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Volume 68, Issue 72, Monday, December 9, 2002

Arts & Entertainment

30 Seconds aiming for more than 15 minutes

By Shiley Carter
The Daily Cougar

What do you get when you combine dark, atmospheric music, deep lyrics and a frontman that has been named one of People magazineis "50 Most Beautiful People?"

You get a band that many expect to falter, as actor Jared Leto tries to make it in the world of music. 

You get a band that exceeds all expectations and takes music to another level. You get 30 Seconds to Mars.

Led by lead singer Jared Leto, 30 Seconds to Mars delivered songs filled with mystifying lyrics to an Engine Room crowd Friday.

Photo courtesy of Mike Mull

30 Seconds to Mars is Hollywood heartthrob Jared Letois attempt to break away from the acting business and into the music industry.

With his brother Shannon on drums, Matt Wachter on bass, Solon Bixler playing guitar and Leto as an additional guitarist, 30 Seconds to Mars is a complete band comprised of four talented musicians.

The band played before a packed venue (with tons of underage girls fighting to catch a glimpse of MTVis Jordan Catalano) Friday night at The Engine Room.

Numerous synthesizers and samples built the atmosphere. The lighting used during the stage performance added to the already spacey, out-of-this-world appeal.

30STM thrives by being creatively dark. During the performance the guitars intertwined and swirled together in a mesh of melody, while Letois voice could be heard strong and clear above the instrumentation, adding an astral element to the unique cosmo-rock sound.

The musical undertones further the depth. You want to compare them to Incubus, then to Nine Inch Nails, then Tool ­ yet you can hear David Bowie or even Pink Floyd. The sound is unique. It is a much-needed gesture that can be attributed to overwhelmingly creative minds.

Though the band tries let the music speak for itself, its vocalist cannot deny his broad talent. Leto originally went to school to be a painter, but discovered acting soon after enrolling. He and his brother have played music most of their lives. It seems Leto has always belonged on stage with this band.

The four band members have an interest in signs and symbols. They extensively use glyphs on their Web site, merchandise and album. Symbolism runs strong in Letois lyrics. He says the lyrics are based on experience.

The profound music of 30STM is eloquent and inspiring. The band is exploding with talent, and this is just the beginning of what the world will see of Leto and the other musicians.

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