You were very young when you became a member of Thirty Seconds to Mars. How did you meet the band?
My friend John had a friend named Ransom. Ransom worked at Guitar Center and told John about the open call Thirty Seconds to Mars were having looking for a bass player. He didn’t want to do it so he told me about it and I showed up. I played Buddha For Mary on bass along with a few other 100 people who showed up after having 2 minutes to learn it. When I was done they asked if I was a bass player or guitar player. I told them mainly guitar and jammed Buddha For Mary on guitar with them. They took me as an additional guitarist and a month later Matt [Wachter] filled the bass slot.
How many years did you tour with them?
I only toured with them for about a year.
Why did you quit the band?
Well for starters I did QUIT the band and wasn’t fired as Jared [Leto] would like to have some believe. I quit because it was hard to work with Jared and Shannon… I didn’t really get along with Shannon and Jared was very controlling. I thought when I joined the band I would learn his songs and then be able to participate more when it came to writing new material. When I found out that Jared wanted to keep writing 99% of the songs and parts I decided that it wasn’t for me anymore. I quit in the middle of the tour in Atlanta but they convinced me to stay… I had a plane ticket and everything and refused to get back on the bus but they persuaded me to stay.
When that tour ended we were supposed to have 1 month off but a week later he [Jared Leto] called saying we were going out on tour again right away and I needed to get my things ready. I was drinking some beers at Ransom’s sisters house -I had become friends with Ransom and still am to this day- and I told her that I was going to quit Thirty Seconds to Mars. So I picked up my phone and called our manager, at the time John Witherspoon and told him I quit. He said ‘Are you sure mate?’ (He was from England) and I told him yes. A few hours later Shannon called saying to be at his house to practice and I told him ‘You didn’t hear? I quit’ he was pissed and hung up on me.
I found out later that John Witherspoon quit the next day or so as well. Then Solon [Bixler] quit a few months later. They had to retool the album artwork when I quit and instead of taking new photos they just airbrushed me out. So on the pic on the self-titled album I am the ghost in the space in between them.
The night I quit the band I went onto the bands website and told the Echelon [name of Thirty Seconds to Mars’s fans] that I had quit and wished the band nothing but success. My post was only up for about an hour before Jared removed it and blocked me from the site. I can’t say for sure if Jared was the one who started a rumor that I was fired for beating up a female fan but whether he started the rumor or not he never denied it to people when he knew I quit, so that was pretty cruel on his part because some people to this day still believe that awful rumor. And if I really wanted to clear my name all I would have to do would have anyone ask John Witherspoon, Solon or Matt and they would tell you I quit.
(read the rest of the interview here)