Like most things involving his band, Jared Leto's idea to gun for the Guinness Book of World Records was born out of one part determination, one part mania — and a whole lot of sleep deprivation.
"It was my idea. I'm the guilty party here," he laughed. "But people started to ask us, with an incredulous look, What the f--- is wrong with you? or they would kind of look at us and be like, 'You guys are still on tour?' And it started to seep in that maybe this was a little bit crazy. And then I remember as a kid, I was a big fan of the Guinness Book of World Records ... so I just started thinking, Maybe we should take a shot at it. "
So they did, and on Wednesday night (December 7), with a sold-out concert at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom, 30 Seconds to Mars will officially set a Guinness World Record for most shows performed during a single album cycle. It's the 300th they've played in support of their This Is War album, and yes, though they're very tired, they're also quite honored to hold the record for the world's longest-running road dogs.
"I used to love the [Guinness] Book, you know, world's fattest twins or world's longest fingernails, and so it's fun to think we're a part of something that was a part of our childhood," Leto said. "Plus, it's Mars history, and something fun for us to do and another chance for us to stop, take note, say thank you to the people that have shared the journey and helped to take our dreams and make them reality."
Though the record-setting show is sold out, fans from around the world can still witness the band make history through VyRT.com, an interactive site that will stream the Hammerstein gig in all its glory. Once the show is completed, 30STM will play a pair of low-key benefit performances at New York's St. Peter's church, and then, finally, their schedules will be clear. And no, they're not quite sure what they'll do with all that free time.
"I think the most time we've had off over the past two years has been, maybe, two weeks, and we shot a video during that time," Leto laughed. "It's almost like taking away your wife or newborn baby and then saying, 'OK, go and live another life.' It's become such a deep, intrinsic part of our daily grind. ... It may not be as easy as we've all been assuming, but whatever it is ... it will be a step towards a really different future."
A future that includes more Mars music? Well, that remains to be seen. For this week, at least, 30 Seconds to Mars aren't thinking about what lies ahead; they're remembering everything that's led them to this point. After all, it's been quite a journey, to say the very least.
"It's a new beginning; that's always really strange, exciting, uncomfortable but important. We all know you close one door and another one can open, but I think the future of 30 Seconds to Mars, as undetermined as things may be right now, it's still very exciting," Leto said. "There are a lot of projects under that banner; music is one, and we're also really grateful, and this week is about sharing that with everyone as we say goodbye and thank everyone for the most amazing journey we've ever experienced in our lives. We'll always look back at this time as one of the most important and impactful periods of our creative lives, ever."
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