This is a good article. Click here for more information.

Do or Die (Thirty Seconds to Mars song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Do or Die"
Single by Thirty Seconds to Mars
from the album Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams
Released July 1, 2013 (2013-07-01)
Recorded The International Centre for the Advancement of the Arts and Sciences of Sound, Los Angeles, California
Genre Electronic rock
Length 4:07
Writer(s) Jared Leto
Producer(s) Jared Leto
Thirty Seconds to Mars singles chronology
"Up in the Air"
"Do or Die"
"City of Angels"

"Do or Die" is a song by American rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars, featured on their fourth studio album Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams (2013). Written and produced by lead vocalist Jared Leto, "Do or Die" explores the feeling of standing up and living one's dreams. The song is styled in electronic rock and imbued with elements of arena rock. It was serviced to mainstream radio in July 2013 in Europe, and was released as a promotional single in the United States in March 2014. A version of the song remixed by Dutch music producer Afrojack was digitally released in March 2014 and later included on the deluxe edition of Afrojack's debut studio album Forget the World (2014).

"Do or Die" received positive reviews from music critics, who hailed its musical diversity and its grand and euphoric nature. It charted in some nations due to digital sales from the parent album. The accompanying music video, directed by Leto, features live footage of Thirty Seconds to Mars onstage as well as stories from their fans, personally interviewed by Leto. The video garnered general acclaim from critics, who lauded its atmosphere and simplicity. The song was included in the setlist of the band's Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams Tour and the subsequent Carnivores Tour.

Recording and composition[edit]

"Do or Die" was written and produced by Jared Leto. It was engineered by Jamie Reed Schefman and mixed by Serban Ghenea. John Hanes engineered it for mixing at Mixstar Studios in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The song was recorded at The International Centre for the Advancement of the Arts and Sciences of Sound in Los Angeles, California and mastered by Howie Weinberg and Dan Gerbarg at Howie Weinberg Mastering.[1] Thirty Seconds to Mars unveiled six songs from their fourth studio album Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams, including "Do or Die", during a preview event held at the Electric Lady Studios in New York City on March 14, 2013.[2]

A portion of "Do or Die"'s bridge, featuring heavy use of synthesizers and drum beats influenced by arena rock.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

"Do or Die" is an electronic rock song with influences and elements from arena rock.[3][4] It opens with a female voiceover introducing the song's title in the Chinese language, after which there is an electronic introduction. This is followed by the sound of guitars, drum beats and synthesizers. After the first verse, the pre-chorus follows, with Leto voicing the line, "I will never forget the moment". The full-throated chorus then follows, which features heavy use of synthesizers and drums.[2] The song includes a contribution from the band's fans, credited as the Knights of the White Shadow, who provide additional vocals recorded at the band's studio.[5]

In an interview with PureVolume, Leto explained that the song is "about standing up and living out your dreams".[6] Markos Papadatos, in his review for Digital Journal, called it an "upbeat" song which "deals with one taking their own stance on their beliefs, and living life to the fullest".[7] In a preview of the record, Jeff Benjamin from Fuse described the song by saying that the band goes "the synthy dance route on the track's intro before fire-alarm guitars and pummeling drums roar in and smash the Korg keyboards to bits".[2]


"Do or Die" was released as a promotional single in Europe in July 2013 through Virgin Records.[8] The song debuted at number 98 on the Ultratip chart of Belgium's Flemish region on August 24.[9] The following week, it jumped to number 73 and peaked at number 40 on September 21.[10] On August 30, 2013, it debuted at number 75 on the Ö3 Austria Top 40.[11] In the Czech Republic, the song entered the national airplay chart at number 91 on the week ending October 20, 2013.[12] In Slovakia, it debuted at number 67 on September 22, 2013 and eventually peaked at number 29 on January 26, 2014.[13] Polydor Records released "Do or Die" in the United Kingdom on September 9, 2013.[14] It entered the UK Rock Chart at number 38.[15] After four weeks, the song peaked at number seven on the issue dated September 28, 2013.[16] "Do or Die" was used by Major League Baseball as the theme song for the 2013 Major League Baseball Postseason.[17]

Dutch music producer Afrojack remixed "Do or Die" for the song's digital release.

In March 2014, it was announced that Dutch music producer Afrojack and Thirty Seconds to Mars had collaborated on a remixed version of the song.[18] It became commercially available for download in March 2014 and was later included on the deluxe edition of Afrojack's debut studio album Forget the World. Leto described the collaboration by saying, "It was a lot of fun, and it's kind of our little summer song. I think it's good to do things that are unexpected. It keeps it exciting and collaboration is always an interesting thing."[19] The remixed version of "Do or Die" entered the Dutch Top 40 at number 53 on April 19, 2014. After five weeks, it peaked at number 42.[20] The song debuted at number 46 on US Dance/Electronic Songs and reached a peak of number 33 on June 7, 2014.[21]

In the United States, "Do or Die" was sent to modern rock radio on March 17, 2014, after the release of "City of Angels".[22] It entered the Billboard Alternative Songs chart at number 39 and peaked at number 20 on the issue dated October 11, 2014.[23] It debuted on the Billboard Hot Rock Songs chart at number 40 on August 9.[24]

Critical reception[edit]

"Do or Die" received generally positive reviews from music critics. Emily Zemler, of Billboard, wrote that between the album's "eclectic experimentation" and "voiceless soundscapes", the band "slotted in this propulsive rocker, an arena-ready anthem". She considered "Do or Die" to be one of the album's "most straightforward tracks".[3] Dan Slessor of Alternative Press praised it as one of the album's highlights, in which Thirty Seconds to Mars exercises their capacity for writing "titanic choruses full of sweeping drama in a manner that is almost untouchable".[25] Brent Faulkner from PopMatters gave a mixed response, writing that the song "relies on a familiar beat as well as liberal layering".[26] Writers for Contactmusic commended "Do or Die" as one of the standout songs on Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams and a "slow-burning hit of epic, synth-heavy electronica".[27]

Kaitlyn Hodnicki from Stature magazine was impressed with the song, calling it one of the album's more upbeat tracks, which "blooms into another epic soundscape led by [Leto's] vocals and some brilliantly used electronic elements". She felt that the fans' vocal contribution to the song harks back to previous album This Is War without sounding "cliché or overdone".[28] Sarah O' Hara from Lowdown also responded positively to the track, writing that "glorious chants fuel the uplifting 'Do or Die'".[29] In a mixed review, John Watt from Drowned in Sound called the song "half-baked synth-rock."[4] Markos Papadatos from Digital Journal rated it an A and wrote that "the band soars as whole on this tune", calling Leto's vocals "raw, powerful and captivating."[7]

Music video[edit]


"This is a story about an incredible adventure that we all shared together this summer. A summer that we will never forget. It's also a reminder (for myself as well) to live life no matter what. But ultimately it's a love letter to you all. The believers. ... Sharing this journey with you all has been the gift of a lifetime and I hope you can see and feel that in this piece, our gratitude. ... I hope it speaks to all of you and lets you know how much you mean to us."

—Jared Leto, in a note accompanying the music video[30]

The music video for "Do or Die" was directed by Leto, who was credited as pseudonym Bartholomew Cubbins. Leto developed its concept as a companion piece to the music video of "Closer to the Edge" (2010), shot during the Into the Wild Tour. "Do or Die" was filmed in the summer of 2013, during a European leg of the Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams Tour and features live footage of Thirty Seconds to Mars onstage as well as fan commentary.[31] It premiered on August 5, 2013.[32]

Leto personally interviewed the band's fans, termed as the Echelon, who shared stories about the importance of music in their lives, some personal struggles and their own dreams.[33] In an interview with MTV News, the frontman explained that he was inspired by the will to document the personal changes experienced by the band and its audience. "Most of the interviews", Leto explained, "I did myself, so they're really intimate. It's me, it's them, and it's the camera. What I've found is, that if you talk to everybody long enough, you find an incredible story. Every single person has a moment in their life, something that they've found a solution for, a story to tell. Some are funny, some are really intriguing, and if you ask the right questions, you get interesting answers."[31]

The music video begins with a German boy who Leto had previously met in Berlin. He spoke about the loss of his father and how he had played a Thirty Seconds to Mars song at the funeral. After Leto again met the German fan again at a concert in Austria, he asked him to share his story on camera. Leto explained, "At the show in Austria, where there were tens of thousands of people, and I ran into him and interviewed him; he was the first interview of the summer, and he shared this story about losing his father, and what it taught him, it was really an organic and serendipitous and beautiful way to begin. He shared a really personal part of himself and we're really grateful to him, and that continued throughout all the interviews."[31]


Upon its release, the video received general acclaim from critics and fans. James Montgomery from MTV described it as a love-letter to the band's fans and a document of life on the road. He also considered it the "spiritual sequel to their stirring 2010 live clip" for "Closer to the Edge".[31] Karen Bliss of Noisecreep was impressed with the video and opened her review by writing, "Thirty Seconds to Mars never fails to impress with what they can do within the confines of a music video." She believed that its simplicity turned out to be "impactful, touching and uniting".[34] Garon Cockrell from The Pratt Tribune gave the video a positive review, calling it "excellent".[35] John Walker from MTV felt that throughout the fans' personal struggles "music has helped these individuals persevere and continue to enjoy life. Likewise, Thirty Seconds to Mars seem so moved by the audience's emotions every time they perform live, 'Do or Die's concept seems to be that they want to return the favor."[33]

Writers for MuchMusic noticed the band's tradition for producing unconventional music videos and praised "Do or Die" calling it "another epic" short film.[36] Markos Papadatos of Digital Journal found it "compelling and visually striking", noticing real-life people from all over the world telling their "moving stories" about their aspirations and dreams.[7] Sean Fitz-Gerald, writing for Mashable, called the video "an inspiring anthem featuring heartfelt, fan-filmed messages".[37]

Live performances[edit]

"Do or Die" was first performed at special concerts, dubbed as Church of Mars, in May 2013, shortly before the release of the album.[38] The song later became a set-fixture of the Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams Tour, usually appearing as the penultimate song before "Up in the Air".[39] However, after the festival tour in June 2013, which saw the band travel to Rock am Ring and Rock im Park as headline act,[40] the song was moved to the middle of the setlist, usually played before Leto's acoustic B-stage set.[39] "Do or Die" was also included in the Carnivores Tour, which Thirty Seconds to Mars co-headlined with Linkin Park, and usually appeared approximately halfway through the set.[41] Reviewing a concert, Payal Patel from AXS called "Do or Die" a "sweeping rock anthem",[42] while Ben Jolley of the Nottingham Post described a performance of the song as energetic and inspirational.[43]

On September 23, 2014, Thirty Seconds to Mars performed the song on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, featuring a ten-person choir. During the performance, Leto swung a flag bearing messages in support of certain social goals, and invited the audience to join the band on stage towards the finale, as confetti fell from the ceiling. Markos Papadatos, writing for Digital Journal, commented that the performance was another indication that Jared Leto is one of the "most charismatic live performers" in contemporary rock and that Thirty Seconds to Mars "is always able to put on a high-energy show".[44]

Track listing[edit]

Credits and personnel[edit]

  • Performed by Thirty Seconds to Mars
  • Written and produced by Jared Leto
  • Recorded at The International Centre for the Advancement of the Arts and Sciences of Sound, Los Angeles, California
  • Additional vocals by Knights of the White Shadow
  • Audio engineering by Jamie Reed Schefman
  • Mixed by Serban Ghenea
  • Engineered for Mix by John Hanes at Mixstar Studios, Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • Mastered by Howie Weinberg and Dan Gerbarg at Howie Weinberg Mastering, Los Angeles, California

Credits adapted from Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams album liner notes.[1]


Chart (2013–14) Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[11] 75
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[48] 40
Czech Republic (Rádio Top 100)[12] 91
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[20] 42
Slovakia (IFPI)[13] 29
UK Rock Singles (OCC)[16] 7
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[23] 20
US Hot Dance/Electronic Songs (Billboard)[21] 33
US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard)[24] 38
US Rock Airplay (Billboard)[49] 27

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Europe[8] July 1, 2013 Contemporary hit radio
Italy[50] July 5, 2013 Universal
United Kingdom[14] September 9, 2013 Polydor
United States[51] March 11, 2014 Digital download – Remix
Europe[52] March 16, 2014
United States[22] March 17, 2014 Modern rock Virgin
Netherlands[20] March 18, 2014 Digital download – Remix
  • Island
  • Universal
United States[53] August 26, 2014 Contemporary hit radio – Remix Def Jam


  1. ^ a b Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams (liner notes). Thirty Seconds to Mars. Virgin Records. 2013. 6809932. 
  2. ^ a b c Benjamin, Jeff (March 20, 2013). "First Listen: New Thirty Seconds to Mars Album 'Love Lust Faith + Dreams'". Fuse. Retrieved July 6, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Zemler, Emily (May 21, 2013). "Thirty Seconds To Mars, 'Love Lust Faith + Dreams': Track-By-Track Review". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 29, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Watt, John. "30 Seconds To Mars – Love Lust Faith + Dreams". Drowned In Sound. Retrieved July 6, 2014. 
  5. ^ Sayce, Rob (July 2013). "To Infinity & Beyond". Rock Sound (175): 64. 
  6. ^ Lanham, Tom (May 21, 2013). "The PV Q&A: Thirty Seconds to Mars' Jared Leto—"It Feels Like a Brand New Beginning For Us"". PureVolume. Spin Media. Retrieved July 6, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c Papadatos, Markos (August 23, 2014). "Review: Jared Leto and Thirty Seconds to Mars rocks on 'Do or Die' single". Digital Journal. Retrieved August 25, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c "Thirty Seconds To Mars – Do Or Die". Hung Medien. Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  9. ^ "100 Ultratip – 24/08/2013". Ultratop. Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  10. ^ "100 Ultratip – 21/09/2013". Ultratop. Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b " – Thirty Seconds To Mars – Do Or Die" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
  12. ^ a b "ČNS IFPI – Radio Top100 Oficiální – Do or Die" (in Czech). IFPI Czech Republic. Retrieved July 3, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b "SNS IFPI – Radio Top 100 – Do or Die" (in Czech). IFPI Czech Republic. Retrieved July 3, 2014. 
  14. ^ a b Lane, Daniel (September 9, 2013). "This week's new releases". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Top 40 Rock & Metal Singles Archive – 7th September 2013". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 29, 2013. 
  16. ^ a b "Top 40 Rock & Metal Singles Archive – 28th September 2013". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 29, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Lenny Kravitz featured in Open coverage". August 26, 2013. Retrieved October 14, 2014. 
  18. ^ Glück, Patrick (March 13, 2014). "Afrojack takes a spin on remixing ‘Do Or Die’ by Thirty Seconds To Mars". PrysmRadio. Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  19. ^ Perricone, Kathleen (May 20, 2014). "Jared Leto Talks Oscars Speech, Afrojack". Ryan Seacrest Productions. Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  20. ^ a b c d "Afrojack vs. Thirty Seconds to Mars – Do Or Die – Remix". Stichting Nederlandse Top 40. Retrieved July 3, 2014. 
  21. ^ a b "Hot Dance/Electronic Songs: Do Or Die". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  22. ^ a b "Official Press Release: New Single 'Do Or Die"". Thirty Seconds to Mars. March 19, 2014. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  23. ^ a b "Alternative: Do Or Die". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  24. ^ a b "Hot Rock Songs: Do Or Die". Billboard. Retrieved July 18, 2014. 
  25. ^ Slessor, Dan (May 21, 2013). "30 Seconds To Mars – Love Lust Faith + Dreams". Alternative Press. Retrieved May 29, 2013. 
  26. ^ Faulkner, Brent (May 23, 2013). "Thirty Seconds to Mars: Love Lust Faith + Dreams". PopMatters. Retrieved May 29, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Thirty Seconds To Mars Announce New Single 'Do Or Die' Released September 9th 2013". Retrieved July 6, 2014. 
  28. ^ Hodnicki, Kaitlyn (May 27, 2013). "Album Review: 30 Seconds To Mars – Love Lust Faith + Dreams". Stature. Stature Media. Retrieved July 6, 2014. 
  29. ^ O' Hara, Sarah. "Thirty Seconds to Mars – Love, Lust, Faith & Dreams". Lowdown. Retrieved July 6, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Do or Die Is Here!". Thirty Seconds to Mars. August 5, 2013. Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  31. ^ a b c d Montgomery, James (August 7, 2013). "How Jared Leto Spent His Summer Vacation: Making Mars' 'Do Or Die'". MTV. Viacom Media Networks. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  32. ^ Corner, Lewis (August 5, 2013). "Thirty Seconds To Mars unveil 'Do Or Die' music video". Digital Spy. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  33. ^ a b Walker, John (August 6, 2013). "New Video: Thirty Seconds To Mars, ‘Do Or Die’". MTV Buzzworthy. Viacom Media Networks. Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  34. ^ Bliss, Karen (August 8, 2013). "30 Seconds To Mars’ Emotional New ‘Do or Die’ Video Turns Spotlight on Fans". Noisecreep. Townsquare Media. Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  35. ^ Cockrell, Garon (August 7, 2013). "Music Video: Thirty Seconds To Mars – Do Or Die". The Pratt Tribune. Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  36. ^ "30 Seconds to Mars releases new music video for Do or Die". MuchMusic. Bell Media. August 7, 2013. Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  37. ^ Fitz-Gerald, Sean (August 7, 2013). "Thirty Seconds to Mars Drops Inspiring 'Do or Die' Music Video". Mashable. Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  38. ^ Noir, Nadia. "Thirty Seconds To Mars Playing Free Show At First Unitarian Universalist Church Of Los Angeles Tomorrow". KROQ. CBS Corporation. Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  39. ^ a b Winwood, Ian (November 9, 2013). "30 Seconds to Mars' Do or Die". Kerrang! (1491): 38. 
  40. ^ Sager, Jessica (June 9, 2013). "30 Seconds to Mars Rock Out at 2013 Rock Am Ring Festival". PopCrush. Townsquare Media. Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  41. ^ Childers, Chad (September 16, 2014). "Linkin Park, Thirty Seconds to Mars + AFI Turn Up the Heat in Los Angeles". Loudwire. Townsquare Media. Retrieved October 15, 2014. 
  42. ^ Patel, Payal (September 1, 2014). "Carnivores Tour ft. Linkin Park, 30 Seconds to Mars & AFI Review". AXS. Retrieved September 28, 2014. 
  43. ^ Jolley, Ben (November 22, 2013). "Thirty Seconds To Mars, Capital FM Arena". Nottingham Post. Retrieved August 12, 2014. 
  44. ^ Papadatos, Markos (September 27, 2014). "Jared Leto performs new single 'Do or Die' on 'Ellen'". Digital Journal. Retrieved September 28, 2014. 
  45. ^ "Do Or Die (CDr)". Discogs. Retrieved July 6, 2014. 
  46. ^ "Do or Die Single". Thirty Seconds to Mars Store. Retrieved September 7, 2014. 
  47. ^ "Do Or Die". Beatport (US). Retrieved March 27, 2014. 
  48. ^ " – Thirty Seconds To Mars – Do Or Die" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  49. ^ "Rock Airplay: Do Or Die". Billboard. Retrieved July 18, 2014. 
  50. ^ "Thirty Seconds To Mars – Do or Die (Universal)" (in Italian). Radio Airplay SRL. Retrieved March 27, 2014. 
  51. ^ "Afrojack remixes Thirty Seconds to Mars' 'Do or Die'". iHeartRadio. Clear Channel Communications. March 6, 2014. Retrieved July 3, 2014. 
  52. ^ "Do Or Die [Universal Music Group International]". Beatport (EU). Retrieved March 27, 2014. 
  53. ^ "Top 40/Mainstream". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on August 23, 2014. Retrieved August 23, 2014. 

External links[edit]