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There has been quite a bit of buzz going on in the Mars camp lately following a year of anticipation for fans awating their fourth album. I have to say that I have been looking forward to the 4th album myself for quite a while now. Mars never ceases to amaze and I’m sure this time it won’t be any different. Seeing as Jared and Shannon have shaved their “Lincoln” beards off at the end of October I normally see this as a sign that they mean business.
Artifact, 30 Seconds to Mars’s documentary about their legal battle with EMI and the making of their third album This Is War premiered at the Toronto Film Festival on the 14th of September 2012. Artifact won the People’s Choice Award for the documentary (which was a no-brainer in my book). In my opinion the lawsuit shaped the powerful album which This Is War ultimately became. Jared directed this film under his alias Bartholomew Cubbins and he made the film in order to demonstrate the greed and unfair practices that thrives within the music industry and within the systems that some record labels have in place. Keep in mind the position the band was in at the time, they have had a little commercial success with A Beautiful Lie released in 2005 and now they are locked in a battle with multi-billion-dollar conglomerate. That fact alone is quite daunting. Artifact was filmed more or less in 2008-2009.
This is War was recorded in Jared Leto‘s home in a futuristic-looking studio which Jared, Shannon and Tomo financed out of their own pockets. At the time they didn’t have a firm distribution plan or the backing of a label, they were hard at work making a new album which might never have seen the light of day. Thats a pretty spectacular, risky and brave undertaking. The album was uninfluenced and untouched by anyone whose opinion 30 Seconds To Mars didn’t respect. This Is War is a raw and rare piece of art that was created without any creative restrictions, how many albums in the music industry do you know of where this was the case?
This is War was released on the 8th of December 2009 and on the 19th of February 2010 30 Seconds to Mars embarked on their worldwide Into The Wild tour which little known to them would become a record breaking tour. The tour ended on the 7th of December 2011 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. Their last show was streamed by making use of VyRT, a high quality livestream that give artists the opportunity to sell digital tickets to live events that are broadcast worldwide in an online social theater. One week after their last concert 30 Seconds To Mars took their rightful place in the Guiness Book of World Records as the Longest Concert Tour by a Rock Band, because they played 309 concerts in two years.
An interesting fact is that NASA plays a song every morning in order to wake up the Curiosity Rover ever since it reached Mars and the song Echelon from 30 Seconds To Mars’s debut album made the Sol6 playlist, which is quite fitting.
On the 1st of November tickets were made available for The Mars Laboratory Part II event on VyRT which will take place on the 1st of December 2012. The event will include an acoustic set, new music, Artifact and the live tour film. 30 Seconds to Mars has used VyRT to connect with their fans in a more personal way and to convey more information to them via this medium.Anyone who purchases a VyRT ticket will automatically be entered to win a trip to Los Angeles to watch the event live, which should be pretty mind-blowing for those attending.
I really can’t wait for the live tour film to be released since its been in the pipeline for quite a long time. Jared is truly a great director, because he sees things from a different perspective than most of us do. I’m sure he has a lot of help in order to create what he envisions for a project, but he succeeds in taking the viewer closer to the action that is happening on the screen and draws them in.
I’m quite aware of the fact that there are two other amazing musicians in the band, but I just have to commend Jared Leto on all his great ideas to promote the band. He is always coming up with new ways to engage the audience and to make 30 Seconds to Mars an experience rather than just another band. For example in A Beautiful Lie’s Deluxe Edition the band requested that members of the Echelon send in their names, so that they can be thanked for their continued support. As a result the inside covers of the Deluxe Edition contain a list of the fans’ names. Another example is when the band asked fans to send in photosof themselves of which the band chose 2000 of the best fan photos and released it as the cover for the albums. Celebrities featured on some of the covers are Jared and Shannon Leto‘s mom, Bam Margera, Kat Von D and Conan O’Brien. As a Marketing graduate I can really learn from and appreciate Jared’s innovative ideas and I see him as a pioneer in the field of Marketing. The question has been asked by many an interviewer if 30 Seconds to Mars really care about their fans or if they are only really good at marketing. My answer to that would be why would someone brand himself/herself with a message he/she didn’t believe in? Jared is passionate about his band and his fans therefore he tattooed symbols from each of their albums on his body. I don’t believe anyone will go that far if they didn’t care about the message(s) they were sending, the same goes for Shannon and Tomo.
Yesterday (5th November 2012) it was announced that 30 Seconds to Mars will be playing at the Download Festival in 2013 at Donington Park on the 14th – 16th of June 2013.
Exciting things still to come for Thirty Seconds to Mars, so watch this space!
You can follow 30 Seconds To Mars across various social networks here:
I had to add in this funny video Jared and Shannon made which Jared posted on his YouTube channel in July: