Jared Leto is rattling off last month’s itinerary, and he’s getting confused. “We just finished up a tour of Latin America; everywhere from Ecuador to Costa Rica to Chile to Brazil to Paraguay to Argentina,” he says. “Then I came back to L.A. for a day, then I went to New York, then I came back to L.A., then I went to New Orleans, then I went back to L.A. and then I went to San Francisco for a day.
“Wait, did I say Peru?” he asks. “Because we went there too.”
October was not atypical for Leto and his band, Thirty Seconds to Mars, who have made a career out of touring hard and living to tell about it. Their 309 shows in support of This Is War set a Guinness World Record, and their current Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams trek runs until April (at least), meaning they’ll have done two years on the road behind that album, too. So their latest endeavor makes perfect sense, even if it’s not clear when they’ll find time to finish it.
On November 30th, Mars will premiere Into the Wild, a documentary series that follows them around the globe and picks up where their film Artifact – which detailed the band’s contentious lawsuit with EMI – ended. If you want to call it a sequel, Leto won’t disagree, though he does add one preface.
“I think it’s the unofficial sequel; the only thing that stops it from being an official sequel is that we’re not involved in a $30 million lawsuit this time, and that’s a good thing,” he says, laughing. “This is the story of the Guinness World Record-breaking tour that brought us around the globe three of four times; it’s what happens when Artifact left off. Literally. The last shot of the film is the first shot of the series.”
New episodes of Into the Wild will be available weekly on Leto’s streaming site Vyrt, and while he’s not exactly sure how many installments there will be – “Anywhere from 16 to 20-something,” is the rough estimate – his goal for the series is crystal clear.
“You travel the world, you get on stages all over the planet, you have all kinds of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and what’s special is to document that and then share it,” Leto says. “This is us in Lebanon and Russia and Israel and Brazil and South Africa – we’re sharing some of the most intimate moments of our lives, and also some of the biggest.”
And while plenty has happened to the band and their frontman in the four-plus years since This Is War hit, Leto relishes the opportunity to tell the story of a particular time in Thirty Seconds to Mars’ career – one that has come to define them.
“It was a period of celebration, because we went from this intense conflict where we got sued by our label and fought for our creative lives to playing arenas around the world,” he says. “It was a seminal time in our lives, but it wasn’t always pretty. We played in the Middle East during the Arab Spring. We had to cancel shows in some countries due to unrest. It was transformative and important, and there’s something about having a witness to it all.”