By Susana Gómez Báez
Thirty Seconds to Mars premiered their documentary Artifact on Friday at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in the Ryerson Theatre. Artifact follows the band as they record their latest album This is War and battle a $30 million lawsuit with their recording company, Virgin Records. “It was long and arduous. To make a documentary, it’s not easy,” said lead singer and actor Jared Leto at the red carpet.
“It took a long time. Four years we were shooting and editing…and it’s great to be done.”
After the tour to promote their previous album, A Beautiful Lie, the band tried to sign with another label while under contract, prompting the lawsuit.
“Initially we were making a film about the making of an album but it turned into a much different story once we got into this giant conflict,” Leto said.
The documentary aims at exposing the music industry and the recurring dilemmas about money and artistic integrity. In 2009, the band resigned with EMI Group (the umbrella label over Virgin Records) and the $30 million suit was annulled. –
With files from Marissa Dederer
Fun Facts about 30 Seconds to Mars
• Jared Leto is the director of the film. He goes by the name Bartholomew Cubbins who is a Dr. Seuss character in the book The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins. Leto was not wearing a hat at the premiere. He was sporting a beard instead.
• The band broke a Guinness World Record for longest concert tour by a rock band, with 309 concerts in the promotion of their latest album, This is War.
• The album features a song called “Hurricane” recorded in collaboration with American rapper Kanye West.