By their own admission, 30 Seconds to Mars have been at "war" with Virgin Records and EMI Music for nearly a year now, locked in a $30 million breach-of-contract lawsuit that has kept them in limbo while they work on the follow-up to their breakthrough 2005 album, A Beautiful Lie. It's been trying, it's been uniting and, as of Wednesday morning (April 29), it's officially a thing of the past.
In an e-mail,
"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," the e-mail continued. "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."
It was an announcement that surprised almost everyone, except for us here at MTV News. See, we actually heard about the settlement Monday, when we were doing an interview with 30STM at Leto's Los Angeles home. We asked Leto about it, and he answered — though only under the conditions that we waited to run our news until he had announced the settlement himself. So, given that he did that this morning, here's what he had to say about his band's new deal:
"There came a time where it was appropriate and important to end the fight. And we are very relieved and very excited to say that we have resolved our differences with EMI and that we have re-signed with EMI and that we'll be putting our new record out, probably, in September," he said. "And that's ... wow, that's the first time I'm saying that. Honestly, it feels pretty intense."
And, so, with the lawsuit behind him, and a tentative release date for the new album circled on the calendar, Leto's battle is finally over. But does he have any regrets about the way things happened?
"It was a long, hard battle," Leto said. "I'm not going to bullsh-- you: It was the most challenging business obstacle that we've ever gone through as a band. And it was very real. A $30 million lawsuit isn't something to be treated lightly, and we always had respect for what was going on. ... We didn't actually know if we would return, and I'm sure EMI didn't know," he said. "But after exploring all of our options, and after taking careful consideration, we decided that the best thing was to reunite and to move forward. ... There were days where it was devastating, it was really brutal, and there were days where you almost forgot about it. But it's behind us now. We feel great about the decision that we've made, were ready to move on, to put our new music out. Finally."