For the first time in 13 years, Jared Leto didn't direct one of Thirty Seconds to Mars' music videos -- and his reasoning makes complete sense.
The band released the visuals for its latest single, "Rescue Me," this week, which Jared Leto describes as "a song about pain, a song about empowerment, a song about faith and a song about freedom."
"It's also a song about the brutal war so many of us wage against fear, depression and anxiety in the hope that we might, one day, live a life filled with happiness and dreams," he added.
Directed by filmmaker Mark Romanek, the clip shows Leto and variety of other people -- including Leto's pal Paris Jackson -- having emotional and seemingly visceral reactions to the song's poignant lyrics (Rescue me from the demons in my mind). At one point, Jackson looks straight into the camera as tears stream down her face.
Leto handing over the power to Romanek represents a major departure for the star, which he called "a gift."
"I am very proud and grateful to have worked with one of my heroes -- the master filmmaker and director Mark Romanek," Leto said. "It's the first time in 13 years I haven't directed our videos. It was a gift to have him carry the weight so graciously and deliver something so profoundly simple and beautiful."
See photos of Jared Leto:
Jared Leto out and about
Jared Leto out and about
Actor Jared Leto arrives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala (Met Gala) to celebrate the opening of ?Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination? in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., May 7, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
CARSON, CA - MAY 12: Jared Leto of Thirty Seconds to Mars performs at StubHub Center on May 12, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Oliver Walker/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - APRIL 16: Jared Leto performs for fans outside the Louvre Museum on April 16, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pierre Suu/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 06: Jared Leto at The Museum of America, a one-of-a-kind pop-up museum promoting Thirty Seconds to Marsï¿½new album, AMERICA on April 6, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 06: Jared Leto rides the Sunset strip on top of a tour bus promoting Thirty Seconds to Marsï¿½new album, AMERICA on April 6, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
FORT WORTH, TX - APRIL 04: Jared Leto of Thirty Seconds to Mars and NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Tyler Reddick of JR Motorsports visit Texas Motor Speedway on Leto's 'Mars Across America' journey on April 4, 2018 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 26: Jared Leto seen at Absolute Radio on March 26, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Neil Mockford/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 27: Jared Leto of Thirty Seconds To Mars performs at the O2 Arena on March 27, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
BOLOGNA, ITALY - MARCH 17: Jared Leto leads the Thirty Seconds to Mars R'n'R band during their performance on stage at Unipol Arena on March 17, 2018 in Bologna, Italy. (Photo by Roberto Serra - Iguana Press/Redferns)
American actor and singer Jared Leto performs with his band Thirty Seconds to Mars during their The Monolith World Tour. Bologna, March 17th 2018 (Photo by Marco Piraccini/Archivio Marco Piraccini/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 04: Jared Leto attends the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 4, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 26: Jared Leto arrives at the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards - MusiCares Person Of The Year Honoring Fleetwood Mac on January 26, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Granitz/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 09: Jared Leto of Thirty Seconds to Mars performs onstage during KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas 2017 at The Forum on December 9, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for KROQ)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 19: Jared Leto poses during the 2017 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 19, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/AMA2017/FilmMagic for dcp)