. We’re trying to be as unique and creative as possible. We’re trying to as many things differently as possible. Whatever we would naturally do, we’re going in a completely opposite direction to force ourselves to think differently and think outside the box. You know, explore the sounds that are available to us rather than just go with what we know. We’re really challenging ourselves; I’m pretty excited.

Are you excited about touring SA?
OMG, let me tell you, we are very excited to be coming BACK to SA, emphasis on the word BACK, because as you know we worked on our record A Beautiful Lie in Camps Bay for quite a while.

Last time you were here, you got stuck in the mountains. What happened?
It was actually Lion’s Head where we got stuck. Not so much stuck as lost in the brush. We decided to hike up Lion’s Head one day, and on the way down it was getting darker quicker than we had expected so we decided to go off the trail and straight down the side because we felt we had a pretty good bearing on where we were. It was getting steeper, and darker, and thicker, and we were just like "OMG what are we doing – we’re such idiots! We’re gonna end up getting eaten out here by something you know!" We were freaking out but Jared, like the good leader he is, kept telling us it was going to be okay. He found the way and it was all good.

Coke or Pepsi?
Oooooh… Definitely Coke.

- Sam Brighton

30 Seconds From Mars are back in South Africa to play My Coke Fest. We caught up with guitarist Tomo and asked him what it's like being in band with a chick magnet like Jared Leto, and whether they're happy with that 'emo' rock label.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.