Shannon Leto

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Shannon Leto
Shannon Leto (Kent).jpg
Shannon Leto performing in October 2010
Background information
Born (1970-03-09) March 9, 1970 (age 44)
Bossier City, Louisiana
Genres Alternative rock[1]
Occupations Musician, photographer, actor
Instruments Vocals, drums, percussion, samples, guitar, keyboards
Years active 1991-present
Associated acts Thirty Seconds to Mars, The Wondergirls, Street Drum Corps

Shannon Leto is an American drummer and an occasional actor. He is the older brother of musician and actor Jared Leto; both are part of the rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars.

Early life[edit]

Leto was born in Bossier City, Louisiana, the son of Constance "Connie" Metrejon and Anthony Bryant (now separated). Leto is the stepfather's name, which Shannon & Jared inherited once his mother remarried (sons aged young). Their mother was a high school drop out at 18 years of age, with 2 children. They state in interviews 'Our mom's always been very creative & loves art and music' This inspired the creation of the band. Jared Leto, his younger brother has always been more of an extrovert and more outgoing than Shannon. They've both always been very creative since they were children, and they thought their dreams would never come true. They were unsure of what career choices to make, as they were quite poor & always travelling. However all the possible occupation ideas were ended when they formed the band '30 Seconds To Mars' in 1998. [2][3] Growing up "food stamp poor", he and his brother, Jared, moved around frequently.[4] His brother has described their mother as a "hippie".[5]


Musical career[edit]

He has been playing drums since 1975, and currently plays in the band Thirty Seconds to Mars, whose singer is his younger brother Jared Leto. Some of Shannon's favorite drummers include John Bonham, Roger Taylor, Dan Lamirand, Stewart Copeland, Keith Moon, Nick Mason, and Lars Ulrich, all of whom he notes as influencing his own playing style.

With the band, he practices six to seven hours a day. In an interview with Modern Drummer magazine in February 2006, he stated: "Rehearsing that much has helped to build up my stamina and make my playing more precise". He has also said that he doesn't like playing to tape or to a loop, and prefers the more organic way of doing things, experimenting with electronics the band creates on their own.

Bob Ezrin, who helped produce Thirty Seconds to Mars's debut self-titled album, referred to Leto 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".[6][page needed][when?]

Leto describes his band's music as having the grandiosity of Pink Floyd and the energy of The Sex Pistols. His other musical influences include The Cure, the first two albums from Metallica, Led Zeppelin, Queen, The Who, early The Police, and Steely Dan. He appeared on a few episodes of My So-Called Life with his brother Jared before forming Thirty Seconds to Mars in 1998 with the addition of bass player Matt Wachter and later joined by Tomo Milicevic on guitar.

Other projects[edit]

He also expresses interest in writing, abstract art, progressive rock, self-interpretation, and photography.

Other than My So-Called Life, he has acted in Prefontaine and Highway, in which his brother starred.


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.

Drum kit: Sonor Custom (Maple/Birch)

  • 14" x 8" Snare drum
  • 8" x 8" Tom
  • 10" x 8" Tom
  • 12" x 8" Tom
  • 14" x 8" Tom
  • 18" x 18" Floor Tom
  • 16" x 18" Floor Tom
  • 20" x 19" Bass drum
  • 14" x 6" Artist Series Bronze Snare drum
  • 13" x 5" Artist Series Beech Snare drum (auxiliary snare)

Electronic Drum Kit (Spread out amongst acoustic drum kit, Roland):

  • TD-12 V-Drum module
  • KD-7 kick trigger pad
  • 8 PD-8 dual-trigger pads (3 spread out above rack toms, 5 on left)

Drumheads (Remo):

  • Clear Pinstripes (top) and Ambassadors (bottom) on all Toms, Coated Emperor X (top) and Ambassador (bottom) on snares, and Clear Powersonic on Bass Drum

Cymbal (Sabian):

  • 14" AA Hi-Hats
  • 10" AAX Splash
  • 8" Chopper
  • 8" AA China Splash
  • 14" AAX Mini Chinese
  • 19" AAX X-Plosion Crash
  • 19" AAX X-Treme Chinese
  • 20" AAX Stage Crash
  • 21" HHX Raw Bell Dry Ride


  • TreeWorks Tre35 Chimes

Percussion mallet: Nude Vater 5A Nylon (length 16", diameter 0.57")

Hardware: Tama Iron Cobra II, DW 9000 Series Rack System

Pedals: Drum Workshop 9000


Thirty Seconds to Mars studio albums


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Jared Leto - Biography". NY Times / All Movie Guide. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Forrest, Emma (April 13, 2002). "Not just a pretty face". The Telegraph. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  5. ^,1965494,45
  6. ^ Modern Drummer Vol. 30, no 2

External links[edit]