Thirty Seconds to Mars: From Raging Success to Fan Exploitive Mess

Music progression. We are all well and truly aware that it has to happen at one point or another. Bands can’t produce the same album over and over again because they’ll be criticized by fans and peers for “staying safe” and not challenging themselves musically. We’ve seen enough evidence in this with bands like Parkway Drive, Bring Me The Horizon and even Metallica for example. Then you’ve got the bands who start off with a sound that attracts one audience, builds additional fans with their follow up albums and somewhere along the line proceeds to completely (in a way) shit on that original following by releasing music so far removed from their original sound, it almost seems like it’s more of a piss-take than something to be taken seriously.

Then you’ve got Thirty Seconds to Mars. A band I have been appreciating the sounds of since the very early years of their 30 Seconds To Mars/A Beautiful Lie album eras, mainly because I was first a fan of Jared Leto, the actor, from movies like Urban Legend, Requiem for a Dream and Lord of War to name a few. Upon hearing he was in a band that actually had a heavy rock sound behind them, I was in awe and completely drawn into them and everything they stood for.

 

Back in 2005, I remember calling my local radio station (90.9 Sea Fm on the Gold Coast) and requesting/demanding they send me a copy of the new 30STM album A Beautiful Lie because I was too poor to buy it myself and that album changed my life. It was the first time I showed my friends a band they hadn’t heard of before and they actually appreciated the music too. At that time the members included Jared’s brother Shannon Leto on drums, Tomo Miličević on guitar and Matt Wachter on bass. The awesome-foursome as us members of the Echelon (30STM fanbase) used to refer to them as. I remember whoring the album in all of our cars when you used to be young, careless and free driving around pointlessly as a teenager and to this day I still haven’t managed to perfect Jared’s scream from their completely underrated opening track ‘Attack‘.

 

The band had just started making BIG waves in Australia in 2006 following the release of ‘The Kill (Bury Me)‘ as a single which stayed in the ARIA Charts for 13 weeks straight and it wasn’t long before they made their way down to Australia for the very first time in support of A Beautiful Lie alongside Angela’s Dish in 2007, playing Festival Hall in Melbourne, Hordern Pavilion in Sydney (after moving from Luna Park’s Big Top due to overwhelming support) and the small and shitty venue The Arena in Brisbane. Prior to this Matt Wachter departed the band to spend more time with his family, only to pop up a few months later in Angels & Airwaves alongside Tom Delonge. Being an AvA fan myself I was also supportive of this move, regardless of the fact he dogged his former bandmates in the process before I got the chance to see him live.

Times were tough back then, long before buying tickets online like we do nowadays we had to do the old “waiting in line at Ticketek at 2am the night before to make sure we got tickets” trick. The shows (from memory) sold out and upon arriving at Brisbane’s gig, there were swarms of fans lining up down the street at The Arena in Fortitude Valley. That performance was one of the best experiences I’d had (having only been to my first gig two years prior) because the band met fans backstage after the show signing merch and shaking hands. From that moment I dedicated myself to them, buying up merch, promoting them via MySpace, supporting their activism/conservation plans after drawing attention to the melting ice caps in the Arctic Circle in their ‘A Beautiful Liemusic video and spreading the word about them to those who would listen… Speaking of, also check out the song ‘Battle of One‘ which served as a hidden track on the album and really showed the potential they had as an upcoming heavy band.

 

 

Then came the standout, career-defining album This Is War in 2009 which catapulted the band to an international scale level and spawned the singles ‘Kings & Queens‘, ‘Closer to the Edge‘, ‘This Is War‘ and ‘Hurricane‘. It also spawned one of the biggest fights the band would be involved in when their former label Virgin Records filed a breach of contract lawsuit and sued them for $30 Million (funny that) after they failed to produce the five albums they were obliged to record as per their 1999 contract with the now defunct Immortal Records. Long story short, because that label flopped and was bought out by Virgin, Jared fought his case saying the contract should have then become null and void. You can catch up all the drama that unfolded in the band’s 2012 documentary movie Artifact which took fans behind the scenes of their legal battles, the music industry and showed them the extreme and heartbreaking ways labels take control over bands and musicians with unfair and almost illegal contracts. The film won the ‘People’s Choice Award’ for Best Documentary at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival and was a surprise, eye-opening doco I think every music fan should watch.

 

During that time, you may remember Thirty Seconds to Mars broke the Guinness World Record for the ‘most live shows during an album cycle‘ with a total of 300 performances including a couple trips to Australia for shows in Sydney and Melbourne and their Soundwave Festival slots in 2011. I was lucky enough to meet the band for a second time during an interview I assisted with which took place backstage at Soundwave in Brisbane and this time around the band seemed less enthusiastic to meet a real fan, compared to their previous visit to Australia. I remember barely getting a word out of Shannon, Jared let me shake his elbow instead of his hand as he was sick, totally understandable by the way, and Tomo was the best of all, offering a handshake or two and a photo opportunity. He even invited us to watch the band perform side stage during their late afternoon slot which hands down, is still one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had working in the music industry. I immediately went and got a tattoo dedicated to the band two days later to prove my loyalty moving forward. Shout out to Andrew Dobbins @DobZombe for the footage below, if you look close enough you can see me crying on stage to the left-hand side behind Tomo.

 

Now, this is where the story takes an interesting turn. It wasn’t long after this moment that things started to get… well, weird is one way to put it, with 30STM becoming more of a business/brand than a band. I remember Jared flogging off drawings he did called Creeps and they weren’t anything flash, mainly just scribbles he had done and people were paying through the teeth for them. I have to admit at one point I was looking at spending $150 of my own money on one before I came to my senses. There’s a full website you can go to and still purchase them, if you want, but that was the start of what seemed to me, like a money grab from one of the biggest bands in the world at the time. Can’t go without mentioning Jared’s own JL Merch site containing items of clothing with his “signature sayings” on them…

Don’t get me wrong, I understand being in a band, you need to make money any way you can, touring and merch can only get you so far, but when you have a name behind you like Jared Leto, you know that anything you do is going to draw attention and loyal fans. The band began VyRT sessions which were essentially on-demand, pay-per-view, behind the scenes streams from the band’s studios, lives and even concerts. 30 Seconds to Mars became the first band to virtually stream a gig online via this service which at times would crash and experience very poor connections due to the sheer number of fans trying to get online at the time according to one die-hard fan, Ness from Sydney, Australia who adds:

“VyRT’s first proper thing was a live stream of the Mars X concert in Vegas. It was glitchy, delayed and cut out quite a bit, BUT in my opinion was still worth the money. It was a special thing to be a part of. He (Jared) did attempt to redeem himself and offer it to download and keep at a later stage. I think I still have my copy somewhere.”

“The other VyRTs were mostly at his house just fucking around, playing a couple of songs and cooking pancakes. Wasn’t really a fan of them at all, especially those that needed to be paid for.”

 

I myself never took part in one of these streamings or showed an interest in the band’s Camp Mars, Summer Camp experiences where you meet up with fellow Echelon/Mars fans and the band may drop by for a visit. To me, that was the final nail in the coffin for getting involved in the band’s merch/experience side of things which came across more like a fan exploitation and money grab thing rather than a fun, enjoyable experience.

My last experience of actually enjoying 30 Seconds to Mars‘ music came in 2013 during my time in Orange, NSW as a breakfast radio announcer when I managed to track down their brand new single ‘Up In The Air‘ and play it for the very first time on Australian radio. I got a shout out from the band’s twitter account (I’m sure it was their manager) and I was stoked. Their new album Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams was set for release on May 21st and the first single, although different from their previous albums, was a welcoming change and I thought the rest of the album would be just as good, if not better than this release… boy how wrong I was.

 

The album, was good at best. Featuring overly produced songs like ‘City of Angels‘ and well, that’s about all I remember from the whole album. I tried my hardest to appreciate it because, apart from blink-182, this was one of my favourite bands who I had been following for close to a decade and throughout my time working in commercial radio, these guys produced countless bangers and catchy AF number one hits. I just wasn’t feeling anything from what they had released. Now before you go on to say I should be accepting of what they were trying to do, moving forward progressively as a band, I had already accepted this change with This Is War when they left behind any connection to the post-hardcore/emo/alt-rock band they were back in the Beautiful Lie saga, this just wasn’t that band I once knew and loved.

 

In theory, they were an unstoppable force, but by this point, their artistic desire to change and try new things had lost me as a fan. I didn’t listen to LLFD after this and still to this day haven’t played anything from it until posting the above video. But I held out hope that maybe they’d return to their rock/heavy roots, especially last year when I saw they had a new album coming out after a long five-year wait. ‘Walk on Water‘ was the first sample of what was to come and at first, it had elements of their This Is War album which was fine with me because that album still rules to this day due to the number of experiences I had that came from it. In the lyrics Jared yells (not screams) “Times Are Changing” and to me, unfortunately, that was the first warning sign this album wasn’t going to reflect on where the band has come from and their past but focus on yet another direction filled with synth, choir-like backing vocals and overproduced autotune.

The last time I was so critical of an album for being so different was with Linkin Park‘s One More Light (my review here) and I’ve admitted in the past that I no longer hold my grudge against the album due to the nature of the lyrical content and it’s association with the consequential and tragic passing of frontman Chester Bennington. 

If you or anyone you know needs help with their own mental well-being call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636

From that moment on I decided to listen to all the aspects of an album, not just how it sounds, but the meaning behind the songs OR the way I interpret them (as most bands want you to connect it to something in your life, not theirs). However, upon hearing ‘Dangerous Night‘, the second single from Thirty Seconds To Mars‘ new album America (Out Now), I just could not get into it. And right now as I sit here with the album playing in the background while I write this, there has not been one single stand out track where I’ve thought, “holy shit that’s good!!” or “wow, that’s impressive“. Even when it comes to their various album artworks, it’s like they’re not even trying anymore.

 

But don’t just take my word for it, I wouldn’t dare class myself as an ultimate fan or “Stans” as they’re called these days, you know, the ones who lap up everything thrown in front of them and dedicate their time and energy into following everything the band does, below is a collection of 30STM Echelon members who have shared their opinions online of the band’s new album and progression to where they are today:

  • Athena M. – This video was cool because it has you thinking about Mars’ previous albums and you think “yes, one of the best rock bands ever is back”! And then you hear that song at the end (Rescue Me) and it’s such a let down. R.I.P 30STM. It was great being an Echelon when all that mattered was the music.
  • Ness V. – I feel like I’m mourning the loss of 30STM and inadvertently purchased tickets to the new “Jared Leto and friends Show.”
  • Barry L. – Ok I’ve listened to it now and I’m disappointed. Way too much auto tune. Jared can sing so why is this so used on this album. Bands change I know but this is not the TSTM that I know and love. Sorry guys not your best work. You’re a rock band, where’s the energy, where’s the power gone? Compared to A Beautiful Lie this record is so poor.
  • Robert S. – Maybe a couple decent tracks. You guys have given up. Great wide open literally has the same opening as bright lights. There are glimpses of great music, but dragged down by over production, and lazy writing. You guys are better than this

So how can a band with so much potential, on top of the world and at the top of their game, just completely lose everything in a few short years? To go from being one of the most sought-after acts, to sounding just like anything/everything else you hear on radio and tv at the moment. A band with a “no fucks given” and “fight until you die” mentality, caught up in a world of money-hungry fame and exploitation of those who love and cherish them dearly. And last but certainly not least, ‘WHERE THE FUCK IS TOMO?

Take a look at the album teaser below where Jared states this “could be their last chance to share their art with the world” and tell me why their longtime guitarist and member Tomo Miličević is absent, nowhere to be seen except for one shot of the band on stage from a previous tour. He’s also been very quiet on social media lately and as fans would know, this is very uncommon for him as he’s usually quite the active tweeter, but considering there’s not even one mention of the band’s new album or press for it on his twitter account, I’d say this leans towards indicating his departure from the band…

 

I have no doubt this could be the beginning of the end for Thirty Seconds to Mars. Their fifth album America is out now (grab a copy here if you want) and is receiving mixed reviews from fans, mainly negative from most accounts I’ve come across, so if this is really it and they do call it quits following their upcoming tour, as a fan, will you be happy with the way it’s ended?

I sure as hell won’t.

30 seconds to mars - america album

Thirty Seconds to Mars – America tracklisting

1. Walk On Water
2. Dangerous Night
3. Rescue Me
4. One Track Mind (feat. A$AP Rocky)
5. Monolith
6. Love Is Madness (feat. Halsey)
7. Great Wide Open
8. Hail To The Victor
9. Dawn Will Rise
10. Remedy
11. Live Like A Dream
12. Rider

Rating: 2/10
America is Out Now via Interscope Records. Grab a copy here
Opinion Piece by Browny @brownypaul

About brownypaul (1321 Articles)
Dad, Wall of Sound Owner/Editorial Manager, Triple M Brisbane Radio Guy, Obsessed Blink-182 Fan & Professional Beard Grower! Definitely NOT a Hipster!

30 Comments on Thirty Seconds to Mars: From Raging Success to Fan Exploitive Mess

  1. As scathing as this review is, I completely agree with you and think you nailed it. I was there from the beginning of 30STM and even got a tattoo, just like you. I bought into their whole image and sound and was also a proud member of the Echelon. I was fortunate enough to meet Jared and Shannon a couple of times and they were both friendly and gracious, even appreciative of my involvement in the “Mars Amy” and my love for their work. Something seems to have happened around the time of A Beautiful Lie/This is War, which ironically is also around the time they got extremely popular. Coincidence? This is the time where they started to heavily promote fan involvement; getting fans to sing background to their songs, getting fans to appear on their artwork (TIW) and so on. They were no longer a band, but an exploitative ego machine. To me it was from here that it felt like it was no longer about the music, but more about pushing their own agendas (money?), egos, and trying to make the fans feel like they were part of something special. If you make the fans feel like they’re part of some clique and special group, they’ll have no problem handing over hundreds of dollars right? Remember the ridiculous “meet and greet” packages they sold for hundreds of dollars? Showing up, throwing out a quick handshake and a ridiculously quick photo opportunity and moving on? Remember the 14 minute long “From Yesterday” video showing ridiculously unnecessary topless shots of Jared? The global warming agenda of the “A Beautiful Lie” video? Jared now had a stage he could use to fuel his ego machine, and boy did he use it.

    Exploitation aside, I’m really not sure what happened to them musically. Bands evolve, mature and change direction – of that I can’t argue. But here it seems like from ABL/TIW onwards they spent less effort on the music and more effort on the ego and exploitation machine. Push out any old bullshit record and fans will still buy it, right? This latest release seems like a bunch of tracks randomly thrown together, and tracks that could’ve been written in hours. Jared himself admits some of these tracks were written YEARS ago (probably ones that didn’t make the cut on the last record). Did they just rehash old stuff in order to fulfil contractual obligations? Have they just stopped caring? Is this one final cash-grab before they announce the end of 30STM?

    Whatever happens, it’s a shame things have developed this way. I don’t think there are many fans out there who can deny that their last 2 albums are nowhere near as “good” as their first 3. If this is genuinely the direction the band wanted to go, musically, then I applaud their conviction and effort. That said, they seem to have lost everything that made them 30STM in the first place.

    RIP 30 Seconds to Mars.

  2. brownypaul // April 7, 2018 at 7:01 am // Reply

    And you nailed it with this response too. Seeing the “so called” fans say they love it, I know they’re stroking egos. You can’t be a long term fan of the band and say this new album resembles anything from their past. Its like you said, a money making idea with some music in between. Such a shame too because those first three albums were game changers.

  3. How about adding some positive reviews from echelon. I reckon this album is awesome and as much as its not alternative music its now number 1 on our alt Aussie charts tonight. You work on Triple M and this isn’t your style of music to play so I’m wondering how much of there older music you play on your station Probably nothing.

    • Hi Eva, at the time I was searching through Echelon fanbases for “true” fan opinions and not the ones who jumped on board over the last two albums. The album it more like the pop trash on mainstream commercial radio stations. Yes, I work for Triple M but I’m not in charge of the music. A true representation of the music I choose to play is on my podcasts on this website. Check them out if you get time, it’s more of what I want to do and I’ve played Mars a couple of times since launching last year (only their older stuff).

  4. I have to agree on some levels! Yes I love the more hard rock styles of the first albums but that is when a band in todays world can be most free! When studios get ahold of a band they will make the album more marketable to a bigger audience and not the niche market that is hard rock! It’s sad but true!! I do agree the over-produced auto tune stuff is not even needed!! Jared’s voice and now Shannon’s are great! I still love the band and always will! I feel they are more creative than a lot out there and I like some tracks on America! I will still continue to follow them and see them on tour because I can’t wait to see what’s next!! I love these guys and wish Tomo was still here and maybe he will be again!! Bands have to recreate their sound and themselves and JARED is great at that, but a little touch of what got them to where they are wouldn’t be bad!

    • Love your opinion Kori, I agree that bands need to change and develop but there’s only so far you can go before people tend to turn off and those people are the ones who have been with this band for years. I don’t agree they are more creative now, it doesn’t take a band with the experience to grab a “hot right now” producer or songwriter and jump in a room together to smash out a pop song, similar to everything else on the radio. Seriously most songs on the radio sound so similar due to this. 30STM have always been better than that, leaders of their own style and fight. Now it’s like they’ve just given up and their hearts aren’t all collectively 100% into the project anymore. If this was a Jared Leto side project/solo album, yes it would be great (not my thing, but I can appreciate it). But attaching the 30STM band name to it was the wrong idea.

  5. latebar7609 // April 10, 2018 at 4:13 am // Reply

    Wow, it’s like you looked inside my head. I could have written this myself. You are so spot on. I’ve been a fan since the first album. I was okay with TIW but LLF&D was just TIW part two and I was over it at that point. Like you, when I heard they were making a new album I got excited and thought they may go back to their rock roots. Sadly, no. The only good song on this new album is Remedy. It’s got passion, heart, and substance. The only song on the album that does have any of that. When Jared won the Oscar, I said “this is the beginning of the end of 30 Seconds to Mars”. Tomo? This is typical of Jared remain secretive and give a bullshit statement. We’ll eventually get another one saying something along the lines of Tomo pursuing new musical endeavors or going in a different direction. Well, let’s see, Tomo plays guitar and there’s a distinct lack of guitar on this album so yeah he probably is. Plus I saw a livestream where Tomo was saying “rock music is boring now. I listen to hip hop.” As he said it you could see he wanted to say more but couldn’t. Seeing what this band has become makes me truly sad.

    • I’ve been getting that a lot haha but I guess us 30STM fans really think alike hey. I didn’t see it when Jared won the Oscar as him going full ego man, maybe I held out hope that he would use this opportunity to go back to earlier roots and bring in a whole bunch of new fans who like that older sound… I was wrong, again haha The whole Tomo situation has been handled so poorly it’s almost laughable now how they’re just sticking their heads in the sand about it all.

      • latebar7609 // April 10, 2018 at 8:06 am // Reply

        Oh I saw it when he won the Oscar. I knew what he was going to be like. You can see the progression over the years. I figure this is the last album because it satisfies their contractual obligations and that’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s frustrating because I know what they are capable of and I can’t believe it took them three years to come up with this.
        As far as Tomo, I expected different then I’m reminded of Matt’s departure and he was erased from existence. I hope I’m wrong but I think he’s done.

        • Yeah the whole Matt thing was weird when I think back to it, but I think that was on him, he was asked to join AvA and left for that reason using the “family excuse” as a reason. I’ve seen heaps of musicians pull that card only to pop up in bands or other projects shortly after.

  6. Rosa Bernard // April 10, 2018 at 7:35 am // Reply

    In ways I agree with you they dint sound the same and there is a lot of autotune. I swear some of the song I could dance to and create steps. I honestly like the album but I’m not a huge fan like that I know lots of their song but this would be the first album I buy. I have been an huge fan of Jared Leto since age of 12 when I first saw him on my so called life, then in movies and the his music. I think they are very talented bad jared and shannon are two talented brothers but I think is time to let go and look for new projects. My peers believe that 30 seconds to mars is a big ass cult family and Jared believe he is jesus lmao but they dint understand them like we do lmao. Let’s see how this album really do in a couple of months or the amount of people that would go to their concert.

    • The cult comment is real, even the Jared is Jesus statement you made. We all grew up, making friends and discussing why we loved this band in the Echelon. We were a family and we did what the band asked of us, now, when we see the light from an outsiders perspective, it really does feel like it was a cult and for too long we had been blinded by our love for the band, regardless of how it made us feel. I still think people will go to shows, they put on an amazing performance every time, but as for new music, I think most of us are about ready to give up on them…

  7. Debbie Anderson // April 10, 2018 at 9:35 am // Reply

    Brownypaul………a waste of words and my time……don’t let the door hit u in the bum on the way out!!!!!

    • Hey Debbie, thanks for stopping by and sharing your opinion even if doesn’t fit in with the rest of whats going on.
      Always appreciated. – Browny

  8. Spot on analysis. Maybe new fans can dig this album but I can’t believe for one second that those who jumped and touched the sky in previous tours find this palatable. Such a low effort, no artistic vision, nothing that inspires anyone. Bands do whatever they want, and there will be fans swooning over them no matter what. But this is the end of the road for those who were in it for the music and the message.

  9. Your review hits the nail on the head.

    I first got into 30STM after a UK rock mag posted a damning review of their first live show in London back in 2002/3. I was too young and naive to attend any of their shows at the time. However, once I realised it was Jared Leto’s band I decided to check their music out. Went straight to my local HMV and bought their self titled.

    I’ll admit I never appreciated the first album much. Initially listening to it I found it heavy and weirdly progressive.
    My tween brain wasn’t used to that kind of music… yet.
    I put the cd in the cupboard and never thought about it much after that.

    Fast forward to ‘A Beautiful Lie’. About two years later and my musical tastes had changed vastly. I was listening to a wide range of progressive bands and alternative music. (I was a huge MCR fan). When ‘ABL’ dropped I was hooked! I gave their first album another chance and it was fantastic. I could finally appreciate their first album in way I hadn’t before.

    I had friends who were part of the Echelon. I never fully engrossed myself into the fan base but I could appreciated their love and dedication nonetheless.

    I tried to get tickets for then when they played Taste of Chaos in 2006/7 but missed out. I did manage to finally see them in early 2008 when they finally toured London with ‘ABL’. That was a great show and I loved every minute. The aesthetic was great and the band actually performed, they even treated the audience to a couple of tracks from the first album. Talk about joy.

    Over the years I saw them every single time they came to London and once in Scotland. I got the opportunity to meet them all during an acoustic Radio One live lounge they were doing in London. I met Tomo a couple more times after that and he was extremely gracious and friendly. He seemed to appreciate the fans no matter how big they band was becoming.

    I did enjoy ‘This is War’. Obviously, it’s more harmonized then say their previous albums but I enjoyed the change of sound. The whole album is an epic soundscape. That tour was good but crack began to show through.

    I started noticing ticket prices were higher and now they were offering ridiculous VIP packaged that I deemed unfair… the prices were crazy.
    When I saw them during their ‘TIW’ tour in November 2010 at the O2, I was done. I spent a lot on a ticket only to watch a show where the band barely performed.

    Jared spent more time ooooh-ing and aaaah-ing and making the damn audience sing all the time. He wasn’t feeling the music or appreciating the audience… it felt like he was playing a role. I left that show absolutely disheartened and discouraged from ever seeing them again.

    I did see them again at Reading Festival in 2011. I figured as it was a festival they might actually make some effort. I mean Reading is notorious for bottling bands that don’t cut the mark…
    Well, to be frank the show wasn’t great either. The set list was short but extended because all he did was make phonetic noises and jump around. He barely sang and the audience did most of the singing. That was the last time I would see them live.

    I’ve barely listened to ‘Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams’ and when I do I cannot get into it at all. There are maybe one or two song that have ‘TIW’ potential but mostly it’s not a great album.

    Don’t even get me started on ‘America’… I’ve listened to two tracks so far and I can say without a doubt they are milking it now. Five years for this autotuned concoction… so disappointing and overproduced. They’ve lost that spark that made them unique and interesting.

    Maybe in a few years I can try and listen to the last two albums and appreciate them but I doubt it.

    I feel sorry for newer fans who missed out on the opportunity to see and hear the band at their best.
    I know of some hard-core Echoleon fans who are just as discouraged as we are. Even ones who followed every tour and appeared in their music videos aren’t liking the band now. Losing Tomo is a nail on the coffin.

    I wish I could say it isn’t the money but everything points to it. I saw live stream of their London show on Facebook recently and it’s the same repetitive act again. I still long for that 2008 show where Jared actually bothered to be a musician.
    Now he just feels like an actor in a poncho pretending to be Zedd.

  10. I haven’t been able to listen to a single song the whole way through except “Remedy” (which is a song Shannon wrote and sings). Tomo’s brother died recently and there are rumors that Vickie is pregnant, but I started worrying about the band when Shannon wasn’t appearing at shows.
    To be fair to Jared (which is hard right now), he gives 200% in the live performances. So much so, his back is so screwed up he takes Ice baths after the shows.
    I’ve been Echelon since 2003, I’ve seen them twice (at the Palms in Vegas, Jared came up to the mezzanine to sing to my daughter since it was her first concert and I bugged everyone to let the band know.) Then there was the show at the Hard Rock (where I talked to Shannon), and Jared was sick, and it was a mess.
    I have tickets for this summer when they come to Hartford (bought long before the album release), and I’m hoping they get their shit together before then. I’d hate to walk out of the concert, but I will.

  11. we all recognize that artists need to grow, but isn’t anyone who is complaining, comparing or leaving, doing the opposite? aren’t you the ones who aren’t growing? i’m not saying like it – give it a fair listen and consider it.

    isn’t jared expresssing what he’s seeing – what alot of us are seeing, in the world? has he mellowed? has he caved to trends? i doubt it. with age and perspective, we realize there’s a different way to fight. it may not appear as energetic as in our youth. it doesn’t mean we’re less passionate – just shaking our heads at the same old fight.

    battle for one – still fires me up but i can say – great wide open equally stirs the emotional soup. i hear the battle cry – ‘won’t you stop? please. let it out, go, time to lay down your arms’; love is madness – that’s not passion? (use of ‘love’ notwithstanding) and shannon’s ‘remedy’ is pure fight, delivered in a soothing voice that if we’re lucky, we’ll get to hear again and again. bravery at its finest. we don’t know what exactly they’re referencing in any song, but i guarantee – it’s not the obvious. if you haven’t noticed, jl is a crafty wordsmith – intentionally.

    we all have to be money making machines. it’s possible/probable that jared is more successful and diverse than most. does that make him a money whore? nope. just a clever, fearless entrepreneur who happens to also be a creative tour de force.

    and tomo? wait and see. every generation has claimed ‘rock is dead’ since the beginning. his voice is loud and clear on twitch and a pre-tour tweet (13 feb )– are you guys getting pumped for this tour or what?!?!?!?!? i’m ready to fucking shred. would he have spent the time rehearsing –new songs included, to drop two days into a tour? no. i miss that crazy mofo and hope that he and his family are well. it would break my heart if he never smiled or played – anywhere, again.

    said without malice, as type has a way of miscontruing tone – you no longer hold your grudge against one more light due to its associations. great. boiling it down – weren’t chester and jared both writing about their current events? how they moved forward is different. sadly, it was still very current for chester. we would all do well to learn from chester’s and chris cornell’s deaths. (as one who has suicide in my family.)

    and while i’m at it – the album art. i see the covers as holding up mirrors to what’s seemingly important, according to those who were polled. a harsh truth with a candy coloured background. paints quite a strong picture, if you ask me. isn’t it human nature to sugar coat the truth? the covers have done exactly what jared always does – getting people to think and talk. that’s the point of art.

    i realize i sound like i’m lovestruck. i kinda am. i don’t consider myself echelon, but a lover of music – from art pepper to ziggy marley and names/genres in between. what jared personally, and the band have accomplished is incredible. one thing is certain – the man on this particular spaceship is doing brilliant things and has done so – for years. all the negative chatter proves it.

    tomo in artifact – jared always talks about it. someday, some kid is going to find a way to do it all themselves.

    maybe we’re seeing one step closer to that.

    jared – i will see you in toronto. at the m+g, too. i can’t fucking wait.

    yeah, a small cute – very polite – canadian girl said that.

  12. I’m totally agree with you. For me, 30 Seconds to Mars finished with LLFD. I listened America and i really want to throw up. There’s a lot of type of change, but this is the worst. (sorry for my English)
    Monica

  13. https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/thirtysecondstomars/index.php Some of us “old school” are alive and well posting once in a while on this old copy/ paste version of the original mars boards. We liked this article as it reflects a lot of our own concerns/ opinions about the band. We would welcome new posts.

  14. The first 4 songs on the album are the prereleased singles. Excited for new music after waiting 5 years and I was very disappointed in the singles. After hearing them, I really didn’t have much hope for the album itself.
    Walk on Water is a cliche track that seems to have been written and recorded for the sole purpose of selling to to the masses as the backdrop for commercials and promos. The pretentious tune is bathed in auto tune and synthetic instruments.

    Dangerous night and rescue me also lack real vocals and actual instruments. It’s a shame. With a little effort they could have been so much more.

    The 4th track, One track mind feat. A$AP Rocky is one I actually enjoyed until A$AP came into the song, squatted and took a C”rap” all over it. I hear the CD version cuts him out, so maybe I’ll change my mind about this one. All 4 of these singles seem forced, poorly delivered and there is a distinct lack of the passion Jared is know for with his voice. The 4 singles are pure propaganda designed for use in nfl commercials and to appeal to all the Jokers and Harley’s that came on board during Suicide Squad.

    Monolith is an amazing instrumental reminiscent of LLFD. Like a tower of hope for this album, Monolith stands tall guarding the entrance to the bridge from LLFD to this New music

    Love is madness. Halsey would not be my first choice for Jared as a female collaborator. I find Halseys voice…hard to listen to. Much like nails on a chalkboard. I really like the song itself, but think Jared could have chosen someone with a better voice.

    Great wide open. I loved this from the second I heard the preview and the main reason I was up after midnight on release day. Just to hear it all the way through. It’s the first song where Jared really sings with that passion we know and love.

    Hail to the victor! Oh, yeah. This one is going to be fun live..

    Dawn will rise…I haven’t managed to make it all the way through this one. Something about it makes me hit the skip button.

    Remedy. The much anticipated Shannon song. There is a lot of feeling behind the lyrics and Shannon does have a really nice voice. It does give us a good look into Shannon’s personal struggles. I found it very repetitive and wonder how many out there are in love with it just because it’s a Shannon song.

    Live like a dream. Very 80’s. And so much like Toto’s Roseanna that everytime I hear LLaD, Roseanna gets stuck in my head. It’s catchy and once again Jared delivers it to us with the passion we know and love.

    Rider. I hate it. It seems like a f-you, I’m out of here song. You’re going to miss me when I’m gone…then abruptly stomps out of the room.

  15. So much sand in this vagina. Sorry mate, but you come off as a bit of a hypocrite. And LP’s One More Light was a great album.

    • brownypaul // April 15, 2018 at 8:28 am // Reply

      How am I a hypocrite?
      And if you read it right you’d see I agreed LP’s album was great after finding out what the lyrical content was about.

      • Mike might be saying that it appears to have taken Chester dying before giving One More Light more of a chance. “Great” isn’t only defined by content.

        With America, you’ve stated listening, but the majority of your article looks to the past and financially forward. Your words from the first paragraph “… proceeds to completely (in a way) shit on that original following by releasing music so far removed from their original sound, it almost seems like it’s more of a piss-take than something to be taken seriously.”

        And from the second, “had a heavy rock sound behind them, I was in awe and completely drawn into them and everything they stood for.”

        Additionally, from directly above the covers artwork,”And right now as I sit here with the album playing in the background while I write this, there has not been one single stand out track where I’ve thought, “holy shit that’s good!!” or “wow, that’s impressive“. Even when it comes to their various album artworks, it’s like they’re not even trying anymore.”

        All that is opinion and you’re welcome to it. It’s not to your taste. But, that does not mean they aren’t trying. Art is subjective, be it music or a painting or sculpture or a cover. Someone above said “holding up mirrors”, Leto said the exact same thing in the link. Interesting, the time stamp on his twitter post to the article is after the post above. That’s insight to another perspective.

        http://adage.com/article/qaa/qa-a-jared-leto-reflects-america-apps-creativity/313066/

        Hypocrite might be too strong. Differing opinion works.

  16. completely agree with you. I’ve been a fan forever. went to every show in Aus for soundwave and LLFD tour, still to this day the best moments of my life. I did meet and greet for a couple of shows and it was well worth it, even if it was quick with them it did get you first in for the shows and a spot in front row which enabled me to get on stage a bunch of times for the end song.
    I went to camp mars in 2016 and it was incredible, one of the greatest things I’ve ever done, I cannot fault it in anyway. it was just amazing. There were people there from the year before that said the boys came out a lot more and joined in more camp activities the first one, but to be fair Toni’s brother had passed away suddenly the day before camp so I imagine that changed some of the plans.
    The last year though I’ve begun to be bored with all the social media, it’s all clearly run by someone else and it all has the same stuff. Jared is an advert for Gucci continuously.
    The new album is awful. when I listened to it the first impression I got was it took too long to finish. sounded like they started writing it when Kanye was big, jumped in the Halsey train after that and have wrapped it up with some auto tuney song just like everyone else is doing. I also really found it hard to stomach all the Americana… it was like Jerry Brucheimer was directing the video clip for Walk on water with all those waving American flags.
    Extremely disappointing.
    I will forever be grateful that I got to experience them during the This is war/LLFD days.

  17. I’ve been wishing I didn’t have to write a dissertation, so I could write a review of this album on my own blog. Thanks to you, I no longer have to! Unlike you, I liked LLFD, though not as much as the others, but I think it was when they started taking a turn for the worse. I didn’t really love either of the singles from America, but I was still looking forward to it. I was sorely disappointed when it came out. I have eventually grown to like a few of the songs but only maybe 3 or 4 and certainly not to the extent of This Is War or any other albums. There are some that I downright will not listen to because they are so bad. I’m fine with artists changing (my favourite artist has changed bands and sounds several times, but he did it much better than this), but this is not growth; it’s regression.

    I’ve been a fan of Jared’s since My So-Called Life, longer than a lot of the Echelon have been alive so maybe I expect more than a guy with a Jesus complex, but I didn’t get really that into 30STM until a a little after This Is War. I’ve also seen the band four times, admittedly only since about 2013. Three times were at arenas, once in a small venue. They are by far better in smaller venues (though I always prefer smaller venues, anyway), but there was a noticeable difference between the previous gigs and the one this year in Manchester. Tomo being gone was bad enough, but the sound was awful. I couldn’t hear Jared when he actually sang, which was rare. It was ALL audience participation. Making them sing, telling them to jump, inviting them up on stage at least 3 or 4 times, even tweeting from the stage or rather having a fan write a tweet for him. I’ve actually started to wonder if the reason they have so much audience participation in the songs now is because Jared’s voice is shot. I think he can sing sometimes, as he does in Stay, but I genuinely have wondered if he intentionally writes audience parts in their music now, so he doesn’t have to sing as much. It’s just really disappointing when you know he is talented, but it’s all about being Jesus with him these days and seems to be more about making money (£45 even for bad seats in an arena?!) than about the talent. I get that the tours and stuff were trying to get them money because of the lawsuit, at least that’s how it seemed initially, but they seem to have taken it all too far.

    Just one other little note… They act like VyRT was the first to stream concerts and stuff, but that’s not true. A website called StageIt was out first. A lot of the things on StageIt are more like gigs in the artist’s home, but they have some bigger concerts, too. The smaller ones are fun because they interact with fans and take requests, a lot of them are pay what you feel, and you can tip them if you want. VyRT was not worth the money by any means, and even that was mostly Jared being Jared.

    Anyway, I hope they listen to the feedback about the album and learn from it if they ever do come back, but I couldn’t blame Tomo if he didn’t.

    • walladmin // May 24, 2018 at 9:10 am // Reply

      You absolutely nailed it with your reply. Couldn’t agree more and thank you for sharing your thoughts on the matter, it’s good to know (most of us) are not alone in the way we feel

    • Latebar7609 // May 24, 2018 at 12:16 pm // Reply

      I completely agree with you as well. I’ve been a fan of Jared’s since MSCL but I got into the band right after their first album. VyRT was fun for a while but I got tired of it. I’ve heard he’s got VyRT up for sale. I seriously doubt Tomo is coming back. I could be wrong but that’s my gut feeling. A lot of fans will leave if he doesn’t. A lot of them are PISSED that we aren’t getting any real explanation for his absence.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

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