Drummer of the Week – Shannon Leto

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Shannon Christopher Leto was born on the 9th of March 1970. He is the drummer for the band 30 Seconds To Mars and has dabbled in acting. His younger brother Jared Leto is the lead singer and guitarist for 30 Seconds To Mars. Shannon Leto aka Shanimal was born in Bossier City, Louisiana. He has been playing drums since he was 5-years-old and his favourite drummers are Nick Mason, Keith Moon, Roger Taylor and Lars Ulrich to name a few.

With 30 Seconds To Mars he practices 6-7 hours a day and he has stated in an interview with Modern Drummer Magazine in February 2006 that all the practice has made his playing more precise and given him more stamina. Shannon prefers an organic way of doing things by using electronic sounds that  the band creates themselves. Bob Ezrin who helped produce 30 Seconds to Mars’s debut album has referred to Shannon as one of the most inventive drummers he’s worked with. Shannon has described 30 Seconds to Mars’s music as having the grandiosity of Pink Floyd and the energy of the Sex Pistols. Shannon appeared on a few episodes of My So-Called Life with Jared Leto before forming 30 Seconds to Mars in 1998 with the addition of bass player Matt Wachter and later they were joined by guitarist Tomo Miličević.

Shannon has also expressed interest in writing, abstract art, progressive rock and practices photography.

“For his drums he uses Sabian Cymbals, Vater Nude 5AN drum sticks, Remo drumheads, Sonor Drums, And DW hardware. His drums are decorated with RockenWraps Skin artwork that features photos of over 400 people of The Echelon.” – Quote obtained from Wikipedia

Shannon played a small role in Prefontaine and Highway in which brother Jared played the starring role(s).

On the 19th of September 2012 Shannon Leto released a remix of Night of the Hunter a song off of Thirty Seconds to Mars‘s 3rd album This is War. If you would like to hear it you can find out more here: http://thirtysecondstomars.thisisthehive.net/blog/2012/09/19/night-of-the-hunter-shannon-leto-remix/

I think its a really interesting take on the track and I’m really happy to see that Shannon decided to do the remix himself and not let another DJ remix it instead. It really speaks volumes about the diversity of Shannon’s interests and abilities.

CB7 was the opening act for Thirty Seconds to Mars in 2011 on their tour of the US. Shannon Leto and Antoine Becks has worked on the project CB7 for two years up until it saw the light of day more or less in the middle of 2010. CB7 stems from the global underground electronic music scene. The band consists of keyboardist Adam White, bassist Noah Dean and Antoine’s cousin Matt Becks on drums. Shannon plays percussion in the band among a few other instruments. They are a pretty decent dance act, here is a video where you can see what I’m talking about:

You can listen to demos on CB7’s Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/CB7music


CB7 Shannon Leto and Antoine Becks Flyer
Source: http://www.facebook.com/pages/SLetoABecks-Online-FanSite/

There is little factual information available on CB7 at the moment and therefore I have posted vague time periods and have given information based on my current knowledge of CB7.

Shannon is a great live drummer and is extremely entertaining to watch. I never knew someone could exert so much energy sitting down. He bends over the drums and smashes into them with full force, you can feel and see how passionate he is about drumming.

Its really surprising that This is War was recorded in Shannon and Jared’s house, so every sound you hear on the album is unique. Shannon recorded a lot of the drums in a big room after they removed the furniture. He recorded some parts in the kitchen, other parts in the closet which consists of a cement wall and ceiling. They even recorded some parts in the hallway that was covered with mikes in order to get the sounds they wanted. A lot of the kit you hear is live and there is no manipulation. Everything else consisted of tapping on a bucket to hand claps and so forth. They would then tweak those sounds in order to make them sound the way they wanted it to. Recording in the house allowed them to come up with a lot of new ideas and encouraged spontaneity.

Night of the Hunter features a part which Shannon spent 10 days on to get it to “sound right”. Shannon learned a lot about himself and his drumming while recording and playing drums on the album on This is War. He learned how to trust someone else’s vision, to combine it with his own vision and to develop music from that. Nothing on This is War was rushed, Shannon learned that patience is a fundamental part of creation. From this album Shannon found his real “voice” and he hopes that he can continue to grow, develop and have an open mind.

The two paragraphs above was based on an interview Shannon did with DRUM! Magazine in January 2010.

I sometimes think people underestimate or disregard Shannon’s talent and contribution to the band. Shannon has proved time and again that he is a force to be reckoned with and that he has the talent and drive to back it up. Shannon has never been shy to state his love and admiration for his brother which I find infinitely sweet and admirable. I’m proud to call myself part of The Echelon and Shannon Leto will always be a third of the reason for that.

You can follow Shannon Leto on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/ShannonLeto

You can subscribe to Shannon’s updates on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/theshannonleto

The genius at work:

Rock Regards,

Lauren K


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