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30STM’s Jared Leto on Working With Kanye West: “It’s Slightly More than Unexpected”

4/20/09, 11:23 am EST

Kanye West has recorded with hip-hop colleagues (Jay-Z, Nas, Common, Lil Wayne) and rock contemporaries (Maroon 5’s Adam Levine Coldplay’s Chris Martin) and shared the spotlight with the Police, John Mayer and even country sweetheart Taylor Swift. So, it shouldn’t have surprised anyone when the Louis Vuitton Don updated his blog last week with a photo from the studio featuring 30 Seconds to Mars frontman Jared Leto and the Killers’ Brandon Flowers. In the post, West explained he was “working on this dope-ass song with Jared” when Flowers just stopped by the studio.

According to Leto, the image was taken earlier in the week, during a recording session with West in Hawaii, where the rapper is working “his ass off on a number of projects.” Leto says the pair were working on “Hurricane,” a track for 30 Seconds to Mars’ upcoming LP, which is being helmed by British post-punk producer Flood and should surface before the end of the year. 30STM has been working on the effort, which has been given the working title This Is War in a house in the Hollywood Hills for the last year.

“The fact that it’s slightly more than unexpected makes it really interesting to us,” Leto told Rolling Stone. “This record is like nothing we’ve done before. It’s like listening to a film. It’s very atmospheric. We’re walking down different paths, because its important to us to never put ourselves into a box and to not shy away from new experiences. That’s an important part of who we are as a band.”

Leto says he had ‘Ye in mind for the track months and months ago, and that the two had tried collaborating before on a different project. “He wanted me to direct a video for him, and that didn’t work out for a number of reasons, but that’s something we‘re still going to try to do in the future,” Leto explains. “We had this song, and I thought it would be interesting to get a different perspective, a different voice on it. There was a serendipitous nature to the way everything unfolded with him and I. We’re friends, I think there is a bit of a mutual admiration there for each other’s work. I think he’s a really kind person, and really creative and a fellow work fiend like myself. So, it made sense.”

Leto says West had been by the band’s studio some time ago to listen to the cut, and “he really liked it.” But Leto wasn’t as interested in West’s spitting skills as he was in his pipes. “I happen to like his singing voice a lot, and I encouraged him to really sing on the track.”

When it comes to Flowers’ potential involvement, Leto was less forthcoming. He did say that West isn’t the only big name lending his talents to the disc, but added that Flowers’ voice will not be heard on “Hurricane.” “That was just other stuff,” he says. “I think that’s a story Brandon’s going to have to tell.”

But Leto isn’t limiting the collabos on the follow-up to 2005’s A Beautiful Lie to Grammy-winning megastars. In fact, he’s willing to work with anyone. On April 26th, 30STM are taking over the Hollywood Avalon to host what they’re calling “The Summit.” Leto says anyone can come down to the event and — no bull — help with the recording of the band’s new record — after first registering at the band’s Website, of course.

“It’s an experiment. It could fail completely, but you have to try things sometimes if you hope to break new ground for yourself,” he says. “We’re inviting people from around the world to come participate on the next 30 Seconds to Mars record, and we’re using a group of people as an instrument, and experimenting musically and creatively. Its going to add an element to the album that’s very much there in waves when we play live, and its going to add energy and excitement to some of the songs. And I have plans for whatever we capture to be included throughout the record.”

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Me Julian | 4/22/2009, 12:34 pm EST

It def. makes curious what 30STM is planning at the summit. And the Mars/KWest-collabo sounds amazing -> crazy.

JeffF | 4/22/2009, 12:29 pm EST

surprise us (positively) again JLeto!

DEBZORAH | 4/22/2009, 11:40 am EST


alba aguilar serrano | 4/22/2009, 10:08 am EST

cuando va a salir el disco quisiera poder verlos pero no tengo dinero que pena
pero mando un tremendo saludo a jared a shanon y a tomo que les vaya bien y les deseo lo mejor en su presentacion¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡
y que viva el rock¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡y que viva 30 seconds to mars live forever¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡

Taylor Swift | 4/22/2009, 12:58 am EST

“and even”

An'marie | 4/21/2009, 9:51 pm EST

I Love That Jared is combining his musical genius with West. and I agree that Kayne’s singing voice is better than his rapping. Any who….I can’t wait till the album comes out!!!!! It will be Great!

P.S. 30 STM should come to the Ford Ampitheatre in Tampa… and i like Jared’s hair no matter what it looks like.

HerbSpeaks | 4/21/2009, 8:05 pm EST

Let’s break on thru to the other side, Mr. Jared & Co. It’s about time COLDPLAY move aside and make room for AMERICA’S NEXT BIG THING!!! Take KINGS X on the road as your Special Guest and you’ll be in stadiums by summertime. Move over Aerosmiths and ZZToppers.

Christina | 4/21/2009, 7:55 pm EST

Wow… I love how some people are saying Jared actually cares about his fans… I’ve met him twice, and TRUST ME, he’s not the nicest person in the world. Especially when he tells you not to touch him and then jumps on you.

but yes, he is a musical genius. and i am excited for the new album, no matter how much of an asshole jared was to me. (his brother, Shannon, is lovely, however)

Anonymous | 4/21/2009, 7:08 pm EST


PIA | 4/21/2009, 7:01 pm EST



ivon | 4/21/2009, 5:50 pm EST

cuando coño va a salir el disco?diiioossss los estoy esperandoo con ansiasss a ki en mi pais venezuela!!..kisiera estar alla el 26 de abril _:( pero mira q no tengo moneyy :( bueno iwal los amo!…viva 30stm! yyeahh

Anonymous | 4/21/2009, 4:03 pm EST

he he….that’s my boys…They always make me proud

Edward | 4/21/2009, 2:30 pm EST

All I can say is, “it’s about damn time”! Can’t wait to see and hear the new stuff… you guys have been away from “home” way too long. We’ve missed you here in Los Angeles!

Stephanie Kester | 4/21/2009, 12:56 pm EST

I would absolutely love to work with the guys of 30stm I love the way they present themselves and the way they care so much about their fans. Jared in particular is an absolute creative mastermind and I love the fact he isn’t afraid to plat around with weird ideas and thinking outside the box I mean just look at the creativity of the video From Yesterday genius! Anyway keep up the good work guys and I can’t wait to see you on your next UK tour x

nev* ............ | 4/21/2009, 12:46 pm EST

giggles your funny,
wish i could be there but
thats never gonna happen.
any who i can’t what for
the new album it will be great!!!!

JuJuBaH | 4/21/2009, 12:15 pm EST

Jared’s the BEST.He is incredible, he’s amazing. And I Liked so much the idea of 30stm and Kanye together… a half hip-hop and a half alternative rock… why not?

Jard has a creative spirit. he likes to try some new things, and don’t care about if it’s gonna be good or bad, he just wanna see. I love it, i think he knows about it, and if he doesn’t, i’m gonna say NOW: I LOVE YOU, JARED. STILL BEING WHO YOU ARE. YOU ARE MORE THEN THE VOCAL OF 30STM, AND AN ACTOR. YOU ARE JARED JOSEPH LETO, AND NOTHING ELSE MATTERS.

Anon | 4/21/2009, 11:30 am EST

i so wish i could go but seein as i live in the uk and am only 15 its really not gonna happen. good luck with it anyway and cant wait for the album :)

orLeto | 4/21/2009, 10:23 am EST

I WANNA BE THERE!!!!!!!! ♥ I ♥ 30STM !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!!
they are the BEST!!!!

orLeto | 4/21/2009, 10:23 am EST

I WANNA BE THERE!!!!!!!! ♥ I ♥ 30STM !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!!
they are the BEST!!!!

orLeto | 4/21/2009, 10:23 am EST

I WANNA BE THERE!!!!!!!! ♥ I ♥ 30STM !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!!
they are the BEST!!!!

orLeto | 4/21/2009, 10:23 am EST

I WANNA BE THERE!!!!!!!! ♥ I ♥ 30STM !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!!
they are the BEST!!!!

orLeto | 4/21/2009, 10:23 am EST

I WANNA BE THERE!!!!!!!! ♥ I ♥ 30STM !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!!
they are the BEST!!!!

orLeto | 4/21/2009, 10:23 am EST

I WANNA BE THERE!!!!!!!! ♥ I ♥ 30STM !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!!
they are the BEST!!!!

orLeto | 4/21/2009, 10:23 am EST

I WANNA BE THERE!!!!!!!! ♥ I ♥ 30STM !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!!
they are the BEST!!!!

orLeto | 4/21/2009, 10:23 am EST

I WANNA BE THERE!!!!!!!! ♥ I ♥ 30STM!!!!!!!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!!
they are the BEST!!!!

orLeto | 4/21/2009, 10:23 am EST

I WANNA BE THERE!!!!!!!! ♥ I ♥ 30STM!!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!!
they are the BEST!!!!

orLeto | 4/21/2009, 10:23 am EST

I WANNA BE THERE!!!!!!!! ♥ I ♥ 30STM !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!!
they are the BEST!!!!

orLeto | 4/21/2009, 10:22 am EST

I WANNA BE THERE!!!!!!!! ♥ I ♥ 30STM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!!
they are the BEST!!!!

orLeto | 4/21/2009, 10:22 am EST

I WANNA BE THERE!!!!!!!! ♥ I ♥ 30STM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!! !!!!!
they are the BEST!!!!

orLeto | 4/21/2009, 10:22 am EST

I WANNA BE THERE!!!!!!!! ♥ I ♥ 30STM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!
they are the BEST!!!!

Masha | 4/21/2009, 9:23 am EST

I could go if i had some1 to come with me… i h8 it when it comes to this… i worked a lot for school stuff just to convince my parnts to let me go..& they said i can go, but not alone. there is no1 but my younger sister that would want to go.. and my parents say she’s 2 young to go!!!

so much effort for missing another 30stm event!
[i couldn’t go to 7th May show in Munich because noone would give me a ride there!]

p.s.: yes i’m dissapointed &angry and stuff.
p.p.s.: even though i won’t be there 30stm have my full support and i promisse them i will not miss another show or conceret or any other event!

Tilda | 4/21/2009, 9:19 am EST


leti | 4/21/2009, 9:14 am EST

ohahuh!!! I am becoming crazy!!! good job guys!! sorry… =( I can’t come to The City of Angels…I haven’t got money!! see you if you’ll never come back to Italy! we’re waiting with love and peace! I’m proud to be a part of 30STM… only if it’s a small part!this is one of the big things about 30STM: your fans all around the world are like a sort of family that always think of you! it’s a beautiful relationship!Thank you.

melany dilworth | 4/21/2009, 8:09 am EST


Jaana | 4/21/2009, 7:30 am EST

Now this is really something! Can’t wait to hear what the boys have come up with. I’m so pumped! Kanye, 30 Seconds to Mars and Brandon Flowers? Yes please.

Paulina | 4/21/2009, 6:24 am EST

omg it’s soo cool..i’m looking forward to see what the album is like. :D
I’m so glad u r back guys! ^^
It’s just to sad that the thing in Hollywood is like too far away..i will never get there. :C

Anonymous | 4/21/2009, 6:01 am EST

BRING IT ON BOYZ!!! I WISH I COULD BE THERE THERE ON THE 26th! Why does Australia have to be so god damn far away from U! Love the hair anyway u wear it J.L!

Sarahmac | 4/21/2009, 4:57 am EST

Guys you’ve been away too long, the music scene needs you back. Can’t wait for the new album, and hoping a tour will follow. And woah you shallow people so you don’t like Jareds look, get a grip, you’re pathetic, 30ToM are awesome!

marzban | 4/21/2009, 4:44 am EST

I think jared is just a man whit a face like women.his music are cheap.U don`t think so?NO!It`s ur problem:P

Kelly-Ann | 4/21/2009, 3:33 am EST

Waiting for this new album is really keeping me on edge…I Have faith in those guys so I’m sure it will be fantastic.
Oh yeah and the hair…Who gives…whatever floats his very talented boat! :-)

Kirsty | 4/21/2009, 3:09 am EST

Ahhhh, it’s my 30th on the 23rd, I wish I could go to The Summit on the 26th. That would be an amazing birthday present!!! Damn living in England with a job and kids!

Mònica from Spain | 4/21/2009, 2:36 am EST

I am excited to hear your new album!
I hope all you can to come to Spain one day and see you!

Heather | 4/21/2009, 2:11 am EST

One thing Ive learned about Jared, and Shannon too (Jareds brother and drummer for 30stm) is that they look like lumberjacks when they’re feeling lazy. OR…when jared’s not working he looks like one. He probably just feels like he has to be so pretty for the ladies all the time that looking like this is his break. Shannon looks like a lumberjack sometimes even when he does play a show. Just when you cant stand how hairy the Leto boys are, one day they’ll go shave and get haircuts all of a sudden and everyone is gonna be like, “OMG where did all the hair go?”.

Seychelles | 4/21/2009, 1:28 am EST

Hey Guys
Chris (METANOIA)from Seychelles here. Yep your tunes have even conquered us young fans this far too.
Keep up the good work and spread the news.

Chrisy | 4/21/2009, 1:15 am EST

Would you people just stop commenting his looks, it is not what this is about, thx.

Goddess | 4/20/2009, 11:53 pm EST

Hey, J-Doll and band, keep up the great work. Proud of you. Call me!

Tyrmyte | 4/20/2009, 10:28 pm EST

Hey Guys I’m one of your oldest fans.. I can’t wait till your new LP comes out.. 30STM is just so Awesome.

Keep up the great work. !!!

When are you going to tour NJ ?

Undeniable | 4/20/2009, 10:14 pm EST

Let’s get back to the new album shall we ? How excited am I to have a new 30STM album to look forward to, and a tour!!
Who gives a ratz azz about Jared’s hair, he and the boys are force to be reckoned with, talent and looks !!!

B | 4/20/2009, 10:13 pm EST

Jared looks amazing!

Ariena | 4/20/2009, 10:00 pm EST

Jared! dye ur hair back to deep brown and cut it! Please!

Lost in Love | 4/20/2009, 9:58 pm EST

I love that Jared is combining his musical greatness with West….and I agree with Jared…west has a much better singing voice than he does with rapping…..and Jared love…you look amazing to me no matter what style you take on. In fact I think I like the grunge look even better.

Ash | 4/20/2009, 9:54 pm EST

brandon’s looking good though ^_^ hehe

JoBanana | 4/20/2009, 9:40 pm EST

I am looking forward to hearing the next “step” on the musical path that 30STM is taking us on.
It is very true what Mr. Leto says about trying new things. You never know until you try… you certainly do not want to go through life with any regrets, wondering what would have happened “if only…”
Good for you guys! Yay! :D

bella | 4/20/2009, 7:43 pm EST

you need a haircut now Jared sweetie. please stop looking like a hillbilly, look like you did in the kill!

Snaves | 4/20/2009, 4:59 pm EST

Wow. At least Leto doesn’t look like anyone in particular in that pic. Can the real Kurt Cobain please stand up?

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