By all accounts, the making of [artist id="1231235"]30 Seconds to Mars'[/artist] This Is War was anything but by-the-book.
There was the $30 million breach-of-contract lawsuit filed by (then) label, Virgin Records. There was the very real possibility that the album would never see the light of day. And there were the many delays in production, the stop/start recording sessions and the sheer amount of ideas (Tibetan monks, fan-only "audio experiments") the band tried every step of the way.
It was enough to wilt the will of even the most steadfast band, but somehow, 30 Seconds to Mars didn't quit, and War will finally hit stores Tuesday. And you'd think they'd be really anxious to put all this behind them, but surprisingly, they'd do it all over again — exactly the same way.
"[This] wasn't a record where we just stumbled upon everything. Certainly when you make mistakes and you fail, that's the best, and I love to fail. ... I don't avoid failing because you learn from that, in a way that you could never learn from anything else. Failure is one of the greatest teachers. And we failed a lot on this record," 30STM frontman Jared Leto told MTV News. "It's an ambitious album. It's an album that invited the world to sing and to record and to experiment. To confess. And it is a spiritual record in a way. It is of the spirit world rather than cerebral or just purely guttural. It talks about faith and fighting for what you believe in and the idea of community. ... It was an opportunity for us to embrace the community around 30 Seconds to Mars and really to create the record that we've always dreamed of."
And with the first single, "Kings and Queens," already a fixture on modern-rock radio, it seems like all that hard work is paying off. But given the rather contentious legacy of This Is War, there are still some sticking points even today. Like, for example, Kanye West's much-discussed cameo on the song "Hurricane." When fans pick up their copies of the album, they'll no doubt notice that West's vocals are absent from the track, a casualty of some last-minute legal wrangling. But, in true 30 Seconds to Mars fashion, Leto swears that the West-ified version of the song will be heard someday, somehow.
"He sang on the song, but I think, you know, you have to ship the album and get it manufactured, and they were working out the back-end stuff that's boring to talk about, to figure out all the rights of one record company and the rights of another," he sighed. "It has nothing to do with me or Kanye. But he's phenomenal on the song, and it will be out at some point. I don't even know if it will be in the first pressing, but we'll get it out there."