Monday, February 21, 2011

Kings and Queens

When you combine emo with grunge and hard rock the resulting sound is bound to be nothing short of innovative and potentially epic.

In 2009, the band 30 Seconds to Mars, led by frontman Jared Leto, mixed those aforementioned genres together to create "This Is War", a contemporary and epic album demonstrating that not all new rock music has to sound the same.

Accompanied by his brother Shannon Leto (drums, percussion), Jared Leto (lead vocals, rhythm guitar, songwriter) formed the band in 1998 as what was intended to be a family project. The brothers Leto eventually auditioned other members and expanded to add a bassist and keyboard artist.

Success first beckoned the group in 2005 following the release of their second album, A Beautiful Lie. The album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and garnered several awards for the single "The Kill (Bury Me)". Featuring band members reenacting scenes from The Shining, the music video for "The Kill (Bury Me)" also received critical acclaim.

It should be no surprise that the band takes an interest in acting and music video production. Jared Leto is an actor who has played many roles throughout his career. After gaining interest for his efforts in the TV series My So-Called Life as Jordan Catalano (opposite Claire Danes) his career led him to several popular films including American Psycho, Fight Club, Urban Legend, Panic Room, Lord of War, and Girl, Interrupted.

Leto's biggest film, however, was the cult classic Requiem For a Dream in which he played the lead role of heroin addict Harry Goldfarb.

Despite on-screen success, though, Jared Leto and 30 Seconds to Mars have not let musical ambitions fall to the wayside.

Kings and Queens was the second single to reach the top spot on the Billboard Alternative Songs. Its music video won the 2010 MTV Video Music Award for Best Rock Video.  Stunning views of Los Angeles are offered throughout the video as it features cyclists touring around the famous city.

For fellow rock fans you will probably find the closest musical similarities to 30 Seconds to Mars by comparing them to bands like Rise Against and Angels & Airwaves.

Regardless of the comparisons one can make, though, 30 Seconds to Mars will not fail to entertain ones ears or eyes.

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