30 Seconds To Mars to play San Jose 

The photogenic Jared Leto (or Jordan Catalano to all you closet “My So-Called Life” freaks — you know who you are) hasn’t made a feature film since “Mr. Nobody” in 2009. That’s because he’s been working overtime on his other career — fronting the punk-metal power trio 30 Seconds To Mars, and backing its year-old “This Is War” album on nonstop world tour.

The band returns to the Bay Area next Saturday, Jan. 15, at the Event Center at San Jose State (www.livenation.com). At legal odds with their label when the Flood/Steve Lillywhite-produced disc was recorded, the  band “financed the record ourselves, paid for every single hard drive, and we were committed and passionate about doing so,” says Leto, whose brother Shannon anchors 30STM on drums.

Naturally, songs like “Escape,” “Vox Populi” and “Search & Destroy” are, ahem, rather aggressive in tone.

According to Leto, “they concern the American Dream, and the promise of that and the failure of that — the idea that if you’ve got this, that and the other, you’re gonna be OK, you’re gonna be happy. And obviously, we’ve found that all to be pretty untrue. So I think it’s become a survivalist mentality out there right now, a very defensive posture. And when you’re in defensive posture, it’s really hard to be in a positive, creative place — when you batten down the hatches, it’s hard to see the view.”

For more of Leto’s well-informed view, visit www.thirtysecondstomars.com.

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Tom Lanham

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