Originally J. Leto and his brother's side project, 30 Seconds to Mars has recently gained a reputation in its own right. With two critically acclaimed albums, a devoted fan base and a headlining tour, this Southern California-based foursome has more goin' on than Jared's notoriety with teen starlets. Street hops on the tour bus and gets down with the non-Leto half of the group, guitarist Tomo Milicivitch and bassist Matt Wachter.
Street: You guys are headlining your first tour. How does it differ from your previous touring exploits?
Tomo Milicivitch: Well the obvious answer is that now we get to do what we want. But it's also a national headlining tour, so the consciousness of the fans has changed too. The energy is way crazier, every single person is there to see you, and so it's just a lot more "family"-oriented.
Street: Do you consider yourselves rock stars?
Matt Wachter: No, that's a dirty word.
TM: That's a personality trait. Rock star is an attitude, people who kind of put themselves up on a pedestal.
Street: But the black leather! The acid-washed jeans!
TM: Let's put it this way: I don't look any different than I ever did before. Though maybe a better haircut.
Street: What is the meaning behind the planetary and spiritual imagery?
MW: The references are oriented towards Greek mythology. But we tried to leave a lot open to interpretation. We don't want everything spelled out. If you go telling everyone exactly what everything means, it spoils it. Like, Picasso never came right out and said what he meant.
TM: Not that we're comparing ourselves to Picasso.
Street: Your lyrics seem to have a message [Be a hero, kill your Ego, etc.]. How does that factor into the creative process?
TM: Well, Jared writes the songs, but he's always trying to examine himself and the human condition. That's what he's talking about.
Street: How would you describe your fans?
MW: Family, straight up. We know people personally, people follow us all over the country and we have friends in every city. It's like the Grateful Dead.
TM: Well, the Grateful Dead meets David Bowie.
MW: And our fans smell better.
Street: So after completing your first headlining tour, what's your next goal as artists?
MW: We're living the goal, so to speak, because we're doing this. Goals are always just to do it, the way we want to do it.
Street: If you weren't in the band, what would you be doing?
TM: I would try for a career in porn, but I wouldn't be able to do it.
Street: How would you describe the group's dynamic?
TM: Tough question. We're all very different, but we all have the same vision. We're from incredibly different musical backgrounds, but for some strange reason we all come together as one idea, one means of operating, of looking for truth.