Last year, when 30 Seconds to Mars were still laboring on This Is War, more than a few eyebrows were raised when Kanye West posted a photo on his blog of him, Jared Leto and the Killers’ Brandon Flowers in the studio, where the trio had apparently just finished recording a “dope-ass song.”
Later, Leto explained to MTV News that the “dope-ass song” was called “Hurricane,” and it featured West singing, minus the Auto-Tune he’d been dabbling with at the time (there was no mention of Flowers’ involvement). It sounded like a promising collaboration, but, sadly, fans never actually got to hear it: When This Is War hit stores, “Hurricane” was on there, but West’s work wasn’t.
Leto explained that the band had to remove Kanye from the track at the last minute, due to some rather restrictive deadlines and a lot of back-and-forth between record labels, but he and his 30STM mates were so impressed with West’s contributions that they pledged that someday, somehow, the song would see the light of day.
And, as it turns out, they kept their promise. On November 2, 30STM will release a deluxe edition of This Is War, featuring a DVD, a pair of live tracks recorded for the BBC (including a version of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”) and, at long last, the full, Kanye West-ified version of “Hurricane.” It’s been a long time in the making, but, as Leto told MTV News on Friday (September 24), the song is worth the wait.
“Let’s put it this way: It’s a collision of two worlds, and I think it’s a completely unexpected surprise. He’s not only on the track, but he’s phenomenal on the track. … It’s one of the strongest things that he’s done, in my opinion,” he said. “His singing is incredible on it, and he’s done a lot of really wonderful work, and I think this only adds to his work as a whole. … Working with him was an incredible experience.”
Leto said the new/old version of “Hurricane” (he prefers to call it “an alternative experience”) doesn’t stray all that far from the version that ended up on This Is War — they’re both decidedly bleak ruminations on death and lust and sacrifice — but it does feature West getting darker than he’s ever gotten before.
“It was an interesting time. … I remember, he started here at the house, where we made the record, and then we finished in Hawaii,” Leto said. “It is a song that’s on the darker side of things. It’s the flipside of ‘Kings and Queens’ — which has a through line of optimism and hope, and a really strong spirit to it — this song explores a different territory, and his lyrics do the same.”
Leto added that, if it were up to him and West, the song would’ve ended up on the original version of This Is War, but now that 30STM are gearing up to shoot a video for the track , it does present a rather interesting opportunity — perhaps a cameo by Kanye?
“I think that would be an interesting element to add for sure,” Leto laughed. “We’ll just have to see.”
Are you happy the Kanye/30STM collabo is finally seeing the light of day? Let us know in the comments!