After a $30 million legal skirmish last fall, in which 30 Seconds to Mars was sued by its label EMI for failing to deliver the third album on its five-album contract, the band has settled the lawsuit and inked a new deal with EMI’s Virgin Records.
The band’s actor frontman Jared Leto told the LA Times, “It was a long battle, and the time came for the fight to end. We’re certainly not experts at this. This certainly was the first time we had been sued for $30 million, and the first time we ever really had a battle with a business partner. We’re not a group of fighters. It certainly is not fun being in litigation. I would avoid it at all costs.”
30 Seconds to Mars had tried to get out of their previous deal with EMI, noting that they had found themselves in the unfortunately familiar position of not having made a dime despite selling millions of albums. In fact, Leto claimed the band was “millions of dollars in debt.”
“There was a point after we had sold millions of records around the world, where not only were we never paid a single penny, but we learned that we were millions of dollars in debt,” Leto told the Times. “That brought up a lot of questions for us, and we started to investigate the strange scenario that we were in. That was kind of the beginning of the conflict.”
It’s unknown whether the debt has been wiped clean, but we assume the band’s new deal with EMI includes better financial terms than their old arrangement even though Leto’s said that it’s more about the music than money: “I can’t get into specifics of the deal, but this isn’t about making a bunch of money. That day is done and over in recorded music.”
The band’s new agreement extends beyond the release of its forthcoming album, tentatively titled This Is War, this fall. This Is War is expected to feature guest vocals from Kanye West, who broke news of the collaboration by posting a photo of himself with Leto and Killers frontman Brandon Flowers online.
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