Tomo Milicevic, guitarist for modern rock trio 30 Seconds to Mars, is perhaps taking The Kill - the band's breakout song from it's sophomore CD, A Beautiful Lie - a bit too literally when discussing the follow-up to that record.

Tomo Milicevic, guitarist for modern rock trio 30 Seconds to Mars, is perhaps taking The Kill - the band's breakout song from it's sophomore CD, A Beautiful Lie - a bit too literally when discussing the follow-up to that record.

"The goal was to kill A Beautiful Lie with this record," Milicevic said of This Is War, the band's latest release.

Vernacular aside, goal achieved. A Beautiful Lie was a breakthrough record, achieving multi-platinum sales and earning a handful of awards for individual songs and videos, but This Is War is indeed poised to obliterate those successes. The first two singles, Kings & Queens and This Is War, reached the top of the alternative radio charts, and the video for Kings & Queens was recently named Best Rock Video by MTV.

While the band was in the midst of a protracted legal battle with its record label (since resolved) while making This Is War, Milicevic said that is not what the title refers to.

"It was heavy, for sure, while you're trying to be creative, and I'd say we wouldn't have made the same record if not for that conflict," he explained, "but the idea was to look to the future of the American dream where we've come from and the struggle in our daily lives and within ourselves."

Milicevic credited singer-guitarist Jared Leto, the band's main songwriter (Jared's brother Shannon rounds out the band on drums), with moving the band "in a whole new direction

"We approached this record in a completely different way," he said. "We ended up with a real cinematic sound."

That "cinematic sound" was enhanced by a unique experiment the band now refers to as The Summit.

"Jared had this idea of bringing the spirit of our live shows to the record," Milicevic said. "We decided to have an open call to have people come to (Los Angeles) and record a bunch of different vocal parts. We expected maybe 100 kids would show up if we were lucky. We ended up with like 1,200."

The band expanded the concept to include Summits recorded in several parts of the world, and even to allow for some recording to be done remotely. In the end, The Summit consisted of approximately 10,000 voices.

"We just wanted to attempt something great," Milicevic said.

Nothing ventured nothing gained.

For more from The Beat's interview with Tomo Milicevic, read the BeatBlog.