30 Seconds to Mars have done a lot in the time since they released their This is War album — world tours, nocturnal bike rides, dirty music videos — but they’ve yet to do a proper episode of “MTV Unplugged.” Until now, that is.
On Friday, 30 STM taped what was, from the looks of things, a thoroughly epic installment of the long-running series. Though their “Unplugged” won’t premiere until July, MTV Radio was on hand for the performance and spoke to frontman Jared Leto about being asked to participate and what it meant to him to contribute to the franchise’s long and storied history.
“I think our generation, it was kind of a rite of passage, and if you were invited to do ‘MTV Unplugged,’ it certainly was a pretty big deal,” Leto said. “And so many of our favorite bands did ‘Unplugged’ and still do it, so we were really thrilled to be asked.”
Their “Unplugged” set featured standards like “Hurricane,” “Kings and Queens” and “Closer to the Edge,” plus a pair of iconic covers: the Police’s “Message in a Bottle” and U2′s “Where the Streets Have No Name,” the latter of which Leto said holds a special place in he and his brother Shannon’s hearts — and what better place to perform it than “Unplugged”?
“To be honest, [U2’s] Joshua Tree was a big record,” Leto said. “My brother had a copy of it, and he would open the windows of the apartment, and put the speaker in the windowsill, and it would hold the sill open, and we would be outside in the summer, listening to it.
“It’s a big song for us, it’s nostalgic, and we really had a good time working on it.”- Jared Leto.