Here are answers to some frequently asked questions surrounding 30 Seconds to Mars and their music.
Where did the name ” 30 Seconds to Mars” come from?
Jared says: “For us, the name 30 Seconds To Mars has little to do with space, the universe or anything like that. It is a name that works on several different levels. Most importantly, it is a good representation of our sound. It’s a phrase that is lyrical, suggestive, cinematic, and filled with immediacy. It has some sense of otherness to it. The concept of space is so overwhelming and all encompassing I doubt there is a song written that doesn’t fall within it.” (Source: Shout Web Interview)
Matt says: “The name actually comes from a thesis that we found online it was written by a former Harvard professor. And one of the subsections of the thesis was titled ‘thirty seconds to mars’ and he goes on to talk about the expediential growth of technology that relates to humans and saying that we are quite literally thirty seconds to mars. What it means to us is, we thought it best described our music, in short.”
(Source: Manic Haze Interview)
Shannon says: “It represents alot of things. This professor had a thesis. It was talking about where technology was going; the evolution of man and how that plays a role. A sub-category was 30 Seconds To Mars. It was like the expediential growth of humans. We are literally 30 seconds away from Mars. Everything is right here and right now; everything is just so crazy and fast.” (Source: Infamous Souls Interview)
How can you describe the band’s music?
It’s heavy, atmospheric, highly textured and a bit dark with soaring and hypnotic vocals. Most music sites and magazines have already branded their music as “space-rock” and compared them to bands like Tool, Pink Floyd, etc.
What are their musical influences?
Jared mentions Pink Floyd, The Cure, Bjork, Rush, The Who and Depeche Mode.
(Source: Shout Web Interview)
Where does the song inspiration come from?
Jared: “Everything on this album (self-titled release) is about real human experience. That is the single most inspiring source for us, the human struggle. Lyrically, it’s a very personal album that sometimes uses otherworldly elements and/or conceptual ideas to illustrate a truthful personal situation.” (Source: Shout Web Interview)
What are the meanings of the songs on their self-titled CD?
“Admittedly interested in things otherwordly and their relationship to (sub) cultures, lyricist Jared allows the listener to draw his or her own conclusions to the songs’ meanings. This makes the music especially personal, as whatever images you conjure from the sound and words can be interpreted by your own inner language. Fans of their music attempt to decipher the band’s first release, Capricorn (A Brand New Name), with the same fervor in which they discuss the pervasive glyphs that dot the CD sleeve, website, and merch.” (Source: Mars Dust).
However, in interviews, Jared has revealed the following song meanings:
What is the meaning of the song “Capricorn”?
Jared Leto: “In a general sense, it is about a desire for renewal. But I’d rather let people take their own understanding and meaning from the song. I think that is one of the exciting things about music, the interpretation, from individual to individual and how it can change so much.” (Source: Shout Web Interview)
What is the meaning of the song “Fallen”?
Jared Leto : “Generally, it is about escape. It is the oldest of all the songs on the album and, initially, it was not going to be included. There was a demo floating around that we weren’t satisfied with but there were some that had strong feelings about this song within the 30STM camp, so we decide to rework it. We’re glad we did.”
(Source: Shout Web Interview)
What is the meaning of the song “Buddha for Mary”?
“Buddha For Mary” is not about a specific person, it’s “definitely a metaphor”, Jared says music, the interpretation, from individual to individual, it can change so much.”
(Source: Shout Web Interview)
What is the meaning of the song “The End of the Beginning”?
Jared sings “here we are searching for a sign…”. Is there an answer he’s searching for? Jared: “I think we are all looking for something, and we always will be. I think it’s our nature.”
(Source: Shout Web Interview)
What is the meaning of the song “Revolution” and why wasn’t it included on their self-titled CD?
“Revolution” seems to be an anti-American song. Jared: “We don’t feel it is an anti-American song at all. That is a song that can be taken many different ways. If it is taken literally or politically it could be misinterpreted. We didn’t want a song like that to overshadow what we are about. And considering that people have a tendency to take things very literal we felt that especially after 9/11 it didn’t fit thematically with the rest of the record. It took on new dimensions.” 1 (Source: Shout Web Interview)
I have found some songs on the net which are not on the debut CD, are they rare or unreleased tracks?
Some of the songs on the debut CD had different names before the CD was finalized. These are not demos or rare tracks. The songs are still the same even though their names were changed. There is one track that didn’t make it on the album, it is called Revolution.
Here’s a list of the songs and their old names:
Jupiter = Fallen
The Reckoning = Oblivion
Hero = Year Zero
Lifeless = This is not a song by 30 Seconds to Mars.
Phase 1 Fortification = Bonus track on the U.K. single for Capricorn.
Anarchy in Tokyo = Bonus track on the Japanese version of the self-titled album.
Valhalla = Unreleased track. – Early 1999 demo.
Revolution = Unreleased track.
Occams Razor = Unreleased track early demo.
However, there are demo versions of the following songs floating around:
Buddha for Mary
93 Million Miles
Please note: Anarchy in Tokyo and Revolution can be heard on the band’s unofficial my space page.
Does the band have any independent releases?
No, there was a rumor floating around that they have an independent release titled “Welcome to the Universe.” However, that is just the name that they were going to give their debut CD. The band had also tentatively titled their second release, “The Battle of One” before its completion. To date, 30 Seconds to Mars have released a self-titled CD and their second CD, “A Beautiful Lie.”
What type of guitar does Jared play?
It is a custom made Steve McSwain Model called “The Pythagoras” which is believed to be named after Jared’s dog. The guitar has a picture of a gryphon (winged monster with an eagle-like head and body of a lion) which Jared drew for Steve and that Steve captured perfectly. You can see it here: McSwain Guitars (click on blade and paint).
Has the band ever played any covers?
Yes, they have covered “Message in a Bottle” by The Police and “Hunter” by Bjork. There may be others, please let us know if you are aware of them.
What do the glyphics mean?
It is believed that the four mysterious glyphics have two different meanings:
1. The first explanation is that they symbolize each of the four terrestrial planets.
The first symbol is two intertwined “M’s” which could stand for Mercury.
The second symbol looks like it is rotating in the opposite direction and Venus rotates in the opposite direction of all the terrestrial planets.
The third symbol is the roman numeral three which stands for Earth, the third planet from the sun.
The fourth symbol is Mars. The two dots represent both of Mars’s moons Phobos an Deimos.
2. The second explanation is that they stand for the bands name.
The first symbol is two intertwined threes representing 30.
The second symbol is rotating in the opposite direction, almost as if it is counting down which symbolizes seconds.
The third symbol is three vertical lines, but if you look in between them you get the roman numeral two which stands for to.
The last symbol represents Mars once again, with its two moons Phobos and Deimos.
Please Note: The band has not officially commented on the glyphics and therefore these explanations could be wrong. They have, however, said that they represent different elements in the band.
What is the bird on the logo?
The bird is a phoenix. It is a bird in Egyptian mythology that lived in the desert for 500 years and then consumed itself by fire, later to rise renewed from its ashes.
What does the phrase “Provehito In Altum” mean?
This phrase is found on the band’s logo with the phoenix. It is a Latin metaphor that can be translated in three different ways:
1. “March on into higher grounds”
2. “Launch forth into higher grounds”
3. “Launch forth into the deep”
What does the arrow represent?
The arrow is a visual representation for “Provehito in Altum.” The progressive leap. “Launch forth into the unknown.”
It means: Honor, justice, leadership and authority. Knowing where one’s true strengths lie. Willingness to self-sacrifice. Victory and success in any competition or in legal matters.
What is “Der Kopf des Schweins”?
This is the name of a video that used to be on the official site. It is a German phrase meaning “the head of the pig.”
What is “Mokushiroku”?
This is the name of another video that used to be up on the official site. It is a Japanese word that means “Apocalypse.”
What is the “Echelon”?
The echelon is a group of devoted 30 Seconds to Mars fans who are sometimes referred to as the Mars Army. Their mission is to spread the word about the band while developing and maintaining a strong community. You can sign up to the Echelon here.
What does “Echelon” mean?
Echelon is a military term that means “waves, or to attack in waves.” It was used by Napoleon during the Napoleonic wars. The term was to attack ‘En Echelon’, in waves. So, Echelon means waves, which would make sense in the song “Echelon” when the song goes “What’s with the fascination with the Echelon.”
What is the “Acropolis”?
The acropolis is a page where the Echelon find out missions, news, contests, etc…
What is the message at the end of their self-titled CD?
The message in the hidden track at the End of their self-titled CD was taken from Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War.”
A military force established by deception of sense that you deceive enemies so that they do not know your real (revolution), and that they can establish supremacy. It is mobilized by a game in a sense that it goes into action when it sees an advantage, dividing the great bodies thought to confuse opponents and observe how they react to you so that they can adapt and situate and seize victory. Therefore when it moves swiftly it is like the ramp, when it goes slowly it is like the force. It is rapacious fire and immovable as mountains, and as swift as the wind yet it comes without a trace and withdraws like lightning and it is like a forest that isn’t growing and is rapacious as fire across a plain, not leaving a single blade of grass .But as immovable as a mountain, it’s hard to know as the dark ends up killing thunder. To ponder a locality to line up your troupes to expand your territory to buy the spoils. The rule for military operations is to feed of the enemy as much as possible however the localities where people do no have very much it is necessary to divide up the troupes into smaller groups to take what they need here and there. For when then and there, there will be enough…..
Welcome to the Universe.