On Monday, 30 Seconds to Mars premiered the epic video for "Closer to the Edge," a far-reaching, all-encompassing affair that was shot in 89 cities in 27 different countries on the band's Into the Wild Tour.
Featuring emotional interviews with 30STM fans, copious amounts of thunderous live footage and an inspirational "We are family" message, "Closer" is certainly everything the band's so-called Echelon could've hoped for, and probably a little bit more. But the release of the clip also raises a rather interesting question: What ever happened to 30 Seconds to Mars' other big-idea, even-bigger-scope music video, "This Is War"?
After all, "War" was the second single released off the band's album of the same name, peaking at #1 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart and even cracking the Hot 100. And back in April, 30STM frontman Jared Leto spoke at length about the accompanying video, which saw the band don military fatigues and brandish real assault rifles as members of a combat battalion on patrol in the desert. Working with director Edouard Salier, Leto said that 30STM hoped to create a thoroughly epic clip that explored "the inevitability of conflict, the blessing of conflict, and what we can learn from it.
"A lot of people are going to interpret this piece in a lot of different ways," he added. "And hopefully it will start some debates and some conversations."
Leto was clearly enthused, and so were his bandmates, even going so far as to send MTV News a series of behind-the-scenes pictures taken on-set. And though there was no firm release date for the "War" video back in April, Leto said that 30STM had shot it before kicking off the U.S. leg of their Into the Wild Tour, presumably with the hopes of having it completed by the time that run of shows wrapped. In mid-March, the band released a pair of teaser trailers for the video, promising, "The War Is Coming."
And yet, "War" still hasn't come. 30 Seconds to Mars have finished the first U.S. leg of their tour, and will begin a second run of Stateside shows next month. And considering the release of "Closer to the Edge," it would seem that everyone has forgotten about the "This Is War" video. Everyone, that is, except for Jared Leto.
Earlier this month, when MTV News spoke to him about 30STM's four Video Music Award nominations, we asked him about the status of the "War" clip, and just why it was being held up. And though he didn't go into great detail about the nature of the delay, he assured us that the video will still see the light of day, somehow.
" 'This Is War' has taken so long that I shot, edited and finished another video before it was even finished," Leto said, referring to "Closer to the Edge." " 'This Is War' is the first video that I let someone else direct, and let's just say we won't be doing that again anytime soon. It's a work in progress. We're still working on it, and it's like we're waiting for the kidney ... it's on the helicopter, on ice, and as soon as we get it, we're going to rush to surgery."
So, the short answer is: Leto and company are still working on "This Is War." The long story, well, it sounds a lot more involved than that. A spokesperson for 30 Seconds to Mars' label, Virgin/EMI, did not respond to MTV News' request for comment on the "This Is War" video. And an e-mail to Salier seeking comment was not returned by press time.
Are you hoping the "This Is War" video will see the light of day? Let us know in the comments!