Thirty Seconds To Mars’ Shannon Leto

An awesome band member who moonlights as the founder of a super cool new coffee brand? He does exist. His name is Shannon Leto, his band is 30 Seconds To Mars, and his coffee company is the responsibly sourced, direct-trade coffee known as Black Fuel Trading Company. Being sibling founders here at TNP, we love all things family business, so we chatted with Leto on what its like to be in a band with his brother Jared, how they’d share Mexican food for a last meal, and his new coffee venture that’s quickly becoming a lifestyle brand…

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?

The breakfast burrito from Cofax (the best in LA!), fresh salad for lunch, and grilled fish and veggies for dinner.

How do you always start your day?

With an espresso and then a little reading or meditation.

Could you tell us about your new endeavor, Black Fuel Trading Company?  

It started out of my love for coffee, which goes back to my childhood watching my grandfather prepare chicory coffee in Louisiana. So I decided to start Black Fuel Trading Co. to be able to share my love of coffee with the world by coming up with my own proprietary blends, each of which have a special meaning to me. But I didn’t want to just stop at coffee; I want to share my vision for apparel, accessories, style and beyond, so I’m developing a full lifestyle brand and will offer other like-brands in addition to Black Fuel Trading Co. products.

Could you give us your favorite spots for coffee in New York and Los Angeles?

In New York I really enjoy going to Think Coffee, La Colombe, Abraco Espresso. My Los Angeles go to spots are, Go Get Em Tiger, Paper or Plastik, and Cofax.

With the holidays coming up, could you give us some great gift ideas for coffee lovers?

An Aeropress, a Hario hand mill grinder, and of course a Black Fuel Mug and Black Fuel coffee!

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We’re a site run by two sisters, what’s it like being in a band with your brother?

It’s great always knowing that there’s someone having your back no matter what challenges arise.

What’s the best advice you’ve given him and visa versa?

Keep pushing yourself to go beyond your limits.

What’s the food regimen like on the road as a band? Any favorite go-tos?

I try to eat as clean as possible, so I have restaurants in each city where I know I can eat well…but sometimes it can be very difficult!

What would your last meal be? Who would it be with?

I would probably get some really good Mexican food with my brother.

Advice you’d give your younger self…

Don’t think too much.

The band you can’t stop listening to right now…

The Weeknd

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With the holidays coming up, could you give us some great gift ideas for travelers?

How about I give you just one? A pair of LSTN Headphones for the plane and boombox for hotel room. Music to listen to while traveling is vital.

If you could host a dinner party with any five people living or dead, who would be there? What would you cook?

Aristotle, Leonardo Da Vinci, Jesus Christ and my Grandparents. I would cook them a good ‘ol Louisiana feast…some Crawfish Bisque, Gumbo, and Fried Okra to start and then Jambalaya, redfish with red beans and rice, and smothered pork chops. We’d finish it off with Beignets and of course a special blend of chicory Black Fuel Trading Co. coffee.

The Warby Parker founders talked to us about branding and burgers. Also check out these interviews with Entourages’ Adrian Grenier and musician Eli Lieb

*Shannon Leto, photographed at E.P. & L.P. in Los Angeles, CA by Danielle Kosann. Shannon wears a Black Fuel Trading Co. hat and t-shirt, Ray-Ban sunglasses, and Bottega Veneta shoes