DEVORE, California — Jared Leto has added a new accessory to his signature scarf, vest and eyeliner look.
"Forget the eyeliner — more importantly, what's with my hat?" the singer asked backstage at Saturday's KROQ Inland Invasion, drawing attention to his black fedora. "I stole this from the guy in the Backstreet Boys, you know the one."
Yes, and A.J. would like that returned, please.
In all seriousness, 30 Seconds to Mars are more interested in adding accessories to their live show, and with every additional 50,000 or so albums sold, more budget is going to their tour.
"What changes [with success] is you can bring a few more lights, you can start investing in some of the ideas you've always had for production elements and you can present a show that's not just four guys in jeans and T-shirts staring at their Chuck Taylors, which you can find at any given night at any bar across the country," Leto said.
"That's fun for what it is, but we're looking for something slightly different."
Visuals are enormously important to 30 Seconds to Mars, who took the stage at Inland Invasion in white ninja costumes and china-doll masks (see "Guns N' Roses Take On Aguilera, Chester Bennington Joins Alice In Chains At Inland Invasion"). Visuals will come into play again when they unveil the follow-up single to "The Kill," which they revealed to MTV News will be "From Yesterday."
"There's a lot of thought that goes into making the decision on the appropriate single," Leto said. "We're very proud of [A Beautiful Lie] as a whole, so for me I don't break it up into singles. I think of a record as a collective unit, and each song is like a chapter in a book. But certainly 'From Yesterday' [lends itself to being a video in that it's] a very cinematic song and a very visual song. It really is one of those songs that lets your imagination wander. Someone suggested that it was slightly surreal."
Leto is keeping the "From Yesterday" video details under wraps, but he said the concept is one he's been tossing around for quite some time. "It'll be very challenging but will fit the song like a glove," he said. "You can count on something spectacular, exciting, fun and slightly perverted."
As for the song, all Leto would say is that it was an idea Shannon, his brother and the band's drummer, first brought to him. "I like people to take their own message from the song, if they indeed get one, and also just enjoy it for what it is," he said.
"From Yesterday" is scheduled to go to radio next month, around the same time 30 Seconds to Mars launch the Welcome to the Universe Tour (see "30 Seconds To Mars Promise Tour Will 'Blow People's Eyelids Off' ").
Although the band has already toured behind A Beautiful Lie for
16 months, Leto's looking forward to going right back on the road.
"It's pretty incredible to see what's happening to 30 Seconds to Mars,"
he said of their slow-building success. "This has got to be one of the most exciting times of our lives, creatively and professionally.
Someone explained to me recently that most of the people who have our album have bought it in the past four or five months. That's kinda cool, thinking that the record is still so brand-new. Fortunately, when we're touring and playing, a lot of the songs still feel very exciting and fresh, and we're investigating new ideas and how to present the songs in different ways."
Leto is also excited about another aspect of the trek, which begins October 17 in Maplewood, Minnesota: The band will be using vegetable-oil gas to fuel its tour buses. It's an environmentally conscious strategy that has also been adopted by Philadelphia's Mewithoutyou (see "Mewithoutyou: Not Your Average Christian, Vegetable-Oil-Fueled, Flower-Flinging Rockers").
"It's gonna be a green tour, an environmental tour, which is a nice opportunity for us to set an example and illustrate some of the possibilities out there," he said.