Jared Leto first broke our hearts in the television show My So-Called Life, which was a favorite among the gay demographic. Then he kidnapped, punched and drugged us in films such as Panic Room, Fight Club and Requiem for a Dream. Now, the multitalented Leto he is out to rock us by singing and playing guitar in Thirty Seconds to Mars.
Windy City Times: Hey, Jared. How are you?
Jared Leto: I'm great. I'm actually driving away from beautiful sunny Chicago towards Milwaukee. I'm on a bus right now.
WCT: Oh, so you have a Milwaukee show tonight?
Jared Leto: Yeah, we have a Milwaukee show tonight, then we'll be back. We actually had a day off in Chicago yesterday, which was beautiful, and we'll back tomorrow for the show at the Aragon.
WCT: So you lead sing and play rhythm guitar in Thirty Seconds. Were you always musically inclined?
Jared Leto: I've been playing music since I was a little kid, yeah. I grew up around a lot of artists and hippies and there was always instruments lying around. I remember one time, my first instrument was actually the piano, we had found a piano that someone was dumping with broken keys and barely worked, a little upright piano. And we dragged it into our house and that was there for a number of years, and that was my first instrument. But it wasn't something that people did professionally, you know. But there was a lot of creativity around.
WCT: And do you like being in a band with your brother?
Jared Leto: It was kind of a logical thing. He's a tremendous drummer and he's a really unique player. He makes really interesting choices and I think colors the band in a really original way. One of the plusses of sharing it with someone you have known your entire life is great too.
WCT: You got to work with some big producers on this album, too.
Jared Leto: Yeah some really wonderful people as well as being great at their jobs. Flood, who is infamous for working with some of my favorite bands out there, from Depeche Mode to U2 to Nine Inch Nails and Chicago natives, Smashing Pumpkins. And Steve Lilywhite, who's worked with the Stones, and U2, he's just a phenomenal talent.
WCT: Kanye West did the song "Hurricane," right?
Jared Leto: Yeah, he sang on a song I wrote called "Hurricane." He did a great job.
WCT: Is that ever going to be released with him singing on it, or no?
Jared Leto: It's been leaked on the Internet, and I think … some of that stuff is difficult to work out with label to label and we had to get it all cleared up before the album was released. But I know they're working on it, and hopefully it'll see the light of day, officially as well.
WCT: In March, you just recorded a cover of Lady Gaga. Are you a fan of hers?
Jared Leto: Yeah, we did a live cover for a station called Radio One in London. She's great, I think she's a talent and we thought it might be something unexpected and fun. They had called us last time, they have a program called Live Lounge for BBC, and they asked us to cover a pop song, so we did Kanye West's Stronger about two and half years ago. It ended up kind of winning the best Live Lounge in 10 years or something. It was unexpected and we were pretty surprised by that. So they asked us to do it again, and we thought Lady Gaga would be a fun thing to do.
WCT: The Mr. Nobody movie you're in, is that coming out in the States?
Jared Leto: I don't know when it's coming out in the States. It's been in festivals around the world; it's been in Toronto, it just came out in Russia, France and Belgium. I'm not sure about the States yet; I don't know when it's going to come out.
WCT: Well, you were actually in a movie with my roommate from college, Michael Rosenbaum.
Jared Leto: He's great, I love him. He's so funny. Will you tell him I said "hello?" It's been a while.
The official website of Thirty Seconds is http://thirtysecondstomars.thisisthehive.net/blog/.