Leto told MTV News why this was picked as the third single from the album: "There's a lot of thought that goes into making the decision on the appropriate single. We're very proud of [A Beautiful Lie] as a whole, so for me I don't break it up into singles. I think of a record as a collective unit, and each song is like a chapter in a book. But certainly 'From Yesterday' [lends itself to being a video in that it's] a very cinematic song and a very visual song. It really is one of those songs that lets your imagination wander. Someone suggested that it was slightly surreal." He added that the song itself was an idea that Shannon, his brother and the band's drummer, first brought to him. He said: "I like people to take their own message from the song, if they indeed get one, and also just enjoy it for what it is."
The promo for "From Yesterday" was the first American music video ever filmed entirely in The People's Republic of China. It, like the promo for their previous single "The Kill (Bury Me)" was directed by Jared Leto, under the alias Bartholomew Cubbins. Matt Wachter (bass) explained to Absolute Punk about the video: "That was kind of Jared's brainchild. He had this idea six months ago that he wanted to film the new video in China. He said, "We're going to shoot it in China" and everyone said he was crazy. [laughs] Six months later, we were on a plane to China. He had this great vision and followed through and wouldn't take no for an answer."
Leto said on the band's website that the video was inspired by Bernardo Bertolucci's 1987 film The Last Emperor as well as the work of the Japanese writer/director Akira Kurosawa. He explained: "That and the passion and the history of the Chinese culture. I thought it would be the perfect setting to tell the story of 'From Yesterday,' and it ended up one of those really unique things that the song and the visual images kind of collided and made something completely new."
The 500 Hats Of Bartholemew Cubbins, the name Leto uses when directing the videos, can be seen in the extended version of the video.
Suggestion credit: Elin - Lowestoft, United Kingdom
Jake from Okinawa, JapanMaybe I'm biased because I'm in the military but I see a soldier, possibly with PTSD when I hear this song. On his face is a map of the world from his deployments to various places. He's a stranger to some and vision to none, he's a stranger to all the people he reacts with in these other countries. The chorus is what make me think of PTSD. From yesterday, it's coming, from yesterday, the fear. He's remembering the horrors of war and some of the awful things he's seen and probably done. He doesn't want to read the message out might be not wanting to talk about it or maybe even referring to a suicide note or something. But I'm not sure if anyone agrees. Either way I love this song, it's so beautiful.
Caitlin from FranceI believe that this song is talking about a man of power, like an emperor or a politician (for example) who's committed errors, who can see that he's committed those errors, but he's scared to think about the errors he's done due to the fact that he knows that there will be consequences to the actions he's done. (on a mountain he sits, not of gold but of s--t, through the blood he can look, see the life that he took, from the council of one, he'll decide when he's done with the innocent). However, this man also wishes to take over the world, for (on his face is a map of the world), he dreams of the places he wishes to visit, take over, to expand his rule, unless those lines are talking of a childhood dream, for as kids, many many many people dream of visiting, and living in different countries, or that because of the crimes he's committed, he wishes to live elsewhere to be forgotten over time, and of fear by being punished. And yet, taking my last theory of the fact he wishes to move elsewhere before he's punished for his crimes, this man has a lot more pride, and even if it costs his his life, he'll stay in the same place and continue his reign until death comes to him, despite what may happen (but he doesn't want to read the message).
I don't know if that made any sense, if it doesn't, sorry ^^"
Angel-boy from Cape Town, South AfricaI think Leto is talking about Jesus, "he's a stranger to some he's a vision to none", others love Jesus and others dont.."he can never get enough" meaning that Jesus still wants more people to be saved.."on his face is the map of the world",rememba jesus was beaten until hes face was a mess.."on a mountain he sits not of gods but of s--t"..he was crucified on a mountain, Jared thinks his crucifixion was s--t yet it was of glory...correct me if I'm wrong...
Lemian from Mexico, MexicoA Very, Very strong and emotional song. Especially when he screams "He doesn't want to read the message here", believe It. Experiences and Remorses come to my mind in that part alone. Best Song EVER!!!!
Caitlyn from Royersford, PaThis band is on the border of being flawlessly perfect. The song writing is beautiful,the sound is epic, and Jared Leto can sing,and scream) his ass off! And From Yesterday is just proof of it
Liesa from Roy, UtLove it! 30 Seconds to Mars is Amazing!!!
Jeff from Casa Grande, AzMy take on the meaning of this song, which by the way I like all and all, is simply put: a male, two-bit drug addict who has had an offspring at some point in his past, and the existence of that offspring, which is trying to contact him via letter, scares him radically. He is running away, but going no where, hense the map of the world "on his face." Big plans, but no substance. A dreamer, a child, unable to take responsibility for his actions, etc. Touching, a little cliche, but what else do you expect from Jared Leto. He's a poseur, a rich kid, but with a powerful voice. He's had life too good to be any kind of true artist. But, I find his/their music enjoyable for some strange reason--at least their second album, which is all I've ever heard of them.
Kasia from London, --it was one of the most expensive videos to make and cost more than $13,000,000
Vynsint from St. Louis, Mook, i LOVE the song. it's freaking amazing, but i cannot figure out for the life of me the the video really MEANS. did they connect the videos for the kill and a beautiful lie in between this one?
Patty from Alamo, Txi love this song...but i dont get how when they show everyone being hurt??????
Sarah from Lahoma, OkI Absolutely love this song:) <3