Today (March 25), Leto took to Instagram to post a very disturbing photo of what appears to be a severed human ear he received. The singer is calling it “the van Gogh move,” in honor of the painter Vincent van Gogh, who in 1888 chopped off his own ear during a mental breakdown.
Leto discussed the incident during an interview with Britain’s XFM radio station:
“Someone cut their ear off once and sent it to me, that was very strange. A whole ear,” he explained while discussing his band’s devoted fan base. “The note just said, ‘Are you listening?’ I never knew who it was, who’s missing their ear out there. I poked a hole in it and wore it as a necklace!”
While his comment about making the ear into a necklace sounds like a joke, the photo Leto posted does indeed show it dangling from a blood-soaked string.
“Just don’t put your entire body in a case and send it to us,” Leto added.
Thirty Seconds to Mars is ramping up for the May 21 release of LOVE LUST FAITH + DREAMS, which will be the band’s fourth studio full-length. The album’s first single, “Up in the Air,” recently debuted from space, with the band conducting an interview from Mission Control at Johnson Space Center in Houston with KROQ DJs Kevin & Bean to commemorate the event.