If you think Maynard James Keenan and Jared Leto are two names that seem at odds together in a sentence, well, we’d be inclined to agree.
Maynard has not lent his vocal abilities to many bands throughout his illustrious career. In fact, it’s a pretty short list of heavy hitters, including Deftones, Rage Against the Machine, and Green Jelly (hell yeah).
Given that hit list, we’d be lying if we said we didn’t do a double-take when we realized that he actually sang on (and supposedly helped write) a Thirty Seconds to Mars song back in 2002.
Thirty Seconds to Mars, for the unfamiliar, is actor/musician Jared Leto’s very successful alt-rock band. While most actor bands fizzle out after the morbid curiosity of that first press release hits the wire, Thirty Seconds to Mars have actually gone on to sell millions of records and fill arenas around the world. So we guess Leto did something right here.
There’s not a ton of documentation about what drove Maynard to work with Leto, but clearly, he was enticed enough to help write and contribute vocals to the song “Fallen” which is off of Thirty Seconds to Mars’ self-titled debut.
In a recent conversation with Rick Beato, Maynard gave some insight into what drives him to create musically, and how he likes to worth with others (so perhaps Leto checked some or all of these boxes):
“Generally speaking, because I accidentally only work with very strong personalities, stubborn people- I almost have to let them take the first step first and then react. And then allow them to see the reaction so they can build on the reaction. And that’s the same across all those projects. I never come in, I don’t normally come in and go ‘here’s a semi-finished or you know partially finished piece or bit or riff’. Early days, yes, but once you start to see the strengths of other people you’re working with, just you know, step back. Don’t get in the way. Stay in your lane.”
While we must confess to not being super familiar with Thirty Seconds to Mars’ catalog, sonically, we definitely hear some musical flirtation with Tool and A Perfect Circle moments in here.
Check out the song below, followed by a breakout of where Maynard weaves in and out: