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Friday, Nov 28, 2014
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Oscar winner Leto to take Tampa on trip to Mars


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Jared Leto is breathing rarified air these days. Leto won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar five-months ago for his mesmerizing turn as a drug-addicted transgender woman with AIDS in the compelling dramatic film “The Dallas Buyers Club.”

Sure, the actor-musician's character is complex but perhaps not nearly as the real-life Leto. When Leto isn't scoring the holy grail of acting hardware, he fronts his beloved pop rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars, he runs the business Surf Air and lends his hand and name to political causes.

“Jared is a fascinating guy,” Thirty Seconds to Mars guitarist Tomo Milicevic said. “He has so much happening. It's amazing how into the band he is considering how successful he's been as an actor.”

While doing press for the band's 2009 album, “This Is War,” Leto stated that he was so content with his music that he didn't care if he ever made another movie again.

“This band isn't some little side project for him,” Milicevic said. “He's more than passionate about our music.”

Leto, Milicevic and Leto's brother Shannon Leto, who plays drums, proved their dedication to the band in 2011 when the band entered the Guinness Book of World Records for most live shows during an album cycle, a staggering 300 concerts behind “This Is War.”

“We're dedicated (to Thirty Seconds to Mars),” Milicevic said. “There's no question about that.”

The trio should be passionate about their music since the band consistently crafts dramatic, stylish and catchy rock tunes. It all starts with Leto, who is a captivating frontman, who engages the audience like few of his peers. Perhaps on paper, it isn't surprising that Leto, with his long stylish hair, fragile features, who is a rock star, who actually looks like a rock star, is so theatrical behind the microphone. But just because you're an actor doesn't mean that you'll be entertaining while belting out songs.

It's no knock to Zooey Deschanel or Kevin Bacon but they're as staid as their songs when they hit the stage showcasing their songs. Thirty Seconds to Mars' tunes typically burst with a kinetic energy, and Leto helps take it to another level, while being flanked by his bandmates/pals.

“I think it helps that we have this bond,” Milicevic said. “We have a connection a lot of bands don't have.”

Thirty Seconds to Mars, which will perform Saturday at George Steinbrenner Field, is touring behind its latest album, “Love, Lust, Faith + Dreams.” The act's latest project is comprised of hook-laden and edgy tunes, which are built for the stage. The choruses and guitar lines are huge, and the keyboard runs and drum fills add considerable color.

“Every album is different than the last,” Milicevic said. “We tried to make new ground with this one.”

Perhaps the band won't take four years between albums next time. “I hope not,” Milicevic said. “We certainly tour behind every album we put out. But we sometimes have projects in between albums. And we normally need some sort of break. I don't know when the next album is going to come out, but I think it's safe to say that Thirty Seconds to Mars will be around for quite awhile.”

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