As part of its massive restructuring, EMI is firing roughly 2,000 people. This has led to two different, yet similar, complaints by 30 Seconds to Mars frontman Jared Leto and Lily Allen.
30 Seconds to Mars was sued Friday by EMI subsidiary Virgin Records for $30 million for reportedly failing to deliver the third album on their contract for the label. Today, Leto took to the band’s Web site to explain his side of the story as well as air some grievances against his former label:
Despite rumours to the contrary, 30 Seconds to Mars is NOT calling it quits. We are incredibly happy, healthy and very much together here, in Los Angeles, recording our new record…We had been signed to our record contract for 9 years. Basically, under California law, where we live and signed our deal, one cannot be bound to a contract for more than 7 years. This is widely known by all the record companies and has been for years. In fact, so aware of it are they that they desperately try to make deals outside of California whenever possible. It is a law that protects people from lengthy, unfair, career-spanning contracts. This law also gave us the legal right to explore other possible opportunities.
Yes we have been sued by EMI. But NOT for failing to deliver music or for ‘quitting’. We have been sued by the corporation quite simply because roughly 45 days ago we exercised our legal right to terminate our old, out of date contract, which, according to the law is null and void.
We terminated for a number of reasons, which we won’t go into here (we’d rather not air any dirty laundry) but basically our representatives could not get EMI to agree to make a fair and reasonable deal…
If you think the fact that we have sold in excess of 2 million records and have never been paid a penny is pretty unbelievable, well, so do we. And the fact that EMI informed us that not only aren’t they going to pay us AT ALL but that we are still 1.4 million dollars in debt to them is even crazier. That the next record we make will be used to pay off that old supposed debt just makes you start wondering what is going on. Shouldn’t a record company be able to turn a profit from selling that many records? Or, at the very least, break even? We think so.
That, and other issues, like the new regime at EMI firing most of the people we know and love, wanting to place advertisements on our website, EMI owning 100 per cent of the masters of our record…forever, and basically having a revolving door of regimes at the company made it easy to not want to continue as is.
As the result of this takeover – and the firing of over 2000 employees – we have lost many of the people that were near and dear to us at Virgin/EMI and crucial to the success of 30 Seconds to Mars. A few of the great ones are still there, but it is hardly the same company we have known. After more than 5 regime changes in 9 years you’d think we would be used to the inconsistency, but the team that took the journey together for A Beautiful Lie was a very very special group of people and it’s a huge loss that so many of them are gone. (Quick fact: There is not a single employee at Virgin records who was working at the company when we signed.)
Meanwhile, Lily Allen also blogged on her MySpace page that since the employees who handled her last record are out, she’s concerned that her new album is not being prioritised:
Now , the album . it has been finished for a while now , I don’t really know whats going on with it . The record industry is a very political place at the moment and I am on EMI records , lots of people have been fired or have taken redundancy recently as the company was taken over by a private equity firm called Terra Firma . Many of these people were people assigned to my projects and now i don’t quite know whats going on . I’m sure everyone will find their feet soon enough and i’ll be able to put the album out soon .
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