So — if the Eagles went 28 years between new albums, and Guns N' Roses will clock in at 14 between albums, it stands to reason that ubermanager Azoff should already be thinking about acquiring an act that can give the public a good seven year wait between successive releases. And we think we've got just the right group for him: 30 Seconds To Mars, which this past Friday found itself on the sue-ee end of a $30 million dollar breach of contract lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court by Virgin Records America. Not exactly chump change, even if your name is Jordan Catalano — er, I mean, Jared Leto.
True, it can be argued that since 30 Seconds waited a good two additional years past the original seven that maybe there wasn't anything particuarly wrong with the contract. Not to mention the fact that after nine years they weren't even halfway towards fulfilling their product requirement. To which Jared's website screed claims the following:
"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. "
Now we here at Stop The Presses! do not intend to take sides in the old art versus commerce debate, though it should probably be pointed out to the group that videos don't come cheap these days — especially when you're ripping off the likes of The Shining (for "The Kill") and The Last Emperor (for "From Yesterday"). I mean, somebody had to send some money to Stephen King and Steven Spielberg so they wouldn't sue, right?
In any event, if A Beautiful Lie came out in 2005, then the aforementioned Irving Azoff should grab 30 Seconds To Mars right away, and start working on the marketing campaign for the next album, with a target date of 2012. Especially since Jared promises fans that even with all their current legal entanglements, the group "is happy, healthy and very much together here in Los Angeles, recording our new record." And given their track record so far, 2012 seems just about right, don't you think?
As they say, it's a (welcome to the) jungle out there.
- Irving Azoff