At this point, Jared Leto is getting pretty used to conflict. He and his [artist id="1231235"]30 Seconds to Mars[/artist] bandmates battled their way through the making of their This Is War album, and they basically willed the first single, the epic "Kings and Queens," onto the rock radio charts.
So when it came time to shoot a video for the second single — the equally soaring title track from the album — well, they pretty much knew the direction they wanted to head.
"The song is really about conflict, and the album really is about it too: the inevitability of conflict, the blessing of conflict and what we can all learn from it. We've certainly had our fair share of it," Leto told MTV News on Friday (April 9). "So for the 'This Is War' video, we wanted to explore another side of it. So we decided to portray soldiers in conflict."
And so, in the video, Leto and company donned U.S. Army fatigues — and body armor — picked up standard-issue M4 rifles and piled into an armored Humvee. Working with director Edouard Salier, they've created a short film that looks at conflict through the eyes of the men and women who live it every day. And, much like everything involving 30 Seconds to Mars, they went all in.
"We worked with one of my oldest friends, who served in the Special Forces and has been in Iraq several times. He was our consultant. It was incredible to take a look into his world and his life, the knowledge and expertise he's gained," Leto said. "A lot of people are going to interpret this piece in a lot of different ways, and hopefully it will start some debates and some conversations.
"The video made us realize that underneath the uniforms, these men and women out there in conflict are just like you and I. When we put them on, I looked at my brother, looked at [guitarist] Tomo [Milicevic], and they looked like soldiers," he continued. "You start to walk like a soldier, feel like a soldier, when you're wearing body armor and carrying a working M4 ... it's an impactful experience. It was definitely provocative for us. It made us think, and that's the point of the whole thing."
Leto wouldn't divulge too much about the concept of the video, only saying that the video contains "a surprise" and features plenty of visual effects. The band shot the video outside of Los Angeles, days after wrapping their first-ever European arena tour, just before they headed down to Las Vegas to begin rehearsals for the U.S. leg of their Into the Wild jaunt. And while it was exhausting, Leto said that was just part of the whole experience. And, by now, they're used to battling a bit.
"As is the case with everything involving this band, it was more exciting than exhausting, to be honest. In a way, it feels like the beginning again," he said. "When we were making this album, we took advantage of the opportunity to rediscover ourselves. So it's really a celebration. We're just excited to continue on this journey."
Are you looking forward to the "This Is War" video? Let us know in the comments!