Jared Leto may have an Oscar, 300 million Facebook likes and sold over 10 million albums worldwide but he kind of lacks that crucial element without which no genuine rock n’ roller is complete – credibility.
Perhaps that’s why Jared Leto appears to have developed a subconscious desire to pay homage to, and adopt the mannerisms of one of the greatest rock stars ever to crawl out of the gutter and make a desperate grab for the stars, Axl Rose.
You can sort of understand Jared’s obsession. Before it all went to hell in a handcart, Axl, Slash, Izzy, Duff, and the cheerful blonde drummer that made up prime era Guns N’ Roses, were the all-strutting, all-singing, all hell-raising personification of a type of take no prisoners rock n’ roll, that no doubt gave Jared Leto the shakes.
Jared Leto was recently spotted at a Thirty Seconds to Mars gig in Bangkok dressed very similar to Axl Rose in his rock god heyday. Like an excited teenager who’s been sniffing his daddy’s bourbon, Jared also stared throwing the same sort of serpentine shapes and moves that Axl was once renowned for.
The trouble is, where Axl had authenticity and an elemental anger and edginess in his soul that made for great rock n’ roll. Jared is all Hollywood. Jared may boast an impressive arsenal of acting skills, and posses an overwhelming desire to be popular and liked, but sadly for Jared, it just isn’t enough to cut the mustard when it comes to convincing the true believers in the church of rock n’ roll that Jared Leto is for real.
Whereas someone like Axl refuses to compromise, alienates just about everyone, crushes expectation and refuses to play the game, he still remains popular because he bleeds rock n’ roll, and it’s nearly always messy. Jared Leto on the other hand could be likened to a career criminal. Jared’s smooth, sophisticated, knows how to make the right moves and look the part, but the groove’s just got no soul Mr Leto. The rhythm ain’t raucous Jared, it’s plodding and pedestrian.
There’s a reason why The Subways singer called Jared Leto and his band a ‘smokescreen’ and a reason that his comment about Jared Leto encapsulating everything that was crap about music right now was so popular. It’s what a lot of people who don’t buy into the Jared Leto hype are thinking.
In rock n’ roll terms, Jared Leto is a victory of style over substance. An accomplished actor. A creature made of smoke and mirrors. As Holden Caulfield would say, ‘an absolute phony.’