(thespian/rocker while playing the part of John Lennon’s assassin a typical independent label executive, and on the right, after hunger strike to protest non-payment of royalties)
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. – Jared Leto, 30 Seconds To Mars.
Harsh stuff, indeed, however Leto fails to disclose in his response to Virgin/EMI’s $30 million suit against his band precisely how much 30 Seconds To Mars were advanced against royalties. It does seem rather fucked that a record company couldn’t turn a profit on two million sales. However, it’s entirely possible that enough dough was dropped signing the band, recording their horrible records and promoting & marketing said recordings , that EMI did in fact, lose money on the deal.
Which doesn’t necessarily mean Leto and pals aren’t owed anything, either. But if he’s unwilling to specify which portion of EMI/Virgin’s spending on his behalf was recoupable and which wasn’t, this is just a dopey exercise in posturing. But I remain hopeful 30 Seconds To Mars can resume their career with an artist-friendly label, one that unlike the revolving chair scenario at publicly held EMI, has had the same visionary leadership in place since the label’s inception.
If Tony Victory would like to pay me a finder’s fee, I’ll gladly donate it to charity.