Thirty Seconds to Mars (commonly stylized as 30 Seconds to Mars) is an American rock band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 1998. The band consists of Jared Leto (lead vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards), Shannon Leto (drums, percussion) and Tomo Miličević (lead guitar, bass, strings, keyboards, other instruments).
The band’s debut album, 30 Seconds to Mars (2002), was produced by Bob Ezrin and released to critical acclaim but only to limited commercial success. The band achieved worldwide fame with the release of their second album A Beautiful Lie (2005), which received multiple certifications all over the world, including platinum in the United States. Their next release, This Is War (2009), reached the top ten of several national album charts and earned numerous music awards. In 2013, Thirty Seconds to Mars moved to Universal Music and released the fourth album, Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams (2013), to critical and commercial success. As of May 2013, the band has sold over 10 million albums worldwide.
Thirty Seconds to Mars has consistently enjoyed sold out tours and numerous headlining festival slots. The band is noted for its energetic live performances and for fusing many music genres. They have been compared to the sounds of artists such as Pink Floyd, The Cure, Tool, and U2, because of their philosophical and spiritual lyrics, concept albums and their use of experimental music.
Thirty Seconds to Mars started in 1998 in Los Angeles, California, as a collaboration between brothers Jared Leto and Shannon Leto, which had been playing music together since their childhood. The duo later expanded to a four piece when they added guitarist Solon Bixler and bassist Matt Wachter to the line-up. Additional guitarist Kevin Drake, who first auditioned for the position of bassist, also joined the band as a touring musician. The band played its first concerts under different names, before finally settling on the name “Thirty Seconds to Mars”, which was taken from a rare manuscript titled Argus Apocraphex. Jared Leto spoke of the name as “a reference, a rough translation from the book. I think the idea is interesting, it’s a metaphor for the future,” he explained. “Thirty seconds to Mars—the fact that we’re so close to something that’s not a tangible idea. Also Mars being the God of War makes it really interesting, as well. You could substitute that in there, but what’s important for my brother and I, is that it be imaginative and really represent the sound of our music in as unique a way as possible.” He described it as a name that “works on several different levels, a phrase that is lyrical, suggestive, cinematic, and filled with immediacy.” When Thirty Seconds to Mars first started, Jared Leto did not allow his vocation as a Hollywood actor to be used in promotion of the band.