Une ITW lorsque nos marsmen étaient en Afrique du sud, merci shannon et tomo
By Lydia Byarugaba
Multi-award-winning American rock stars Thirty Seconds to Mars were in South Africa last week to perform at the Coca Cola Dome.
Their show, which was opened by local rockers BLK JKS, has to be one of the best rock events organised in South Africa this year.
We had the opportunity to chat with the band’s drummer Shannon Leto, and guitarist Tomo Milicevic at the Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg just before their performance.Congratulations on your recent win at the EMAs for Best Rock Band of 2010. What was that like?
Tomo: Thank you, it was totally unexpected. We looked at who we were pitted against, I mean there was Kings of Leon, Linkin Park, Muse, Ozzy Osbourne and then Thirty Seconds to Mars; so we were like, “just being nominated amongst such great artists is already an honour”. We were very surprised!
Shannon: Yeah, caught us by surprise, but we’re thankful.Your videos are very well conceptualised, and the cinematography is amazing. What is the process in creating the concept?
Tomo: It’s all Jared Leto, he’s got the eye! Let’s give it up to him. He is the mastermind behind all the videos, he comes up with the concept and directs the videos with help from producers. There’s also the Echelon, a lot of support from fans, but yeah, Jared.What’s your relationship with fans?
Shannon: We went from playing for like five people then after the show talking to those five people and getting their emails, then came MySpace. We actually set up our first MySpace page for “A Beautiful Lie” just to test the waters, and it blew up, so the rest sort of took off from there. We probably have the most email addresses collected by a band, like 100 000 odd. We love our fans, it's definitely a close relationship.Having been in the industry for close to 12 years, do you think you’ve changed?
Tomo: We’ve definitely changed as people - our work ethic is still the same though. We feel like we’re on an upward struggle; we don’t feel like we are some “big band”, [and we've] still got so much to do.
Shannon: Yeah, we still feel like the underdog. We are still the same people - I still feel like we are a garage band, you know. I like it!Your EMA performance of Hurricane with a surprise cameo from Kanye West was magic! Any future projects or collaborations that we can look forward too?
Tomo: It was completely spontaneous - Kanye caught the last flight out from LA to Madrid, got there and with like five minutes to spare before going on stage, we changed the set list, went live in front of millions of people and bam…magic. I mean with collaborations, these things really just [happen] in the spontaneity of a moment; who knows, we are definitely open to it.
Shannon: Yeah, we were totally game for Kanye to switch into “Power” and then “Hurricane”. Magic definitely happens in unplanned moments. Collaborations, if the opportunity presents itself and it's inspiring then yeah, we are up for it!What is it about South Africa that gets your creative juices flowing?
Tomo: Yeah, we spent a month at Camps Bay and recorded “The Kill” and most of that record there. We love South Africa, there’s a definite connection here.Have you been to a shebeen before?
Shannon: Uh, a what? Let’s go (laughs).
Tomo: Where is it and when are we leaving (chuckles)