Selasa, 15 Desember 2009

30 Seconds to Mars - Tomo Milicevic

30 Seconds to Mars
Another Dimension with Tomo Milicevic
By: Natalie Sugarman

30 Seconds to Mars is an experience of music from another dimension. With lyrics that search for truth and insight into such a lost and broken world. They have created a community of music and visual art and invite all who want to join them in their shared vision.

I was really impressed when I read that when you decided that you wanted to play guitar that you and your father made one. Did you guys have any clue what you were doing when you set about to do this?

Not a clue whatsoever, we literally went to this woodworking store on Woodward Avenue. You know I'm from Detroit right? (Yep) I think it’s called Craftsman Workshop. I’m not even sure if it’s still there but they had a book on how to make an electric guitar. So we bought that and were like well I guess this is as good a starting place as any. Our big genius plan was to make a guitar so that we didn’t have to spend the money to buy one, thinking we were going to save money. Little did we know how foolish that was. We ended up spending so much money on tools and wood and mistakes that we could have bought five guitars that were better. I still have it! I actually played that guitar on a Beautiful Lie but I didn’t play it on this record cause there was just no place for it. But I had played it on a Beautiful Lie so I felt pretty happy about that.

You started playing with 30 Seconds to Mars in 2003. How did you meet Shannon? He’s the one that wanted you to audition correct?

He was just the first person that I met in the band. Shannon and Jared had a lot of mutual friends with my sister in LA. She moved out there a lot sooner than I did, basically I met Shannon when he was hanging at my sisters place and I came to LA. I had a band in Detroit at the time and I came to LA to do some business and see about getting some meetings and some connections and do a little networking. I met Shannon in the course of that and he told me about his band and this and that and I was such a cocky little prick at the time and I could of cared less. But then what happened was Shannon came and watched us play in LA once and he kind of took notice of me and asked me the next day how committed I was to my band. I was too na├»ve to realize that he was um… headhunting me for his band. So basically I kinda just kept in touch with him and what happened is that band that I was in ended up having the same management as 30 Seconds to Mars, so really that’s how I got in with the audition. Cause I had quit that band and when Solon left 30 Seconds to Mars their manager called me and was like hey I don’t know if you’re interested or not but 30 Seconds to Mars is about to have an audition. And I was like yeah oh yeah I’m definitely interested and you have to understand at this point I was an enormous fan of the band, I was like oh my god I was so foolish I can’t believe I had the opportunity that I didn’t take from the get go. So when that call came I was like where and when and Arthur Spivak said it’s tomorrow in LA. And I was like I guess I have to get on a plane and I pretty much bought a one way ticket and I brought my guitar and a backpack full of clothes and I said Sa La Vie Michigan I love you but I’m gone. The rest is pretty much history, I went to LA and I had no intention of one not getting the job and two ever coming back. This wass where I needed to be to do what I want to do. And here we are coming full circle talking to Real Detroit.

How would you describe the music of 30 Seconds to Mars? Who is 30 Seconds to Mars?

I mean to describe 30 Seconds to Mars you have to realize that it’s so much more than a band or just music. Music is just one part of what 30 Seconds to Mars is all about and it took me a long time to really get what Jared and Shannon were trying to do, obviously I wasn’t there for the beginning of the band or the creation of the idea of the band. So it took me a really long time to realize what they were trying to accomplish with this. And what it is, it’s a community. 30 Seconds to Mars is all about a shared experience and creating this world where we can all escape to for at least a short time. I really feel like I’m the luckiest person in the world because I love Jared’s songwriting and music and the vibe that he creates in the studio, it’s something that I could never have done on my own and it took me a long time to realize that. I feel really lucky that I got to be part of it, I feel really grateful. I probably would be in Michigan still, working at Guitar Center I’m 30 years old now and I would of just been bitter because I didn’t go for it. 30 Seconds to Mars is all about community and a shared experience and visual art, music, and just kind of sharing this ride with everyone that’s interested in participating.

For the music videos that you guys have made where do the ideas come from? Does the band have a creative say in the making of them?

I can say with full honesty that 99% of all creative things come from the band and from Jared, he’s the visionary, he’s the mastermind behind all of it. He writes the treatments for all the videos, he sources all the information, he finds the production companies, he directs the videos, he writes the songs, he produces the record, I mean we all produce the record of the band but its Jared at the forefront of that. You know he’s no joke, sometimes I wish people could just peer inside and see how much he does, you know cause he’s an easy target sometimes and it’s always based on a preconceived notion that they have no idea about. He’s the real deal as real of a deal as I’ve ever know anyone I’ve ever known.

That’s awesome to be part of that.

That’s what I keep saying; at least once a week I snap out of it and I’m like Jesus Christ man I could be doing nothing with my life. There was plenty of options for the brothers Leto to choose from as far as good guitar players out in LA and they gave me a shot because I kind of looked them in the eyes and said, “I’m gonna work harder than anyone else you’ll ever meet and I’m loyal and you guys can trust me.” And they did and I’m forever eternally grateful for it.

What’s the premise behind the name of the album ‘This Is War’?

When we started working on the album we talked about titles and stuff like that and this was really a title that was floating around for a while. And it’s funny because we kept trying to beat it and we were like we can’t name the record ‘This Is War’ its so obvious and as time went on the world fell apart literally. You live in Michigan I mean you know it Michigan got hid harder than most places anywhere and we were like wow this is crazy we were making an album while the world was falling apart. We got into a lawsuit with the record company; we were each individually going through our own personal bullshit. The main reason we kept the title is because we really think and feel that it describes the sound of the music and the sound of the record perfectly, it’s like a battle call the whole album. Ultimately it was the one phrase that encompassed everything that was going on around us at one time. So we really felt that in the end it was the right title.

The Fillmore 12/18 (This article was supposed to be in Real Detroit Weekly but my editor double booked the interview - I had to give it a home it's a great interview and Tomo was great!)

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