So here we are, after almost a year at war, and the time has come. The time to make peace, to move ahead, and to begin again. We are finally and thankfully at a place where we are excited and relieved to put behind us one of the most challenging battles of our entire careers.
For almost a year now we have been in Los Angeles, California, putting our hearts, hopes, and dreams into making a record that means absolutely everything to us. In addition to this incredible and creative adventure, we have had the added challenge of carrying the rather heavy burden of a 30 million dollar lawsuit filed against us by EMI records. Not the most ideal of conditions to make a record under but an integral part of our story nonetheless.
We are now nearly finished with our new record and have found ourselves in a place ready to accept an end to the arduous conflict with our former label. There are many reasons that have contributed to this decision but overall the willingness and enthusiasm by EMI to address our major concerns and issues, the opportunity to return to work with a team so committed and passionate about Thirty Seconds to Mars, and the company’s dedication to changing the status quo of the business of recorded music made this choice possible. We have decided it best for the music, for the fans, and for Thirty Seconds to Mars to accept a resolution with EMI.
Throughout, we always looked for opportunities to make peace, and stayed open to compromise and resolution. But not at any cost. We were prepared to continue down this path as long as we needed to. This was a fight we believed in wholeheartedly. A fight about art. A fight about truth. A fight about fairness. And a fight about freedom.
This was the first time we had to defend ourselves in litigation and hopefully our last. It was never for a single moment something we wanted, something we enjoyed, or something we treated lightly. A 30 million dollar lawsuit is serious business and we always respected the trepidatious path we were walking down. But we knew this was an important and worthy fight, and unfortunately unavoidable.
In case anyone is wondering, litigation is not fun. At all. My suggestion; avoid it at all costs. We tried. And tried, and tried again. Unfortunately, we eventually arrived at a place where it was impossible to continue working with EMI and necessary to terminate our contract. Citing a California labor law that protects the individual against unfair contractual obligations we gave notice to EMI of our intention.
A little back story…
All of this started once we had finally, and thankfully, achieved some success around the world, only to learn that although we had sold millions of records we would never see a single solitary penny. On top of that, we were then told that we were also millions of dollars in debt. As you can imagine, that was more than confusing so we began to educate ourselves and started to discover what a strange situation we were in. For more of the reasons we went to war in the first place, here’s a link to the previous letter I wrote addressing it all.
Over the past eight months, there was plenty of internal debate about our future, about how far to take this fight, about what is important to us as artists, as individuals, as a band. About whether to put our new album out through a traditional record company or to experiment and break new ground. Many feel that the system now is antiquated and that with the help of new technologies and available platforms the conventional method is quickly on its way out. Others feel no one does it better than the experienced companies that have serviced most of us with the majority of music we love. It’s a great and endless debate. We are in the death throws of one system and the birth of another, which is as exciting at times as it can be painful.
After carefully considering all of our options, what would be gained, what could be potentially lost, we ultimately decided that reuniting with EMI/Virgin would be the absolute best route for the music and that no matter what, sharing this latest creative adventure with you all in the most timely manner possible is the most important part of any of it.
In the future, whether there are record companies or not, whether you put your music out only through the internet or sell it from an ice cream truck, you still need the help of individuals. And at the end of it all the biggest reason for us to reunite with EMI is exactly that. The people. It isn’t for business or finance or contracts or the end of lawsuits. It is for the chance to rejoin the people who remain, who have been a part of our phenomenal journey throughout, and for the limitless possibilities of those wonderful new individuals who will be helping us along this new path.
We are more than happy that this has all come to a close and we can begin to put it behind us. It’s not only a good thing, it may even be great.
We always left the door open for resolution and peace throughout this process, and we are thankful it did not fall on deaf ears. We look forward to a new beginning with EMI, and to sharing our new music with you in the very near future.
We will never forget the unrelenting support from all our friends, family and fans around the world.
A very wise man once said “We make war that we may live in peace.”
And I suppose sometimes we must fight in order to be free.
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