Thirty Seconds to Mars is spending their second summer in a row touring the country, this time with a new album in tow. Jared Leto and Co. have been overseas for the last two months on the international leg of the Monolith Tour, performing old hits like “The Kill (Bury Me)” and a handful of new tracks from America, which the band released on April 6.
As they continue their European travels, Thirty Seconds to Mars are getting American fans even more pumped to see their show when they return to the States with $20 tickets for their June and July shows. The deal is part of Live Nation’s “National Concert Week” promotion to kick off the summer concert season, which has more than 2,000 shows discounted for $20.
“It’s a celebration of the summer of concerts,” Jared Leto tells Billboard of the special offer, adding that he and his band are “about to embark on our biggest, most ambitious tour of the year – or of our lives, I should say, in America.”
Shortly after landing in Germany from the Ukraine, Leto chatted with Billboard about his excitement for the North American part of their Monolith Tour, detailing the “unforgettable” night that they’ll be providing for fans all around the country starting next month.
What would you say makes this the most ambitious tour of your lives?
We’re playing the biggest venues, we have massive production. It’s ambitious in terms of the size of scope, the creative elements and the places that we’re playing. We’re incredibly excited about it – it’s really fun to have a summer in the States.
You’re performing 5 or 6 songs from America so far on this tour – is there anything that those songs have allowed you to do in a live setting that you haven’t done before?
There’s a lot of excitement around the songs and they’re really connecting with people in a way that we never imagined, so that’s really gratifying and really fun to see. Songs like “Walk On Water,” “Rescue Me,” “Dangerous Night,” “Great Wide Open” – the new songs are feeling great. We play for about two hours a night now, and it’s just an absolutely amazing time. We have so much gratitude for everything happening. I don’t think we ever dreamed that this far along in our careers, we’d be playing some of the biggest shows of our lives and be having some of the most success ever for our music. It’s really great, we’re really thankful for that.
Is there a specific performance that stands out to you that you feel like the connection that you didn’t expect from these new songs?
“Walk On Water” is a really good example of a song that’s written about America specifically about the times that we’re living in – a song about change, a song about standing up and fighting for what you believe in, a song about freedom. It’s just been mind-blowing to see that translate from country to country, from culture to culture, and how people have really connected to that song and what a big part of the night it is every night. I was in the studio finishing up the album when that song was out around the world, and I just didn’t realize that it had connected in the way that it is. That’s a pretty impactful, amazing moment from night to night.
I think so many countries are going through similar times. We’re asking big questions, “Who are we?” “What kind of people do we want to be?” “What kind of country do we want to live in?” I think there’s a lot of frustrations, debate and discussion, and that song for some reason just connected with people. We’re certainly happy about that.
Did you feel like you made some important connections while you were doing the Mars Across America tour that kind of encompassed the message you were trying to send?
Absolutely. Whether it was a Native American Marine who served his country and came up to me at a gas station and talked to me about how Thirty Seconds to Mars was the soundtrack to his service in Iraq, or spending time with a trucker who was driving Harley Davidsons across the country. It was impactful, it was an interesting time to get on the streets and continue to learn more about people. It was a really fascinating and moving experience and a great way to celebrate the new album and the new tour. It was a lot of fun.
Are there any songs from America that you’re not performing now that you’re particularly wanting to perform down the line?
Yeah, there’s a song with A$AP Rocky called “One Track Mind” and there’s a song with Halsey called “Love Is Madness.” We haven’t played those songs live yet, so we’re looking forward to that – those are two special ones.
Would you take on A$AP Rocky’s line?
I would give it my best shot. Maybe get some coaching from A$AP first, and then I would take it on – make sure my flow is right.
You’ve also been performing your cover of Rihanna’s “Stay,” which you covered for BBC’s Live Lounge in 2013. What do you think makes it a great live song, especially in your high-energy set?
When we did the song for BBC Radio 1, it went viral. It just connected with people, so I think people look forward to hearing it and it’s fun to play for that reason. But it also gives a bit more color to the set in terms of tempo and energy of the night to come down and have something be sexy and intimate and have a different feeling to it.
If there were a poster for the Monolith Tour made that resembles the America cover, what would be the words on it?
You know, it’s a bit of a tricky question, because I already created dozens and dozens of lists. I did so much work making so many lists, which was really a fun way to describe the culture we’re living in. I guess for the tour, it would be “Unforgettable, Crazy, Fun” – I think that’s it, that’s what we hope for every night.
Other than those three words, what can you tell fans about what’s in store for this tour?
A lot of energy, a lot of spontaneity, a lot of participation from the audience, a lot of breaking of tradition. A show that’s just high-energy and a night that I hope nobody forgets. We’re on stage every night to service the audience and put on a show that reminds people about the possibilities of life and how much we all have in common rather than differences. It’s going to be a celebration.