|Tomo and Matt interview June 2006
||[Jun. 16th, 2009|05:24 am]
Department of Tomology
This is an older interview from June 2006. But it is such a good one I had to post it for the records. It give a lot of good information on the bands thoughts on some interesting points. So I thought even though it is older it gives a lot of good information on how they feel about things.|
Its a really good read.
;D Link and full interview behind the cut
Link:Confront Magazine Internview Link
This first part is so funny I had to post it open. It had me rolling. Typical Matt and Tomo banter. I love that about them. The rest in behind the cut. Wish I could have heard the rest of that conversation. haha.
Transcript: Matt Wachter, Tomo Milicevic – 30 Seconds to Mars
June 28th, 2006
The interview took place in a bistro bar adjacent to the band’s hotel in Toronto, Canada.
Matt – What did you say?
Tomo- I said sit down.
Matt- Ok here’s the deal. You don’t get to tell me what to do today.
Angel- Do you guys have days where you tell each other what to do?
Tomo- It’s almost a natural predicament really.
Angel – Oh nice. So how are you guys.
Matt starts talking to Tomo about his comment and remembers the interview.
Matt- Oh hey!
Angel- Hi, how are ya.
Matt- (laughing) Good.
Angel- Good. The first thing I wanted to ask you was how you were living your transition from the underground scene to the more popish MTV scene? The Kill is now in the elite 8 rotation right?
Get interrupted to order
Tomo- So basically what you are saying is how are we dealing with our inevitable success?
Angel- Yeah essentially.
Tomo – Nothing feels very different really. We just continue to do what we’ve always been doing. This is just a natural progression I guess. We made a video here in Toronto, which turned out to be really good, you know. And its starting to go over in a lot of other formats where before they wouldn’t. Until recently.
Angel- Do think that it’s because this video is more mainstream?
Tomo – No, I think it’s just all of our hard work on tour over the past years that’s its finally starting to pay off and starting to reach more people and because of that people like MTV are starting to come on board and work with us whereas before they didn’t want to for whatever reason. And when you have a video on MTV, a lot of people are gonna see it. So inevitably there’s more people that buy your CD, more people come to shows.
Matt - It’s also been a very gradual growth.
Tomo – Yeah
Matt - Our success over the past five years has been a slow build. So I don’t think it’s changed us in any way and it hasn’t been like “whoa Oh My God” you know. It’s just been so gradual that it’s been kind of easy to take in.
Tomo - It’s exciting ‘cause there’s all these new things but it’s definitely not like “Holy shit what the Hell is going on”
Matt - Yeah not like “We are on TRL what the Hell?”
Tomo – Yeah! We’ve been on tour none stop with a month and half break for the last year. For us we are just still on tour.
Angel - Do you find your fans have grown with you through it?
Tomo - Oh yeah!
Matt – Definitely!
Tomo – There’s people at our shows that have been coming since day one and that are still there in the front row, people that follow us all over the country. Everywhere, you know.
Angel – You were a fan before being part of the band right?
Tomo – Yep!
Matt – He is an example of a fan that grew with us.
Angel- Now that is MAJOR growth.
Tomo- (laughing) I’m a pretty good example. I weaseled my way in. I’m like the ultimate fan that figured out how to hang out with these fools all the time.
Matt – Watch your words buddy!
Angel – How did that help you musically with the band? Does it help you that you know what the fans hear?
Tomo- Well because I got to see the band live it definitely gives me a different idea of what we sound like, to them, you know. I’m the only person that knows what we sound like from the other side. These guys never got to see that. Or will never get to see that. And so in some way it might have given me some sort of inspiration. But you know, I’ve been playing guitar for a long time so I naturally went this way. Here I am now. It just led me to here.
Angel – Matt, I read somewhere that you had let some fans into a venue that was sold out because they hadn’t been able to get some tickets. And on your message boards fans have been saying how great and wonderful you are and so on for it...
Tomo- Yeah we do that sometimes.
Matt- You know what is funny? When I do that I tell them not to tell anyone.
Angel- Oh but see, they are so proud of you guys it’s not a question of boasting and saying “look what I got”. They’re so proud of you and how different you are from other bands. That’s what it’s about.
Tomo- If we are playing a sold out show and there are people that we KNOW should be inside the show, they are going to get in to see the show.
Matt – If we can do it. Obviously there are circumstances where we are unable to do it because there is an age restriction or something, but we do it when we can.
Angel- Do you think that as you get bigger, doing things like that will get harder?
Tomo - It hasn’t been so far.
Matt – No it hasn’t been so far.
Tomo - We haven’t changed anything about the way we do stuff, you know. After every single show we do a signing and then after that signing, we take pictures with every single person that’s there.
Matt- Every single show we have ever played we’ve done that.
Tomo- That’s just one of the things that we do. We want to have a connection with our crowd and that’s the best way to do it. We just want them to know that we appreciate all the time and money they have spent on us. They don’t have too, but they do so we know that we are here because they are there.
Angel – I know they really appreciate it. We are doing an expose on the echelon and the Mars Army as well as these interviews and we are doing it because in researching for the interviews I was actually a bit freaked out by the way your fans respond to you …
Matt – You wouldn’t be the first to be freaked out.
Tomo - Yeah you wouldn’t be the first. We are often times terrified as well. Terrified and flattered.
Matt- Flattered yeah!
Angel- It’s unlike anything I’ve seen. They don’t think of you as superstars. They think of you as such regular people.
Tomo- We refer to them as our dysfunctional family.
Angel - Why is that?
Tomo - I don’t know. I think it’s just funny.
Matt - Yeah I think we just say that. It’s more of an extended family.
Tomo- We’ve actually made friendships with people. Not like, on a very personal level, but to the point where we get to a place and we know people. We know which people will be at a show. We know that the first 20 kids in line in different regions are always gonna be the same 20 people. On the east coast, the same 20 people are always there. Now it’s growing to bigger numbers now. It’s fifty people in line. Like tonight there will be people from NY, NJ, and Philadelphia. Like, if it’s within five hours driving they will be there.
Matt – There was a girl on our “Forever Night, Never Day” tour, she cashed in her retirement plan to follow us for two month on the road.
Tomo – Yeah!
Angel – How do you respond to that?
Matt (laughing)– “What the fuck are you doing”?
Tomo- What you want to say is “Why did you do that”. But you can’t. She felt like that was the right thing to do. You know, her life - her choices. We are very lucky to have people who are willing to do that for us. I know for a fact… we know a lot of bands and they always ask us “how did you guys do that?”. They always ask “how did you create this following?”. And I don’t know the answer to that.
Matt – I just think we took a very kind of grass roots approach to the way we’ve built this band. Kind of very slow and steady and a lot of touring. We’ve toured a lot in the past five years that I’ve been in the band.
Tomo- I mean, this band has got to have played a thousand shows by now.
Matt- Yeah definitely.
Tomo- Since I’ve been in the band we’ve played well over 400 shows easily. That’s a lot.
Angel- You’ve referred to the fans as your dysfunctional family and said it was sort of a joke but you know, they take it really seriously.
Matt – no no! The dysfunctional part is a joke.
Angel- I don’t mean the dysfunctional part I mean the term “family” is what they take seriously.
Tomo- Yeah they’ve been dubbed. The people who know what we are talking about, they are our dysfunctional family. We are one big happy dysfunctional family.
Matt – We put the fun in dysfunctional
Angel - I’ve been on the message board a lot to talk about the expose and ask people to help…
Tomo - Oh they must have loved that.
Angel- Well they’ve been really inclusive in the sense that they were really interested and wanted to help and offered suggestions and submissions and so on. But they were also exclusive in the sense that they wanted us to make sure we were REAL fans.
Tomo - Exactly. They are very protective of us.
Matt- Exclusive I think to a certain extent. There’s a few that are exclusive to a point where it’s almost… were you feel turned of by it almost.
Tomo - A small number.
Matt – Yeah! A small number, but I don’t think that represents the majority. I think the majority are very welcoming. You see it on the message board. Like, people will say “this is my first time on the board” and you will see a whole string of people saying “Welcome”, “welcome”, “welcome”, you know.
Tomo- And then you get one person that’s like…
Matt- “Fuck off”.
Tomo – “you don’t know what it means so get the fuck outta here”.
Matt - I think that’s inevitable with any kind of following.
Tomo – People that listen to bands, that become big fans of the band and especially people that were there from the very beginning, like people that are like “I was one of the first people to like this band” they feel like they have major ownership. Especially when that band starts to become successful because they are like “I was here first where the hell have you been” and it’s difficult to say that that’s a bad approach. But you know, you can’t really control that because I’ve been like that.
Matt – Yeah
Tomo- I was one of the first people to hear of the Deftones and like, I’ve been listening to that band since day one. When I was younger, I definitely was like an elitist with that band. I’m from Detroit and we all are very particular…
Matt – angry!?!
Tomo (laughing) - Angry about our music.
Angel- On the message board they were saying that you had never played in Detroit. Have you?
Tomo- Oh we have. We just don’t play there very often.
Matt - Play where?
Matt - Oh Detroit yeah, we don’t really play there.
Tomo – its funny you know. You would think that since I’m from there that would be a bigger attraction and we’d have more support from radio stations and stuff like that but its just not there. And that’s ok it doesn’t bother me at all. I don’t live there anymore. I’ve always wanted to live in LA and I consider that my home. And my whole family lives in LA. But we’ll play there. We will. Well get there. But it’s like, when there is a demand, when there is a much much higher demand in so many other places, there are places that get left behind. And Detroit just happens to be one of those places for us. But they’ll come around, you’ll see. And then we will own that place.
Angel- You will OWN Detroit?
Angel - Nice! All of it? The whole city?
Tomo - Mark my words. They will give us the key to the city.
Angel- that’s awesome.
Matt- What’s in that water man?
Tomo – Lemon buddy, good old lemon.
Angel - In talking to some fans about the expose and what we were doing, a lot of fans that couldn’t be here and that are from overseas sent us written submissions…
Tomo- Like fans from France?
Angel- France and Belgium – different places.
Tomo- I know. It’s bizarre.
Angel- They’ve submitted PAGES of text about what the Echelon is, what it means to them, what YOU mean to them, and then they go: “but they’ve never been here”. Are you planning on going soon?
Tomo- We always have plans to go there but our thinking is our momentum is so strong in America, that we should focus all of our efforts there because the stronger we are here the better…
Matt- the better chance we have when we go there.
Tomo- Yeah, the better chance we have over there to do very well.
Matt – We just want to keep up the momentum
Angel- The album has been out for almost a year now and “The Kill” has been out for something like 6 weeks. How do you plan on keeping the momentum going?
Matt - I think for a lot of people this is still a new band.
Tomo – Yeah!
Matt - And people are just finding out about it.
Tomo- It’s funny because since The Kill has been doing so well, everyone is kind of treating us like a new record, as if this was the first single. Because “Attack” did really well and got to # 20 and it was great but this is now, the sales and the people at the shows and MTV and the radio plays is at such a higher level now, that to such a larger number of people we are like a brand new band so the momentum just hasn’t gone down. It’s just exponentially grown. So because of that we really don’t consider it’s a year old record.
Angel- We have five questions that we ask everybody.
Tomo – (laughing) Oh boy.
Angel- No they really aren’t that bad guys.
Matt – If it’s a question about a hot pocket we are outta here.
Angel - No no, not about a hot pocket. The first one is: How do you think music is evolving?
Tomo- You know what’s evolved is that hip-hop has become the mainstream and rock has gotten more underground. And that means that that music, that what people used to say would never make it to the mainstream, is now predominantly mainstream. But really I think the evolution of mainstream has slowed down a lot. There hasn’t been a Nirvana yet. So in the last 20 years or so, I think it’s been really similar. Other than electronic music becoming really popular for a few years it hasn’t really changed very much I don’t think. That’s my opinion. Matt?
Matt- I agree.
Angel- With the magazine we try to show that nothing everything is Britney Spears and boy bands but there is nothing wrong with mainstream. Who do you think is currently working at breaking the molds of what mainstream has become?
Tomo- Honestly it’s bands like Fall Out Boy and PanicAt The Disco. I don’t like that music very much, I’m not a fan of it. But those are rock bands that came from traditional rock upbringings, that have just skyrocketed into the mainstream. Even My Chemical Romance, that is like a big rock band, haven’t crossed over as well as those two bands. For some reason those two bands have hit a nerve and I don’t know why? I don’t get it. But it’s definitely happening.
Matt- I think a band like Radiohead, even though they’ve been around for a very long time, they are mainstream but yet they have maintained their underground integrity.
Tomo- That’s a way better example.
Matt – No they are both valid just on different levels.
Tomo - I thought the question was what newer band…
Angel- Any band.
Tomo – oh ok, yeah!
Matt - I think most people are familiar with Radiohead, either the name or a song but yet you don’t really hear them on the radio that much but yet they are still in the mainstream consciousness.
Tomo- Yeah it seems like everyone knows Radiohead.
Matt- And they continue to redefine themselves with every record. U2 is another good example.
Tomo - Yeah U2 is a great example.
Angel – You guys like U2 a lot right?
Tomo- Oh yeah. They are an incredible rock band. I guess there are people who don’t like U2 but the majority of people do and hats off to those guys, because they did the impossible. They’ve been around for so long and everyone can appreciate something about U2 at some point. Even if you are into heavy metal bands there is something about U2.
Matt – It’s the same thing with Radiohead. No matter what genre of music you are into, everyone can find something to relate to.
Tomo- Ultimately those guys write great songs. And that’s really what mainstream is all about. It’s writing a song that can touch the most people.
Angel – What were your first and last concerts attended?
Tomo - I usually say Nirvana because I got to see them, but truthfully that’s not true. I went to another concert first.
Matt – Bel Biv Devoe?
Tomo - No. It wasn’t that bad. I think it was Paula Abdul and In Living Color.
Angel - Can I just say that’s not the answer I was expecting!
Tomo- The truth comes out.
Angel - Last concert?
Matt – I guess ours doesn’t count?
Angel- No. Edgefest either unless you went to see bands at Edgefest?
Tomo- I watched Rock Kills Kid but they are the only band I could see. When I was home I went to H.I.M at the House of Blues in LA. I love that band. Matt doesn’t like them that much but I love them.
Matt- To-may-to, To-ma- to.
Tomo – Exactly.
Matt – My first was White Snake.
Tomo- Lucky you.
Angel- First and last CD purchased?
Tomo - First CD I bought with my own money was Nirvana and then Metallica. Last CD I bought was the Secret Machine – Ten Silver Drops.
Matt– The first I bought was Twisted Sisters – Stay Hungry and the last one I bought was… I think it was Fiona Apple?
Tomo - Oh really?
Matt – I think it was Fiona Apple. I bought a lot of music in the last week so it’s hard to keep track. But I think it was Fiona Apple. It was one of them anyway.
Angel – We interviewed Matchbook Romance at Edgefest. And the last question of the 5 is that we try to ask the previous band we’ve interviewed, what they would ask the following band. So the question that Matchbook Romance had for you is “why are you guys named 30 Seconds to Mars?...”
Tomo (laughing) - Those pricks!
Angel – …and I though Yay!! I don’t have to be the one to ask that.
Matt – Right, put it on them.
Tomo- Tell them to go to our website and figure it out for themselves.
Matt – it sounds like a cop out but it’s not.
Tomo- We are a band that doesn’t like to tell you the answer.
Matt– We are all about interpretation. If you love a painting or a piece of music and the person who painted that or wrote that piece of music and says “this is what this is about” and you had a completely different interpretation of it, it completely ruined it for you. So why ruin someone else’s experience. I think in a day and age where everything is spelled out and everything is so tangible and obvious I think it’s refreshing to have a band leave a little to the imagination.
Tomo- It definitely doesn’t have anything to do with space though.
Matt – No, cross that off the list. But if it does to you, then whatever.
Angel – On your message board they said that it was taken from an essay?
Tomo- It’s called the Argus Apocraphex if you can find it.
Matt– Good luck.
Tomo- Yeah good luck. It actually has to do with the exponential growth of technology.
Angel- I don’t know if you guys go to your message boards a lot?
Tomo- Not recently but we do.
Angel- There is a trend that has been going for a long time now where people are discussing your symbols, where to find this book, if it’s a book or an essay, who is it by etc.
Tomo - That’s the whole point. That right there is success. The fact that that has been alive for that long, that kind of a trend, and that young kids are not talking about stupid shit and are actually researching and searching for something…
Matt – And not talking about what product we use in our hair.
Tomo - Yeah. That’s the whole point.
Angel – Well some do but the majorities don’t.
Matt– Of course they do but that’s fine.
Tomo– The fact that they go there as well is the reason we have the fan base that we do. Because they are willing to do that. They want to know and they want to figure out for themselves. Or they don’t want to figure it out for themselves. They want to make it mean what they think it means. That’s beautiful! you couldn’t ask for anything more than that.
Angel- We have met incredible people in the process of doing this expose and at the Buffalo FYE acoustic performance last Sunday, there was a grandmother there with her grandchildren…
Matt - Was she the one with the guitar?
Angel – No she was the one wearing a 30 Seconds to Mars t-shirt that her granddaughter Tori made her and she was telling us all these things about you guys, about how great you were and so wonderful. That’s not something you are used to seeing, a grandmother at a rock band concert. Do you think that this is something that is specific to 30 Seconds to Mars?
Matt- I’m not sure. I’m not really familiar with other band’s fan bases but I’ve never seen anything like it in my experience. Such a broad demographic! I’ve never seen anything like it.
Tomo- It’s kind of cool that we could create something that can unite a family like that. I mean a grandmother and granddaughter having the same musical taste is definitely unreal.
Matt- 30 Seconds To Mars. Bringing families together.
Tomo - That’s right. People helping people.
Angel -Why did you start playing the guitar?
Tomo- I didn’t. I started playing the violin when I was 3 years old. My dad always had a guitar lying around but I always thought it was a stupid instrument ‘cause it had frets. And I thought what kind of a moron needs frets to play it in tune, you know. That’s what I used to say to myself. Because the violin is one of the most difficult instruments to learn. It takes years and years and years just to play a C major scale in tune. And I always scoffed at it. But then I discovered how it could be used. I started to learn about rock music and I discovered Nirvana and Metallica and that was it. Once I heard the power that you can create with it, I was no longer interested in the violin.
Angel- Do you still play the violin sometimes?
Tomo - I played seriously up until I was about 19. Then I stopped all together. I mean, I can pick it up and make noise with it and still sort of play it in tune but the violin is the sort of instrument that if you stop practicing for a month you’ve lost your skills.
Angel – Matt, why did you start playing the bass?
Matt – I don’t really remember.
Tomo – Matt’s like “I don’t know I used to be a guitar player.”
Angel- Did you really?
Matt – Yeah.
Tomo- Drums too right?
Matt – I started out playing piano. My mom made us. I have three brothers. We all were forced to take piano lessons. Then they stopped but I continued. And then I started playing drums. Then I played guitar and the bass. Switched around a lot. And I think that kind of helped shape me as musician over all. I don’t really know, it was just kind of gradual. It was a progression.
Angel- Do you miss the other instruments?
Matt- No I still play them.
Angel- You were saying that as you were going, you’ve evolved. Do you think that eventually you might not want to play bass anymore? And if so then where does that then leave you?
Matt- Yeah; I’ll just go back to something else. I’ll eventually want to play something else. But I’ll always go back to it.
Tomo- (laughing) What are you trying to say Matt?
Matt- I don’t know. I quit.
Angel- That’s sort of where I was going with that….