30 Seconds To Mars
Los Angeles, CA
Initially known for his work as an actor (most notably on the '90s TV drama My So-Called Life, as well as movies like Requiem for a Dream and Fight Club), Jared Leto decided to flex his musical muscles as he approached his 30s. He enlisted the help of his brother, drummer Shannon Leto, and formed 30 Seconds to Mars in 1998. The group made its studio debut four years later, releasing a self-titled album whose post-grunge sound betrayed an affinity for groups like Chevelle and Incubus. Although it only acheived modest success, 30 Seconds to Mars still laid the foundation for a healthy career. Moreover, it convinced the bandmates to forge ahead in spite of Jared Leto's busy acting schedule, which had filled up with roles in Panic Room, Highway, American Pyscho, and Requiem for a Dream.
It ultimately took three years to record A Beautiful Lie, with the bandmates traveling to four continents to work with Leto on his movie sets. An emotional album based around the concept of change, A Beautiful Lie widened the band's sound by sampling from metal, neo-prog, and screamo. It also widened the band's audience by going platinum in America, acheiving gold status in multiple foreign countries, and producing several singles, including two Top 10 modern rock hits. 30 Seconds to Mars toured heavily as a result, sporting a new lineup that included guitarist Tomo Milicevic and bassist Matt Wachter (both of whom had contributed to the album) in addition to the two Letos. Although Wachter threw in the towel in 2007, the band continued to tour around the world for the rest of the year, making stops at several major festivals (Roskilde, Pinkpop, Download) and opening shows for bands like the Used and Linkin Park.
Despite their growing momentum, 30 Seconds to Mars soon found themselves at war with their label, EMI/Virgin Records. The band had attempted to sign with a new label after the Beautiful Lie tour, prompting EMI to file a lawsuit for $30 million, claiming that 30 Seconds to Mars was contractually obligated to produce three albums before signing with another company. The legal dust settled as the band relented and returned to EMI's roster, and This Is War -- the band's third album, not to mention a stylistic return to the sound of their self-titled debut -- arrived in December 2009.Bio coming soon...