Thirty Seconds to Mars is a rock band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 1998 by brothers Jared and Shannon Leto. The band has released five studio albums, each with a different musical style and concept. They are known for their energetic live shows, their experimental sound, and their philosophical and spiritual lyrics.
In this article, we will explore 10 of their best songs, based on their popularity, critical acclaim, and personal preference. We will also look at the meanings and messages behind each song, as well as some interesting facts and trivia.
10. Up in the Air
Up in the Air is the lead single from Thirty Seconds to Mars fourth album, Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams (2013). The song was literally launched into space on March 1, 2013, aboard a SpaceX cargo mission to the International Space Station. It premiered on March 18, 2013, when the band had a live conversation with astronaut Tom Marshburn, who played the song from orbit.
The song is a catchy and upbeat anthem that celebrates life and freedom. The lyrics are about breaking free from the constraints of society and following your dreams. The chorus repeats the phrase “I’ve been up in the air, out of my head”, suggesting a state of euphoria and detachment from reality. The song also features a rap verse by Jared Leto, who showcases his versatility as a vocalist.
9. From Yesterday
From Yesterday is the third single from Thirty Seconds to Mars second album, A Beautiful Lie (2005). The song was inspired by the book The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt, which tells the story of a young boy who travels to Japan to learn about the samurai culture.
The song is a powerful and emotional ballad that reflects on the past and the future. The lyrics are about facing your fears and learning from your mistakes. The chorus states “He’s a stranger to some and a vision to none / He can never get enough, get enough of the one”, implying that the protagonist is lonely and misunderstood. The song also features a string section that adds to the dramatic mood.
The band filmed the song’s music video in China, the first American music video ever shot in its entirety in the People’s Republic of China. The video shows the band as samurai warriors who are betrayed by one of their own. The video is an epic 13-minute short film.
8. This Is War
This Is War is the title track and second single from Thirty Seconds to Mars third album, This Is War (2009). The album was recorded during a legal battle with their record label EMI, which sued them for $30 million for breach of contract. The album reflects the band’s frustration and defiance against the music industry and the world at large.
The song is a rebellious and anthemic rock song that calls for resistance and revolution. The lyrics are about fighting for what you believe in and standing up for yourself. The chorus declares “It’s a brave new world / From the last to the first / To the right to the left / We will fight to the death / To the edge of the earth / It’s a brave new world / It’s a brave new world”. The song also features a choir of fans who recorded their vocals online and sent them to the band.
7. Closer to the Edge
Closer to the Edge is the third single from This Is War (2009). Jared Leto’s experience of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with his brother Shannon and other celebrities to raise awareness for global warming inspired the song.
The song is an uplifting and motivational rock song that encourages living life to the fullest and pursuing your passions. The lyrics are about taking risks and pushing yourself beyond your limits. The chorus sings “No I’m not saying I’m sorry / One day maybe we’ll meet again / No I’m not saying I’m sorry / One day maybe we’ll meet again / No no no no”. The song also features a spoken word intro by Kanye West, who collaborated with the band on another track called Hurricane.
The song’s music video was directed by Jared Leto under his pseudonym Bartholomew Cubbins. The video features footage of the band performing live around the world, as well as interviews with fans who share their stories and opinions about life, music, and Thirty Seconds to Mars.
6. Walk on Water
Walk on Water is the lead single from the band’s fifth album, America (2018). Thirty Seconds to Mars released the song on August 22, 2017, after a four-year hiatus. A documentary film called A Day in the Life of America accompanied the song, which captured footage of people across the United States on July 4, 2017.
The song is a catchy and energetic pop rock song that celebrates the diversity and unity of America. The lyrics are about overcoming challenges and finding hope in the face of adversity. The chorus chants “Do you believe that you can walk on water? / Do you believe that you can win this fight tonight?” The song also features a gospel choir that adds to the uplifting vibe.
5. The Kill
The Kill is the second single from A Beautiful Lie (2005). Jared Leto wrote the song, influenced by his personal struggles and his fascination with the Stanley Kubrick film The Shining.
The song is a dark and haunting rock song that explores the themes of self-destruction and inner conflict. The lyrics are about confronting your fears and your true self. The chorus repeats the phrase “Bury me, bury me / I am finished with you”, implying a desire to end a toxic relationship or a part of oneself. The song also features a bridge that changes the tempo and mood of the song, creating a contrast between calmness and chaos.
Jared Leto, under his pseudonym Bartholomew Cubbins, also directed the song’s music video. The video pays homage to The Shining, as it shows Thirty Seconds to Mars staying in a hotel room that is haunted by their alter egos and ghosts.
4. Kings and Queens
Kings and Queens is the lead single from This Is War (2009). The song was written by Jared Leto, who was inspired by his travels around the world and his vision of a utopian society.
The song is a majestic and epic rock song that celebrates the potential and power of humanity. The lyrics are about dreaming big and creating your own destiny. The chorus proclaims “We were the kings and queens of promise / We were the victims of ourselves / Maybe the children of a lesser God / Between heaven and hell”. The song also features an orchestral arrangement that adds to the grandeur of the sound.
The song’s music video was also directed by Jared Leto under his pseudonym Bartholomew Cubbins. The video shows Thirty Seconds to Mars leading a massive group of cyclists through the streets of Los Angeles at night, as they join a movement called Critical Mass, which advocates for bicycle rights and environmental awareness.
Hurricane is the fourth single from This Is War (2009). Jared Leto wrote the song and collaborated with Kanye West on a remix version called Hurricane 2.0.
The song is a sensual and atmospheric rock song that explores the themes of love and lust. The lyrics are about being in a passionate and turbulent relationship that is both addictive and destructive. The chorus sings “Tell me would you kill to save a life? / Tell me would you kill to prove you’re right? / Crash, crash, burn, let it all burn / This hurricane’s chasing us all underground”. The song also features a spoken word outro by Jared Leto, who recites a poem called “The Manifesto of Mother Monster” by Lady Gaga.
Jared Leto, under his pseudonym Bartholomew Cubbins, also directed the song’s music video. The video shows Thirty Seconds to Mars members as characters in a dark and violent fantasy world, where they engage in various sexual and violent acts. The video is controversial and explicit.
2. A Beautiful Lie
A Beautiful Lie is the title track and fourth single from A Beautiful Lie (2005). The song was written by Jared Leto, who was inspired by his environmental activism and his concern for global warming.
The song is a melodic and emotional rock song. It urges people to take action and make a difference in the world. The lyrics are about facing the truth and making a change for the better. The chorus states “Lie awake in bed at night / And think about your life / Do you want to be different? / Try to let go of the truth / The battles of your youth / ‘Cause this is just a game”. The song also features an acoustic guitar solo that adds to the sincerity of the message.
Jared Leto, under his pseudonym Bartholomew Cubbins, also directed the song’s music video. The band filmed the video in Greenland, where they saw firsthand the effects of climate change on the ice caps. It shows Thirty Seconds to Mars performing on a melting glacier. It shows footage of their journey and their interaction with the local people.
1. The Edge of the Earth
The Edge of the Earth is the second track from their self-titled album 30 Seconds to Mars (2002). Jared Leto wrote the song, inspired by his documentary film series called Into the Wild. The series also followed the band’s journey across six continents and 300 shows in support of their album This Is War (2009).
The song is a stunning and epic rock song that captures the beauty and wonder of the world. The lyrics are about exploring the unknown and discovering yourself. The chorus sings “I will never forget / The moment, the moment / I will never forget / The moment / And the story goes on / That’s how the story goes”. The song also features a choir of children who sing in various languages, representing the diversity and harmony of humanity.
The song’s music video was also directed by Jared Leto under his pseudonym Bartholomew Cubbins. The video is a compilation of footage from Into the Wild, showing the Thirty Seconds to Mars’ adventures. It also shows their experiences in different countries and cultures.
The Bottom Line
Thirty Seconds to Mars is a band that has constantly evolved and experimented with their music and their art. They have created songs that are not only catchy and enjoyable, but also meaningful and inspiring. The band have touched on topics such as love, war, faith, dreams, society, environment, and self-identity.
They have also connected with their fans and their causes through their live performances, their films, and their social media. These are some of the reasons why they are one of the most successful and influential rock bands of our time. These are our picks for the 10 best Thirty Seconds to Mars songs. Do you agree with our list? What are your favorite songs by the band? Let us know in the comments below!