A few years ago 30 Seconds To Mars earned the distinct honor of being the first American rock band to shoot a music video (“From Yesterday”) entirely in China. Now with their latest clip for “Hurricane,” they are pushing boundaries in new ways; sexual ones. This latest three-part, 13-minute short film, which is like an extended, hallucinatory dream sequence somewhat inspired by Nine Inch Nail’s far darker “Closer” video, has had some censors up in arms over its S&M-oriented content. This was something the group was clearly aware of when making it, although their singer thought the religious book burning scene would cause more of a ruckus than the sexual images. Regardless, fans have certainly responded to it; a couple of hundred of them lined up for a free screening of the clip last night. The media has also written plenty about the controversy, even though there is nothing truly explicit on screen. It’s that old trick of telling young people something is forbidden, which makes it more desirable to them. Mission accomplished. Then again, it is perhaps refreshing to think that in a world where scantily clad bikini models cavort across Times Square video displays and porn stars have become mainstream icons that the power of erotic suggestion is still deemed “dangerous” by some.
30 Seconds’ three core members — frontman Jared Leto, guitarist Tomo Miličević and drummer Shannon Leto — came to the Museum Of Sex in NYC to screen the uncensored version of “Hurricane” and to field racy questions from fans (and hear their kinky testimonials) during a panel conducted by acclaimed author and New York Times contributor Neil Strauss. Jared certainly knew how to play the audience, teasing them before the screening with some dirty talk — encouraging being extra friendly with your new neighbors, hinting that clothing would come off, even suggesting the possibility that someone might get pregnant that night (but I don’t think he meant by him) — and afterward encouraged people to discuss their secret fantasies. Many young women in the audience frankly and eagerly revealed theirs; everything from a threesome to being caned. The crowd reveled in the hedonistic thoughts. It’s certainly not something you’d see on Fuse or MTV, or any mainstream television network for that matter.
Jared also made sure to point out the members of the New York fetish community — The Baroness, a tall, striking figure named Jeremy (who was also their casting director) and a few others — who were in the room and to thank them for being a part of the production. “They shared a really personal and deep part of their lives with us,” he declared. “These aren’t actors on screen. These are people that are sharing something that is very special and very sacred. We are really blessed to have them be a part of the experience.” He added: “Walking down 42nd Street with Jeremy is one of the experiences of a lifetime. I’ve never seen so many confused men.” (Although he probably did anticipate the hordes of sexy, screaming women that would show up to the event.)
All in all, it was a pretty entertaining evening, and the venue was perfect. By the way, check out the Museum Of Sex if you get the chance. It’s quite intriguing and eye-opening, but not just for the dirty reasons you might think.
The censored video clip for “Hurricane” is below. For the uncensored version, click here. (Make sure you’re 18!) A photo gallery follows.