Last week I caught up with Mr 30 Seconds To Mars himself, Jared Leto. I was particularly excited about this since I think his forthcoming film Dallas Buyers Club is comfortably one of the best films I have ever seen, without exaggeration.
The film is about a group of dying AIDS patients who are forced to take unapproved anti-viral drugs not available in the USA, provided by Matthew McConaughey. Jared plays the part of Rayon, a transgender, drug-addicted woman who strikes up an unlikely friendship with McConaughey, despite his initial homophobic tendencies.
I also asked Jared about a number of recent articles suggesting that rock music is dying. He was particularly passionate about this so I included his full response in the interview.
Talking of transgender issues, if you have not checked out the latest Against Me! record, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, you are missing an absolute beast of a record. In equal parts dark, disturbing, shocking, brutally honest but yet euphoric at the same time. They are one of my all-time favourite bands, but personally I found their last record White Crosses to be quite bland and samey, dare I say it, quite MOR, so it’s an absolute pleasure to see them re-gain their inner anger. We live in an age now where bands struggle to stand out from each other and anything even slightly controversial has either been done before or just comes across as rather desparate publicity. It’s heartwarming, then, to be championing a band with a transgender frontwoman screaming lyrics like ‘You’ve got no c*nt in your strut, you’ve got no ass to shake’ and ‘They just see a f*ggot, they hold their breath not to catch the stick’, essentially releasing the first genuinely controversial and confrontational rock album in years.
Here is the single ‘Black Me Out’ (interestingly the last song on the album – has that ever happened before?!)
Elsewhere on the show, Renee from The Alex Baker Show was horrified to find that I didn’t know my shoe size, a source of much amusement to her and fellow K! presenter Jake Thomson.
Gig-wise, I’m looking forward to skanking my mind out to the Less Than Jake/Reel Big Fish/Zebrahead show at the Islington Academy, and Frank Turner’s biggest ever UK date at the 20, 000 capacity 02 Arena. More on that later in the week.