In keeping with the grand tradition of pretty much everything they do, [artist id="1231235"]30 Seconds to Mars[/artist]' upcoming This Is War album will feature — no lie — 2,000 different covers, each showing an image of a fan.
And, unbeknownst to them, [artist id="2402281"]Cobra Starship[/artist]'s Gabe Saporta too.
Confused? Well, let us get you up to speed. Back in June, as they were putting the finishing touches on War, 30STM decided to involve their fans in the creation of the album artwork, asking them to submit pictures of themselves. The band would then select the 2,000 best images, which would be used as covers for the album itself and shipped randomly to stores around the world.
Seeing this as a relatively huge opportunity, 30 Seconds to Mars' fanbase sprung into action, inundating the band with all kinds of images. And, seeing this as a way to play a pretty amazing prank, so did Saporta. He sent in a photo of himself and sat back and waited, never expecting that he'd actually make the cut.
Only, he did. Of course, he didn't reveal this until Thursday, (November 12), when he was talking to MTV News about something else entirely (in this case, Weezer's Rivers Cuomo). During the interview, he randomly mentioned the 2,000 covers project, and then let it slip that he would be featured on one of them.
"I'm on one of the covers," Saporta laughed. "I made it."
We didn't believe him, but he insisted it was true. As luck would have it, we were due to sit down with Jared Leto and company later that afternoon. So, naturally, we had to ask them if Saporta had pulled a fast one. Were they aware that they had chosen the lead singer of Cobra Starship as one of their cover stars?
"That's a surprise. But there are all kinds of surprises out there with these album covers," Leto told MTV News. "We looked at each photo, and yeah, it was a royal pain in the ass, but worth it. I mean, 2,000 record covers is a lot ... to look at."
And, in 30 Seconds to Mars' defense, Saporta's grinning mug probably slipped through the cracks — after all, they were looking at a lot of images.
"All the images all amazed us. I mean, you have people that you would never think would submit. I mean, I think we might have had a few pictures submitted from prison," Leto laughed. "And then we got some from people on the opposite side of the spectrum too. And that was the best part of the experiment to me — you see this cross-section of people that's pretty beautiful."
So, aside from Saporta, who else made the cut? Well, Leto didn't want to give away all of his cover stars just yet — though from the sound of things, This Is War truly will feature everyone. Including Leto's mom.
"Everyone [is on a cover] from a stranger, to my mom, to Terry Richardson, to Gabe and on and on and on. And there are surprises. We're not going to release every name that we put out there," he said. "It will be totally random, and I'm hoping that stores don't just have all the same of one cover. ... But it is a giant experiment and it really rests upon all the people that participated. We're so thankful people did. It drove the record company crazy, but it's always good when you can do that."