Jared Leto had plans for a summer vacation. Instead, he ended up making a music video.
“It was going to be the first-ever planned summer vacation of my entire adult life. I blacked out the time and said I was going to do it, and then, lo and behold, it went from an overzealous three weeks, to two weeks, then a week, then five days, then nothing,” he laughed. “But, in exchange, I have this beautiful little film. I got these experiences with these people I’ll never forget, so it’s a fine trade-off for me.”
That “beautiful little film” is Thirty Seconds To Mars’ “Do Or Die,” the spiritual sequel to their stirring 2010 live clip for “Closer to the Edge.” It was filmed during the band’s globe-spanning summer tour, and, like “Closer,” features heart-wrenching interviews with members of the Echelon.
So, in a sense, it is a love-letter to Mars’ fans … but, as is often the case with this band, “Do Or Die” is also something more.
“So much has changed about us, about our audience, about our shows, so I wanted that to be a part of it, also. Most of the interviews, I did myself, so they’re really intimate. It’s me, it’s them, and it’s the camera,” Leto explained. “What I’ve found is, that if you talk to everybody long enough, you find an incredible story. Every single person has a moment in their life, something that they’ve found a solution for, a story to tell. Some are funny, some are really intriguing, and if you ask the right questions, you get interesting answers.”
One of the most touching moments comes at the very beginning of the video, where Leto speaks with a German fan he’d previously met in Berlin, who told him that his father had recently passed away … and he’d played a Thirty Seconds To Mars song at his funeral.
Weeks later, almost by chance, Leto ran into him once again, at a Mars show in Austria. And, on a whim, he decided to have him tell his story once again, this time on camera. And though he’d interview hundreds of fans at Mars’ shows over the next few months, this story stuck with him throughout. Which is why he chose it to lead off the new video.
“At the show in Austria, where there were tens of thousands of people, and I ran into him and interviewed him; he was the first interview of the summer, and he shared this story about losing his father, and what it taught him, it was really an organic and serendipitous and beautiful way to begin,” Leto said. “He shared a really personal part of himself and we’re really grateful to him, and that continued throughout all the interviews … this is basically a document to how we spent our summer; not just us, but all of our amazing fans.”