“A world without music would be less interesting than a world with music. It would probably be much more empty.” ― Jared Leto
We have carefully chosen the songs on this playlist because we are well aware of the power music has over us. A song can bring back to life our earliest childhood memories or it can summon the ghosts of past loves.
We are all fascinated with the idea of peering into the playlists of our favorite actors or musicians since we know each song offers a tiny glimmer into their inner selves. In the past few months, Jared Leto has been the center of attention following his role as the Joker in Suicide Squad.
As we view his performance, we cannot help but wonder what sort of music he listened to while on the set of DC Comics’ new feature film. His acting career can be traced back to 1995 with the film, How to Make an American Quilt. Prior to becoming Batman’s most obscured villain, he participated in Requiem for a Dream, Fight Club, American Psycho, and Dallas Buyers Club. The latter earned him an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award.
As an actor, Leto is undeniably talented and often applauded by the public. In 1998, he formed a band with his older brother, Thirty Seconds to Mars. His fans and detractors didn’t waste a minute and quickly made up their minds regarding Leto’s new career move. Many people welcomed his new band and others questioned his decision.
“It’s something special. It’s not for everyone. It’s only for those who understand,” Leto explains, regarding his band and fan base, which he considers to be family. Opinions may vary, but Thirty Seconds to Mars is not visibly transforming the music scene with its productions.
The band’s most severe critics depict Leto’s performances as overly dramatic, bordering on juvenile. In 2013, Andrew Goldman from The New York Times told him “Not to bring you down, but Rolling Stone has written some pretty brutal reviews of 30 Seconds to Mars’s albums.” Leto’s response allows us to understand how the band and Jared perceive their work: “There was an incredibly long list of offenders before us, dilettante actors who put out an album just because they had the opportunity and finances to do so. We’ve been doing this for a long time, and I think that story has righted itself.”
In order to understand Jared Leto as a musician and his project, we need to first explore other bands that have influenced the singer/actor and his bandmates. He knew he wanted to be an actor, but from an early age, he felt the calling of music in his veins.
”Whole Lotta Love” – Led Zeppelin
The Leto brothers think of this song as the soundtrack of their youth. According to Jared, Led Zeppelin inspired him to be a rock star.
”Personal Jesus” – Depeche Mode
Of course, Leto had to love David Gahan’s band. Jared has expressed that Depeche Mode’s pure and revolutionary sound will never be out of fashion.
”Love Will Tear Us Apart” – Joy Division
The unique sound of Joy Division inspires Leto in the recording studio.”Beautiful band, so decisive,” Jared has said about Joy Division.
”Karma Police” – Radiohead
Jared considers this track to be a “great album, great song, and a great video.” The sounds of this song are far from what Thirty Seconds to Mars plays; nevertheless, Radiohead has always been a must in his playlist.
“Fascination Street” – The Cure”
It’s hard to pick just one,” Jared states every time he is asked about his favorite song from The Cure. “Fascination Street” is Leto’s first pick because of its unique baseline. He describes it as cinematic, dark, and lush.