January 10, 2014

Jared Leto Wages War On The Music Industry


Actor Jared Leto’s band, 30 Seconds To Mars , has recorded four albums, sold over 10 million copies worldwide and set the Guinness World Record for most shows on an album cycle. In 2008, they were also sued $30 million for breach of contract by their record label, Virgin/EMI. Now bandmates Tomo Miličević and Shannon Leto have waged war on the music business with a documentary examining the industry’s barbed edges.

“We had more success than we ever dreamed,” said Leto over the phone from Plymoth, United Kingdom, where the band is currently on an arena tour. “We never expected to get rich, but we certainly didn’t expect to be millions of dollars in debt.”

Virgin claimed Leto and his brother Shannon failed to record three of five albums the band was bound to deliver under a 1999 contract, while the Letos argued their agreement had been nullified under California labor law, which negates contracts after 7 years.

“We were blown away by what we discovered: a convoluted contractual quagmire that was impossible to remove ourselves from,” Leto recalled.

Instead of filming a “making-of” documentary while recording their self-financed third album, This is War, the band turned the cameras on industry insiders, including longtime manager, promoter and ticketing executive Irving Azoff and artists Chester Bennington (Linkin Park), Brandon Boyd (Incubus) and Serj Tankian (System of a Down).

Artifact vitriolically breaks down what Leto considers to be grave imbalances, showing in one infographic how label contracts can result in bands accumulating debt with every release thanks to promotional costs, recording bills and advances record labels recoup. Over the phone, Leto also caustically contests music industry convention, where bands often sign unfavorable contracts but plan to renegotiate them when they achieve success.

It seems everyone loves to hate the music industry. With good reason, Leto says. “They’ve treated audiences as poorly as they’ve treated artists – they’ve had the upper hand and they’ve been heavy-handed.”


Continue reading on Forbes.


1 comment:

BuddhasMary said...

I love this performance, thank you so much for sharing xo

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