At last year’s Video Music Awards, 30 Seconds to Mars wreaked havoc on the white carpet , very nearly blinded drummer Shannon Leto with a “glitter bomb” and took home the award for Best Rock Video — all within the span of roughly three hours. Needless to say, it was a night they’ll remember for a long time.
Now that their epic, ultra-NSFW “Hurricane” video has been nominated for a trio of awards — Best Cinematography, Best Direction and Best Editing — at the 2011 VMAs, how do they plan to top last year’s madness? Well, for starters, they’re going to show up.
“I’m not sure if the technical awards are even on the show, but we definitely plan on being there. We’re in Ireland the night before, so it will be a last-minute sort of thing,” frontman Jared Leto told MTV News. “I’m not sure what’ll happen after that. But there’s no way we’d miss the show. It’s incredibly humbling and exciting to be acknowledged, especially for a very controversial clip like ‘Hurricane,’ that was banned from a lot of networks to start with. It’s great to have it come full-circle and be recognized in this way.”
And that controversy — the “Hurricane” clip had to be drastically cleaned up to even be considered at most networks — is just part of the video’s mystique. Because more than any of the projects Leto pours his heart into, this one was a true labor of love.
“It was a very DIY project. It wasn’t like, ‘OK, here’s your two days to shoot, you got your crew and everything’s professional.’ It was very much a guerrilla-style effort, very much a sculpture of sight and sound that we built, and it was great to go through that process that way,” Leto explained. “We shot three days in New York, and then I kept shooting and shooting and shooting. I shot many cities around the states and outside the states. We were editing on the bus. I had a great team of people that helped me on this and many other things. [Videos are] as important to us as the songs themselves. I spend as much time on these little mini-movies as I do on the songs themselves.
“I wish there was an award for doing the most with the least. We would’ve won that one, for sure,” he laughed. “We ended up with almost a 14-minute piece, and then another seven to 10 other clips that explored other characters and themes in addition to the video itself.”
So, yes, 30 Seconds to Mars will be there on August 28, when the VMAs air live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. And while they might not bring any glitter this time around, they’ll definitely be hoping to repeat the other part of last year’s show: winning.
“Being nominated is great, winning is even better, but at the end of the day, it’s the work that’s really the most important, and the people who are enjoying it,” Leto said. “The acknowledgement of the project is really great.”
The 28th annual MTV Video Music Awards will air live on Sunday, August 28, from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles at 9 p.m. ET/PT. See the list of nominees, revisit last year’s highlights and vote for your favorites in the general categories by visiting VMA.MTV.com.