Behind the Band Name: Thirty Seconds to Mars

Armed with a revolving door of explosive sounds, consistently teetering between an alt-, prog-, and pop-rock classification, there is a reason Thirty Seconds to Mars has maintained their status as a cult favorite with every reinvention.

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From their inception in the late 1990s to today, the band – fronted by Oscar-winning actor Jared Leto alongside his older brother Shannon Leto – has been, for the most part, undefinable. They’ve continually stayed true to themselves, exploring an amalgamation of sounds that feel right to them … which is a lot like how they chose their band name.

Behind the Name

The name, Thirty Seconds to Mars, was supposedly taken from a rare manuscript, called the Argus Apocraphex. There is little information on this text and what can be found about it in online forums is at times contradictory. It is ancient and futuristic; it is Greek, or maybe Latin; it means something hidden, but it can also be located within.

Jared explained the band name’s meaning to Ink 19 in a 2005 interview. “It’s a reference – a rough translation, so who knows,” he said at the time. “I think the idea is interesting, it’s a metaphor for the future. It’s a silly metaphor on one hand, but it’s an idea that is being proven – I think – every single day.

“‘Thirty seconds to mars’ – the fact that we’re so close to something that’s not a tangible thing/idea,” he continued. “Also Mars being the God of War makes it really interesting, as well. You could substitute that in there, but the thing that’s nicest about the name, and what’s important for my brother and I when we were thinking about all of this, is that it be imaginative and really represent the sound of our music in as unique a way as possible. I think that it does that. It’s different.”

He added, “It was either that or ‘Boiled Hard.'”

Thirty Seconds to Mars Today

Thirty Seconds to Mars have confirmed new music is in the works. Speaking with Zane Lowe of Apple Music 1 in early 2022, as reported by NME, Jared revealed that the band has been sitting on “two albums, maybe three, worth of material.”

“As challenging as [lockdown] was for so many people around the world and devastating for so many, there was also a flipside to it,” the singer explained to the radio show host. “It was a blessing. And I sat and I started writing. It took me a month or two to get into the swing of things. But [we] wrote about 200 songs.”

The actor-frontman offered no release date in the interview but hinted new music could be coming soon. “We’re going to start putting it out momentarily. I mean, really momentarily. So really excited.”

A forthcoming album would be the band’s sixth and their first since the release of the 2018 LP, America.

(Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for KROQ/Entercom)

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