As an honorary member of the Echelon, it is a huge relief to finally be able to say that Thirty Seconds To Mars’ “MTV Unplugged” performance is (finally) just one day away. But before we reveal the entire “Unplugged” show, which includes dramatic renditions of much-beloved Thirty Seconds To Mars classics (though really, which Thirty Seconds To Mars songs aren’t much-beloved?) like “Kings And Queens,” “Closer To The Edge,” “Night Of The Hunter” and “Hurricane,” as well a cover of U2’s “Where The Streets Have No Name” with the assist of a gospel choir — we’ve got an exhaustive collection of interviews with Jared Leto, Shannon Leto and Tomo Mili?evi? shot in the band’s dressing room just moments after they finished their soon-to-be legendary “Unplugged” set.
+ Watch Thirty Seconds To Mars interviews after the jump:
And speaking of exhaustive, if the band was a little groggy after days of back-to-back “Unplugged” rehearsals leading up to an exacting taping where they spent hours perfecting each song, inviting the audience to lend their voices in resplendent multipart harmonies, well they certainly didn’t show it. Instead of packing up (or passing out) and taking off, Thirty Seconds To Mars spent a generous amount of time backstage with Kevin Manno and me, discussing what went into creating their unmissable “Unplugged” performance.
“Jared really led the way like, let’s turn these around… turn them on their head,” Tomo said of the band’s re-creating their material for “Unplugged,” which also included a collaboration with the Vitamin String Quartet. “They were really open and collaborative,” Jared enthused. “They were really fluid and in the moment and improvisational.”
Thirty Seconds To Mars also revealed the painstaking process of deciding which song to cover, considering “everything from Cyndi Lauper to Zamfir the pan flautist, Eminem, Fleetwood Mac,” Jared said. A Dolly Parton song even made it onto the table before they decided upon U2’s “Where The Streets Have No Name.” (Note: Thirty Seconds To Mars did not cover Dolly Parton, though the video clip below may be the first and hopefully not the last time you’ll hear them sing a verse of “9 To 5,” complete with Jared’s impromptu robot dance.)
And a band famous for their intense connection with their Echelon fanbase didn’t fail to credit their fan family with helping complete the surreal, revealing picture that was their “Unplugged” performance, which was a mini Echelon convention, as Jared put it. “It was the church of Mars tonight… It was great to be collaborative with our family of freaks and fans,” he said.
Watch Thirty Seconds To Mars interviews from the set of “MTV Unplugged,” watch a sneak peek of their “MTV Unplugged” performance of “Hurricane” and don’t miss the premiere of “MTV Unplugged: Thirty Seconds To Mars” Tuesday, July 19, at 8 p.m. ET on MTV.com.
+ Thirty Seconds To Mars On Their “MTV Unplugged” Performance
+ Thirty Seconds To Mars On Reworking Their Music
+ Thirty Seconds To Mars On “Unplugged” Cover Songs
+ Thirty Seconds To Mars On The Echelon
+ Thirty Seconds To Mars On Echelon Theme Nights