You may know him as one third of rock group 30 Seconds to Mars, who rocked out Kyiv back in 2010. This time, Shannon Leto is returning without his brother or band, but instead with buddy Antoine Becks.
Leto and Becks have been working together for a few years, firstly on project CB7 and then touring the globe with their unique fusion of DJing and live percussion.
The latter is something Shannon takes pretty seriously, spending six to seven hours a day on his drums. This devotion to his craft saw him described by Bob Ezrin, co-producer of the 30 Seconds To Mars debut album, as “one of the most inventive drummers I’ve worked with. He isn’t satisfied with simply adding a beat; his drum parts are an integral part of the orchestration of the record. He’s also a great live drummer who is lots of fun to watch, with a presence and energy level that are mesmerizing.” We got him to put down his drumsticks and give us a little of his time.
You’ve been to Kyiv before - how was your last concert here?
I got my shirt ripped off me, so that gives a pretty good indication of how it was.
We’ve heard that you are a big fan of the cuisine here - what dishes are on your list for this trip?
I’m open to trying anything new, so if anyone has any suggestions let me know.
What other aspects of Ukraine do you like?
I like how people value their culture. It’s a very traditional environment and I like the simple and direct way people interact.
How long are you going to be in Kyiv for this time?
Two nights, so hopefully I’ll have time to see some of the city. I’m looking for tour guides…
You did a very successful concert in St Petersburg, why do you think the crowds are so responsive in this part of the world?
In this part of the world people like to abandon themselves when they go out at night. They like to dance, have a good time and celebrate. They are free and beautiful.
What’s happening with CB7 at the moment?
Right now they are working on demos.
And 30 Seconds to Mars?
That’s a surprise. Currently game-planning.
You both seem to love being on tour, what is it about being on the road you like so much?
Sharing the experience with people every night. The exchange of energy that happens.
How different is it being on tour with just the two of you, rather than with a band?
With just two of us it’s quicker, less production, less people to move around – it’s run and gun, guerrilla style!
Have you had much interaction with your Ukrainian fans since you were last here? If so, how, and how has it been?
The exchange has all been through the Internet. I try to keep a conversation going through Twitter, that’s what’s great about the Internet. Imagine if it were still the days of pigeons.
What can people coming to your gig expect?
Spontaneity, energy, and chaos.
What message do you have for your Ukrainian fans?
I love my beautiful Ukrainian fans and I cannot wait to get nasty with all of you.