30 Seconds to Mars’ Jared Leto on Surviving a $30 Million Lawsuit Filed By His Record Company

Rock’n’roll is vicious game–especially when the lawyers get involved.  From Fast Company:

Actor, entrepreneur, musician, and Most Creative Person Jared Leto, with his Thirty Seconds To Mars bandmates Shannon Leto (his brother) and Tomo Milicevic, have sold over five million albums worldwide. For all of that success, they’ve seen exactly zero dollars.In 2008, like many bands who suddenly catch on, Thirty Seconds To Mars sought to renegotiate or be let out of their record contract with Virgin (owned by EMI). EMI’s response was to sue the band for $30 million, just as the members set out to record their next album. (And you thought you had creative pressures.)So Leto began documenting the challenge to record the band’s third album, This Is War, between trips to his lawyer’s office. The resulting documentary is called Artifact. Leto released it through his high-quality video platform VyrtNow it’s on iTunes, too(and in some theaters). It’s a story about the struggle between art and commerce–part eye candy for fans of the band, part business drama for anyone wondering just how fucked up the current music industry paradigm is.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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