Thirty Seconds to Mars set out to do something that had yet to be done when it came to releasing their latest album, This Is War. Jared Leto and fellow band mates asked their fans to send in pictures of themselves for a chance to be displayed on the cover of their new album.
The forward thinking of Thirty Seconds to Mars has enticed fans to purchase the album not as another CD, but as a collectors item. Fans have been swapping the new Thirty Seconds to Mars album ‘This Is War’ the way people used to trade beanie babies or sports trading cards. Jared Leto told Spinner Magazine, “I heard that one was selling on eBay for $2500 or has already sold.”
The experiment has been so successful that the band is hoping to continue it on the next pressing of the album. If it does happen, Leto believes the next round will be even better.” Now people understand what it is and how it’s just been in good fun and good spirit,” he says. “So I think next time will be an even wider group.”
There are 2,000 different versions of the album, all picked by the band. The “celebrity” covers have become instant collector’s items, with covers featuring a number of randoms: Conan O’Brien, Ben Stiller, Jat Von D, Bam Margera, manager Irving Azoff, and others from different bands.
The band has always been very fan-oriented, and it’s no doubt paying off for them. While recording the album, they hosted an event they dubbed “The Summit” at the Avalon Club in L.A., where fans got to participate in the recording.
Leto’s comments of “The Summit” experience:
“The Summit was an experiment in our recording process, and we were just trying to think of ways that we could deepen the connection between ourselves and our family of fans around the world. We do that often, and think of ways to break the boundary. And we thought, ‘How great would it be to invite the world to come and be a part of the next 30 Seconds to Mars album? […]
There were some things [we tried] that were left-field sound experiments — using the group, the collective, as a musical instrument. We did everything from percussive expression to whispering to things that were a little bit more familiar, like inviting the 1,000 people that were there to sing the chorus of a song. And those people who were a part of it all will be a part of the next 30 Seconds to Mars album. … It was quite simply one of the best things we’ve done as a band.”
Bands, take note. Getting your fans involved and creating a deep emotional experience for them is key in being a success. While this band has a number of reasons for being a high profile act, they’re not selling tons of records because their label is blowing money trying to shove their music down our throats – it’s because they have a great mentality in getting their fans involved on multiple levels and having THEM spread the word.