For 30 Seconds to Mars, “This is War” is not just the title of their new album, but a way to sum up their lifestyles for the past year.
“We started to make the record, and the world fell apart,” says singer Jared Leto. “So the album became an experiment in survival. We battled with our record company, and we had this global financial crisis — a lot of changes were happening.”
But it’s not as dire as it sounds. The album is full of more victory marches than funeral dirges.
“It was a time of uncertainty and of change, but also of hope,” says Leto. “There’s a song on the album called ‘This Is War;’ it’s a song about fighting for what you believe in. That’s the big statement of the album.
“It’s more thematic, it’s more conceptual,” Leto says of the difference between ‘This is War’ and 30 Seconds’ previous two albums. “I think it’s the strongest statement we’ve ever made.”
The band also includes guitarist Tomo Milicevic and Leto’s brother Shannon on drums, with whom he has played since the two were children.
“Sometimes we look at each other now and we’re thinking ‘Wow, we’re in Europe, we’re playing huge venues, we have another record coming out,’” he says about the sense of history he and his brother share. “I remember us being back in the garage.”