Shannon Christopher Leto (born 9 March 1970) is an American drummer and an occasional actor. Shannon Leto was born in Bossier City, Louisiana. He's been playing drums since he was eight years old, and he plays for the band 30 Seconds to Mars, and is the older brother of the band's singer, Jared Leto. Some of Shannon's favorite drummers include John Bonham, 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.1
Bob Ezrin, who helped produce 30 Seconds to Mars' 2002 debut album, 30 Seconds to Mars, called Leto "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". (Modern Drummer Vol. 30, no 2)
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, 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 30 Seconds to Mars in 1998 with the addition of bass player Matt Wachter and later by joined by friend Tomo Miličević on guitar.
Leto is also a guitar and piano player. His interest in always learning more about the art of music, he has said, has made him want to continuously take risks and challenge himself.
He also expresses interest in writing, Abstract art, progressive rock, self-interpretation, and is a professional photographer.
For his drums he uses Sabian Cymbals, Vic-Firth 5an drum sticks, Remo Pinstripe heads, Sonor Drums, And Tama hardware.