Thirty Seconds to Mars are an American rock band founded in 1998 in Los Angeles by brothers Jared and Shannon Leto as a family project, but later expanded to a full studio and touring unit.Their first self-titled release in 2002, influenced by bands such as Tool, was a moderate success, somewhat tempered by the band trying to gain respect on their own merits as opposed to coasting on Jared Leto's success as an actor (in fact, early on, the band wouldn't play shows that heavily promoted it based on Jared's acting career) and touring with bands that didn't exactly fit the music they played.The band finally hit the mainstream with their second release, "A Beautiful Lie" in 2005. The album not only started their habit of reinventing their sound with each new release, it also started the trend of presenting some very high effort concept videos to go with the singles, especially the ridiculously successful "The Kill". note As of "The Kill", most Mars videos are directed by Jared under the alias of Bartholomew Cubbins (and Angakok Panipaq for the "A Beautiful Lie" video). Other people have directed Mars videos (most commonly Paul Fedor), but the band maintains creative input.And then in 2008, their label sued them for $30 million dollars. Virgin Records claimed that Mars failed to deliver 3 albums in a certain span of time under contract. Mars decided to defend themselves, leading to the main conflict that lead to their eventual third release "This is War" and Artifact, a full length documentary and critique of the music industry as a whole. They toured in support in support of This is War following its release in late 2009...with 309 shows in 2 years. This eventually lead them to gain the Guinness World Record for "Longest Concert Tour by a Rock Band". They weren't even doing it intentionally. That being said, their live shows have gained a reputation for being energetic. And if that wasn't enough, in 2013, they promoted the announcement of their new album, Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams by sending the first single "Up in the Air" to the International Space Station.Their fanbase, the Echelon, are known for their devotedness, creative endeavors, and support for charitable causes including Habitat for Humanity. They even have their own convention!Thirty Seconds to Mars has also played a role in launching VyRT, a high quality social streaming service that hosts PPV events, including their 300th show touring for This is War (Mars300), two preview events for Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams (The Mars Lab and The Mars Lab 2), a commemorative event for the 10th anniversary of their self titled album's debut (MARSX), the highly demanded Cooking with Tomo, and their 2013 show at the Hollywood Bowl. After a reallylong time, their documentary Artifact had its exclusive non-festival premiere on VyRT on August 31st and was made available for digital download and DVD release. Mars will be going on a co-headlining US tour with Linkin Park through August-September, bringing along AFI for the ride.
"Hey Matt, how much time do we have to add tropes?"
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Song and Music Video tropes
Audience Participation Song: Jared frequently encourages singalongs during live shows and the fans are eager to participate (ESPECIALLY for "The Kill"). This extends to This is War, where fans were able to collaborate with the band in person and online to form a choir for the songs on the album, known as "The Summit". Another (smaller and less promoted) Summit was done for Love Lust Faith + Dreams, though the original plans involved greater fan involvement, including an app.
Bowdlerise: Up in the Air has a lyric-swapped version with "fucked up our life" replaced with "This is my life". Interestingly enough, all instances of "I'll wrap my hands around your neck" in that version were replaced with "I'll wrap my hands around your heart", which is arguably just as bad if not worse than your garden variety neck strangulation.
Cult: "Yes, this is a cult" is a common catchphrase, taken by the band and the Echelon. Whether or not it actually is a cult is debatable.
Freeze-Frame Bonus: The "Attack" video, by way of superimposed writing and scribblings. Probably the only music video in recorded history to use this to give a Shout-Out to their fanbase and equate their lead singer to Satan within the same timespan.
Hell Hotel: The video for "The Kill" is a direct homage to The Shining, specifically, Kubrick's film version. In the video, the band members wander the corridors of an otherwise deserted hotel, encountering various ghostly inhabitants before respectively coming face-to-face with their tuxedoed dopplegangers.
See also the City of Angels music video, though it's mostly fair in representing both the good and bad aspects of people's personal experiences there.
Malevolent Masked Men: All over the place in the Hurricane video. All of the band members go up against some: Tomo knocks his out in one punch, Jared takes his out after being chased after him by the entire video and Shannon is forced to fight three at one time.
They show up again in slightly less malevolent form in the Up in the Air video.
As mentioned before, the AVA shoutout in the "This is War" video.
Two song examples from LOVE LUST FAITH + DREAMS: "Bright Lights" was originally titled "Bright Lights Big City" and "Do or Die" references the title of "Under the Banner of Heaven" (although the context of the song is completely unrelated to the book itself)
Although, the Hurricane video also includes the track "Escape" and parts of "Night of the Hunter," so it's not all talky.
The next best offender, “From Yesterday”; the song is around 4 minutes long, the version of the video aired on TV is 4 minutes and 30 seconds. The full length video (not counting the credits) is 11 minutes.
Subverted with "Attack"; both the video and the song end at 3:09. Doesn’t effect the creepy factor any.
War Is Glorious: "This Is War". It is a very upbeat song giving it an enthusiastic feeling though the lyrics aren't perfectly clear one way or the other.
I do believe in the light Raise your hands into the sky The fight is done, the war is won Lift your hands toward the sun
Arc Number: 6277 (numerically "MARS"), which shows up all over their music videos and promotional materials.
Badass Beard: Around 2007, the band started getting these on occasion, especially during the production of albums.
Bittersweet Ending: Mars settled their lawsuit with their record label, released their third and fourth albums, finished their documentary about music industry struggles including their own. It was assumed by the fans that all was okay on that front...until during one of the Mars Lab events where they revealed they were still millions of dollars in debt from the legal struggles.
Digital Piracy Is Evil: Avoided for their first two releases. They credited Napster with helping to promote the self titled album and responded to A Beautiful Lie being leaked early by adding a Björk cover to the final retail version. Played straight with the VyRT service. Interfandom flame wars have ensued between Echelon who want to stream the shows for people who can't afford a ticket/live in a country where VyRT isn't accessible/live in a country where international credit card dealings aren't easy and Echelon who want Mars' wishes for the experience to be "kept special" by not being redistributed. It was especially jarring during the first Mars Lab event when, right before the lighthearted "Vegan Pancakes or Death" segment, Jared directly addressed those who were recording or streaming at that very moment.
Guyliner: The whole band did it to varying extents back in the A Beautiful Lie era. Although Jared was recognized the most for it, Shannon was actually the one to use it most frequently.
Large Ham: Less obvious from their songs and music videos, but from their interviews, one can see the entire band are hams.
Lethal Chef: Jared's attempts to make vegan pancakes during the first Mars Lab VyRT nearly got himself put on fire. And that was with an actual chef right next to him!
His attempts to follow along with the Echelon at home during the Cooking With Tomo event were...well...it looked edible at least.
Older than They Look: Jared and Shannon are 42 and 43 respectively, and both look more like they're in their twenties.
Ominous Latin Chanting: Using O Fortuna to open up the live shows, most likely to evoke the same reaction it gets when it's played right before a sporting event. Used most commonly in the A Beautiful Lie era and infrequently used since then when they want to create some cheap heat amongst older fans and pump up the rest of the crowd.
The Phoenix: Mithra, featured as one of the band's earliest logos and still used today.
Pretentious Latin Motto: Provehito In Altum, which loosely translates to "launch forth into the deep"/"launch forth into higher grounds"/"something about rising to something, probably uncharted and mysterious".
The band's environmental campaign associated with the A Beautiful Lie video has Subsisto Procul Nusquam, which translates to "Stop At Nothing".
Real Soon Now: Mars is notorious with this to the point where the word "soon" has becoming a groan-inducing Running Joke among the fans. Apply "soon" to the release of the music video for This is War; their documentary, Artifact...
2013 is a notable subversion, as not only did the Up in the Air video have a decent turnaround time from production to release, the Do or Die video came out months later followed by City of Angels, making 2013 the first year to have three consecutive Mars video releases.
This is still applicable to the upcoming (eventually) release of the live tour film for This is War.
Spell My Name with an S: 30 Seconds to Mars or Thirty Seconds to Mars? note 30 Seconds to Mars for their first two albums, Thirty Seconds to Mars for the ones after that. The first album cycle also had the band name stylized as THIRTYSECONDSTOMARS, no spaces.
Supreme Chef: Tomo is seen as one in Echelon circles, to where he got his own cooking show on VyRT through popular demand. Contrast Jared aka Chef Boyarleto, the cook from the ghetto.