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Business and 30 Seconds To Mars


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#1 wildhorses

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 02:20 PM

After reading several topics and posts that have been emerging for quite a while, I thought it might be interesting to make a topic about business and the band where everyone can expose their own reflection and perception of this evolution as it is now in a broader context.

Putting aside what I feel to be objective, my first thought is that we can't forget a  fact: music is also a job for 30stm. Once the record is made and the creative process is achieved, whether we want it or not, it also becomes a product along with a marketing and strategic process.
And yes, it includes choices of terms such as "family" and "echelon” (don't believe it has always been so for the latter though) a good strategy to make people think they are special which would eventually make faithful fans out of people in search of community and an easier target to buy any product.

Even so, should we bear a grudge against the band? After all, this is their job and being involved in an artistic field, doesn't imply that people don't want to make money out of it. Especially when success is knocking at the door. And what about the fans? Aren't they responsible too? There are quite many people that for instance asked about the GT's in Europe when it didn't exist yet, and I understood that as many are more than satisfied with the content of the unplugged. (I won't lie, I'm part of the people who bought it but yes, next time I'll be less impulsive and will wait to see what the content is about :P)
If a lot of people want it this way and are willing to pay $$$, why wouldn't the band act accordingly?

For sure, a few among us saw the GT's as a kind of a disaster in the marsmen evolution but considering the prices and how many people bought them for each dates, the band actually found the cave of Sesame.
The same for the spamming on Twitter for merchandising, VyRT etc… Considering the few people that are annoyed compare to the many that want to take a "chance" to be RT, the result in sales are certainly closely tied.

Yes, I can already hear "This is not what they used to be, it used to be much better and authentic  because…" Well the band like anybody else (hope so!) evolves, things change. Changes are either welcomed or rejected, this is how it works, and success don't come along with only good things. With their celebrity rising which most of us actually also"work for", the communication with people and their expectancies had to evolve and to inevitably damage some important aspects of this band.

In the end, this is all about choices, their choices.
What they decide to sacrifice (or not) for business purposes and what they don't want to loose.
If there is a new adventure, the questions are: Will we still enjoy it with the industry choices and sacrifices they would make? Will their new creative aspects and performances will still give us the thrill within all that type of marketing process?
If yes, does all this business side really matter eventually? If with a twinge of sadness, we still have great time, nothing forces us to adhere to the “dollar system” in its totality.
If not, we will keep old good memories and move on... Or … I suspect that some would stick around criticizing in a big way almost everything lol! But that's another debate :)

#2 SpectralTiger

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 03:12 PM

I don`t think the band has changed. I think the circumstances have changed - they became a lot more popular and the social networking became available. When they first started out, they went that extra mile to hang out and `bond` with the few fans they had. I believe, and I may be wrong, that this was done to promote themselves rather than as a response to their desire to hang out with fans. These days they don`t need to hang out with fans, so they don`t really becuz they have other, easier and impersonal ways to promote the band.

#3 finesse

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 03:44 PM

Being in a band is a job just like any other. Expecting artists not to market and expand is selfish. Lots of great things happen when bands combine real, artistic talent with a desire to draw a bigger audience.

#4 Potnez

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 04:18 PM

View Postwildhorses, on 02 January 2012 - 02:20 PM, said:

Even so, should we bear a grudge against the band? After all, this is their job and being involved in an artistic field, doesn't imply that people don't want to make money out of it. Especially when success is knocking at the door. And what about the fans? Aren't they responsible too? There are quite many people that for instance asked about the GT's in Europe when it didn't exist yet, and I understood that as many are more than satisfied with the content of the unplugged. (I won't lie, I'm part of the people who bought it but yes, next time I'll be less impulsive and will wait to see what the content is about :P)
If a lot of people want it this way and are willing to pay $, why wouldn't the band act accordingly?

[...]

In the end, this is all about choices, their choices.

I know I've been criticizing the band a lot... not so much here, but on Twitter or the french board.
I wasn't even around back in 2002 or even when ABL came out. I'm not so much into "things were different before", because I know nothing about this time.

When I really think about it, I realize that the band is just doing what people (well, most people) ask for: GT, streaming of #MARS300, etc..
You said: "If a lot of people want it this way and are willing to pay $, why wouldn't the band act accordingly?" And I totally agree, I wouldn't want to miss the opportunity either.

But it doesn't mean I like the way things are presented to us. "VyRT or death","Echelon pass", etc...?  Sometimes, it feels like you're not an Echelon if you do not BUY and BUY and BUY again. Not that the word "Echelon" has any meaning whatsoever nowadays. :rolleyes:

Not a single RT, not a single answer has been given to people who were PHYSICALLY going to #MARS300, not even once. It has been ALL about VyRT. You wanna spread the word, fine. I've seen lot of thanks from people who've never been able to see the band live and this was their chance to do so. Great for them. I may be stupid or paranoid, but all those tweets from the guys? It was like yelling a big fat "BUYYYYY" to my face. And I'm not asking anybody to agree with that or to think alike. But the fact is I can't help it, that's just how it felt ike to me. :mellow: (I'm only talking about VyRT as an example because it's the first one to come to my mind)

A lot of people here are going to say that nobody is forcing us to buy anything,and  that it is our choice. And I agree with that too. But here's the thing: how many fans are underage? How many of them are unfluencable? I love the band not only for their music, but also for the community they've created. The guys always talk about family and stuff, like we're all part of something big, something different. And I'm not saying they're lying or they don't care. But I get the feeling that, intentionnaly or not, they're using this sense of community they're spreading to sell merch or other expensive stuff. And this is what everybody would simply called marketing. I've been in a business school, and I know that it's pretty imossible to make anyone in this business admit what it is really: MANIPULATION. But that's alright, everything is about manipulation, in our everyday life we manipulate people in some ways.

I love the band, the music still speaks to me and I can't wait for a new album/tour/whatever. I may not like everything they do or how they do it, but hey, I'm still here right? I'm writing this, now and here. I'm just saying thingsas I feel it, sue me. I'm not getting way over my head about these things, I merely am sharing my opinion with others; and to me that's what this board is for, correct me if I'm wrong. (Sorry about the rant but I've read some things here about how stupid it is to protest against evrything the band does, so...)

Anyway, business is business and I think you've summed up the situation pretty well in your post :)

#5 CandyO

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 04:38 PM

View Postwildhorses, on 02 January 2012 - 02:20 PM, said:

1. If a lot of people want it this way and are willing to pay $$$, why wouldn't the band act accordingly?

In the end, this is all about choices, their choices.
2. What they decide to sacrifice (or not) for business purposes and what they don't want to loose.

3. If there is a new adventure, the questions are: Will we still enjoy it with the industry choices and sacrifices they would make? Will their new creative aspects and performances will still give us the thrill within all that type of marketing process?

4. If yes, does all this business side really matter eventually? If with a twinge of sadness, we still have great time, nothing forces us to adhere to the “dollar system” in its totality. If not, we will keep old good memories and move on... Or … I suspect that some would stick around criticizing in a big way almost everything lol! But that's another debate :)
Another good and thought provoking thread. And this subject of the business of art is very dear to me right now. Your whole post was a good read, but I snipped it down to the major questions you asked.

1. Absolutely. If the band found another way to make money, why not? Be it GT or VYRT or selling fortune cookies with Mars related fortunes. If there is a market and people who are willing pay money for the product, happily, then why not offer it.

2. Sacrifice is an interesting question. It requires a mind shift, if a mind shift is even required "I want to create because I love it" to "I want to create because I love it and I want to make money at it". I'm sure there are artists who decided they wanted to be rock stars or famous sculptors or whatever in the hopes of making it rich. But your average 5 year old who loves his crayons or singing for mom isn't thinking about money while doing it. How does one grow up and shift from doing it cause they love it to doing it to pay the bills.

3. I have already found that my enjoyment level has changed. My excitement level for a new gig in early 2010 was the same as in 06/07. The last two shows in '10 were a little less so, and in '11, I made it to one spring gig instead of the two that were near me cause "one was enough". And I totally didn't make it to NYC in Dec *waves ticket* whereas just a year earlier I might have overcame the last obstacle but at that point, it was like, whatever. The mood has changed, and whether that is a perception driven by me or driven by the band, the change is still there. And yes, a lot of that is the change in the marketing process. Before, it felt more... mysterious. Special. Which in itself could very well have been a marketing process. Anyway, if there is a future adventure, I imagine I will still want to go, if it's in one of the cities I can get to easily, and the weather is nice. I won't be able to answer if I will still get that thrill until it happens.

4. True to both. :)    

View Postfinesse, on 02 January 2012 - 03:44 PM, said:

Being in a band is a job just like any other. Expecting artists not to market and expand is selfish. Lots of great things happen when bands combine real, artistic talent with a desire to draw a bigger audience.
Yes. But does that shift from "love" to "job" not change the end product? I mean, how could it not? Perhaps the masses might not notice but those who appreciated the artist's earlier works will know. And the artist will know. I feel it myself. And I hope I am not losing something important in my soul.

I am grateful to the band for so many things, among them, flushing out my talent for graphic design. Who knew I had a talent for tee shirts and stickers? I only thought to paint weird shit, cause that is what I love. And marketing skills... thanks to Mars, I have them. So who is the better artist? The man who sing songs on his front porch in the country, Van Gogh who died penniless... or the musician who made bank by turning talent into a business.

And at what point does the creator let go of artistic integrity in favor of profit, if they must let go of it at all?

#6 wildhorses

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 12:26 PM

View PostSpectralTiger, on 02 January 2012 - 03:12 PM, said:

I believe and I may be wrong, that this was done to promote themselves rather than as a response to their desire to hang out with fans. These days they don`t need to hang out with fans, so they don`t really becuz they have other, easier and impersonal ways to promote the band.

Probably. I wasn't around then to be able to talk about this period of time. But what I know is promo or not promo when you like a band, you appreciate that they take the time to share some kind of "human touch" without paying for it.

View PostPotnez, on 02 January 2012 - 04:18 PM, said:

Sometimes, it feels like you're not an Echelon if you do not BUY and BUY and BUY again. Not that the word "Echelon" has any meaning whatsoever nowadays.
Does it really matter? Echelon is now just a synonym of fans. It no longer means the people who are dedicated and involve themselves for a band they love. So...

View PostPotnez, on 02 January 2012 - 04:18 PM, said:

But here's the thing: how many fans are underage? How many of them are unfluencable?

Teens have always been a main target for bands. They are, besides collectors, the ones that are likely to pay for any product.
Also, we were once teenagers and we used to be as overexcited when we had news or new stuff from our favorit bands. They kind of used to be "gospel truth" lol! (Ok, when 30stm release a new song, vid or announce a tour, the teenager in us is back lol!). As well, we felt very special when we were mentioned in specific messages.
So, like us, those teens will live in dreams then will grow up and smile when they will be thinking about this period of time. I don't think this is such a big deal. After all, we survived, why wouldn't they lol!

View PostPotnez, on 02 January 2012 - 04:18 PM, said:

I love the band not only for their music, but also for the community they've created. The guys always talk about family and stuff, like we're all part of something big, something different. And I'm not saying they're lying or they don't care. But I get the feeling that, intentionnaly or not, they're using this sense of community they're spreading to sell merch or other expensive stuff.
As far as I'm concern, this is just communication. The package deal: bringing faithul fans + money and certainly get some inspiration too and in exchange make the fans happy to be part of it.

View PostPotnez, on 02 January 2012 - 04:18 PM, said:

But I get the feeling that, intentionnaly or not, they're using this sense of community they're spreading to sell merch or other expensive stuff.
How could it be any other ways? We are individual persons strangers to each others. We are just an aspect of the professional band's life as huge group of people participating to the adventures they create which is already big and unique. Yes, a band can't subsist without fans but we are nothing more, and you need more than that to create a real community and family in the literal meaning.

Now, what is agreable is the illusion that makes you feel like you live something special and thrilling and I've got to admit that it's disappointing when this illusion is damaged.

In this business though, something real is created sometimes: Some friendship and some efficient teams or partnerships in promo among fans. Not that bad! ;)

View PostCandyO, on 02 January 2012 - 04:38 PM, said:

How does one grow up and shift from doing it cause they love it to doing it to pay the bills.


I guess new needs and desirs growing with age are the cause. If you can combine what you love with what pays the bills, I'd say Banco!  ;)


View PostCandyO, on 02 January 2012 - 04:38 PM, said:

I am grateful to the band for so many things, among them, flushing out my talent for graphic design. Who knew I had a talent for tee shirts and stickers? I only thought to paint weird shit, cause that is what I love. And marketing skills... thanks to Mars, I have them. So who is the better artist? The man who sing songs on his front porch in the country, Van Gogh who died penniless... or the musician who made bank by turning talent into a business.

So do I! This creative interaction have opened some new doors that led to fields that wouldn't have been explored otherwise. I'm really grateful for this!

View PostCandyO, on 02 January 2012 - 04:38 PM, said:

And at what point does the creator let go of artistic integrity in favor of profit, if they must let go of it at all?

I think this is an intimate reflection that belongs only to the artist.
The fans will then do or not with it dependings on their own sensitivity and expectations.

#7 Potnez

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 12:50 PM

As I said, I'm still here right?
So no, it's not that bad, it's just the way I feel. ;)

#8 Mistressred

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 10:37 AM

I think that it is the evolution of a band. I think the word Family was meant with sincerity in the beginning.It was a business, but it was like a small family business,you had a small number of clientele, but it paid the bills, and you were happy for return customers. Now they are not going to stop calling us family, but it's a franchise now, scattered throughout many cities, even countries.

The real old schoolers made their own merch, they made their own flyers, they hung out by the buses, and could chat with the band for a decent length of time. Someone would bring a cake, because it was a band members birthday, and the band would be pleased to be remembered by the fans in this small way, and share the cake in the parking lot. They could do this because the tour schedule was not so grueling. There were no editing buses following behind so Jared could multi task, instead of being happy just to book the next venue. There were no paid meet and greets and if they did signing lines as they got more famous, it was still managable,and they got back on the road in good time. The merch was limited, so you either bought it at the show, or you didn't. Some felt more proud wearing their own homemade stuff, there was no need to prove anything.

Now their "family" grew to a massive scale. So before, if you compare it to a family reunion, where everyone knew each other,and we were like the teenagers who were young and single, and just thought this reunion thing was a blast, meet the cousins, have fun, get into a bit of trouble,not a worry in the world.

Now it's ten years later, the reunion had to be moved to a larger venue, so everything costs more, and there is more grumbling because of this. Want the family reunion t shirt? 30.00 please. The teenagers, are all grown up with jobs and kids and the place is a freaking ZOO, and you're like "Who are all these people???" Everyone mixes a lot less, because they are all attending to the needs of their families, and they feel a bit awkwarded out, because there are just too many "family members" to visit with. Where you would once have shared your "Cake" or potato salad, you now, sit at your own table, and try to recognize people among the crowd. Some of your "family" are much more better off than others, and so it's a show of who has what, and who can afford what. Instead of diving right in, you now hang back, and try to find a few people you used to hang with, provided that they still want to hang with you.  It is not nearly the fun it used to be... it's nobody's fault, it's just the natural progression of things. Maybe you'll skip the next family reunion and go to Disney Land. B)

The band always has more than one thing on it's plate of late, it comes down to hiring out what you used to do yourself. It comes to trying to please everyone, and failing in some areas. When you let others speak for you, maybe out of necessity, things will get lost in translation. Sometimes if things were offered up in a better way, it could make all the difference. It's always tricky doing business with family, there are fine lines and such....

#9 shannon leto's lezbean

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 12:27 PM

View PostMistressred, on 04 January 2012 - 10:37 AM, said:

I think that it is the evolution of a band. I think the word Family was meant with sincerity in the beginning.It was a business, but it was like a small family business,you had a small number of clientele, but it paid the bills, and you were happy for return customers. Now they are not going to stop calling us family, but it's a franchise now, scattered throughout many cities, even countries.

The real old schoolers made their own merch, they made their own flyers, they hung out by the buses, and could chat with the band for a decent length of time. Someone would bring a cake, because it was a band members birthday, and the band would be pleased to be remembered by the fans in this small way, and share the cake in the parking lot. They could do this because the tour schedule was not so grueling. There were no editing buses following behind so Jared could multi task, instead of being happy just to book the next venue. There were no paid meet and greets and if they did signing lines as they got more famous, it was still managable,and they got back on the road in good time. The merch was limited, so you either bought it at the show, or you didn't. Some felt more proud wearing their own homemade stuff, there was no need to prove anything.

Now their "family" grew to a massive scale. So before, if you compare it to a family reunion, where everyone knew each other,and we were like the teenagers who were young and single, and just thought this reunion thing was a blast, meet the cousins, have fun, get into a bit of trouble,not a worry in the world.

Now it's ten years later, the reunion had to be moved to a larger venue, so everything costs more, and there is more grumbling because of this. Want the family reunion t shirt? 30.00 please. The teenagers, are all grown up with jobs and kids and the place is a freaking ZOO, and you're like "Who are all these people???" Everyone mixes a lot less, because they are all attending to the needs of their families, and they feel a bit awkwarded out, because there are just too many "family members" to visit with. Where you would once have shared your "Cake" or potato salad, you now, sit at your own table, and try to recognize people among the crowd. Some of your "family" are much more better off than others, and so it's a show of who has what, and who can afford what. Instead of diving right in, you now hang back, and try to find a few people you used to hang with, provided that they still want to hang with you.  It is not nearly the fun it used to be... it's nobody's fault, it's just the natural progression of things. Maybe you'll skip the next family reunion and go to Disney Land. B)

The band always has more than one thing on it's plate of late, it comes down to hiring out what you used to do yourself. It comes to trying to please everyone, and failing in some areas. When you let others speak for you, maybe out of necessity, things will get lost in translation. Sometimes if things were offered up in a better way, it could make all the difference. It's always tricky doing business with family, there are fine lines and such....

:wub:

THIS PLUS THE ORIGINAL POST = YES. wildhorses be my friend plz :lol:

i would say more but i really don't think there's too much else to say.

you either get it and accept it, or you get it and you're not happy about it, or you don't get it but you're happy for them anyway, or you don't get it and you're unhappy about it, or you don't care about 'getting it' and/or want the guys to be happy and successful regardless of how many people they play to per night.

i understand that things have changed and have been unfavorable to many, but it has opened the band up to worlds they may have never otherwise explored or experienced. they are spreading their music and their message and their love of performing both to countries all over the globe. isn't that all that should matter?

i also understand that there are a lot of extremists that are either 100% pro- or 100% anti- any and everything the band does at this moment. look around at every other band at the same fame level or more famous than 30stm. WE ARE NOT ALONE. find your own little niche where you're comfortable and don't worry about what your neighbor thinks about this tshirt or that echelon pass. worry about forming your own opinion and reason for it. it will continue to happen, regardless of which position we decide to take up. there will always be folks there to annoy us to no end by either being yes-men or being the perpetual debbie downers. that's not going to go away, even after the band does.

i have written way too many rants on the combined elements of playing bigger venues, repeat setlists, the band 'selling out' etc to really be of good use to anyone in here, lol.

and, because i am a broken record: the music industry IS, first and foremost, a BUSINESS. people are confusing BUSINESS with NOSTALGIA and it is not working out so well for them. when you realize that BUSINESS evolves as a band's career does, there WILL be CHANGE, whether you like it or not, whether it goes in the direction you prefer it to or not.

(i was warring between bold and caps. i think caps makes a better point)

in the end, we're all still here (well, a bunch of us are, anyway) for the same common denominator, whether that denominator be for the past, present or future. why don't we focus on and discuss the band's present/future instead of splitting hairs over how they get there?

i much prefer this over most of the other threads on this entire site. bravo, wildhorses, for creating a thought-provoking thread, rather than an unnecessarily provocative one...because believe me, it could've gotten real ugly, real fast had you not picked your words carefully.

#10 Mistressred

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 02:13 PM

View Postshannon leto, on 04 January 2012 - 12:27 PM, said:


i would say more but i really don't think there's too much else to say.

you either get it and accept it, or you get it and you're not happy about it, or you don't get it but you're happy for them anyway, or you don't get it and you're unhappy about it, or you don't care about 'getting it' and/or want the guys to be happy and successful regardless of how many people they play to per night.


:lol: I think you hurt my brain

#11 shannon leto's lezbean

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 02:57 PM

View PostMistressred, on 04 January 2012 - 02:13 PM, said:

:lol: I think you hurt my brain

i think i need to make one of those middle school notes with the boxes next to the options, then pass it around the boards for everyone to check one.

and no, i do not mean posting an online poll. a handwritten note is the only accurate means of calculating this. :lol:

#12 Aneczka

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 03:09 PM

View PostCandyO, on 02 January 2012 - 04:38 PM, said:

Yes. But does that shift from "love" to "job" not change the end product? I mean, how could it not? Perhaps the masses might not notice but those who appreciated the artist's earlier works will know. And the artist will know.

So there's nothing wrong with selling art and it must be fun to get to the point where you don't have to go to "regular job". But there's a potential danger that creative process may be affected by the will to satisfy audience/customers and sell more.

View PostCandyO, on 02 January 2012 - 04:38 PM, said:

So who is the better artist? The man who sing songs on his front porch in the country, Van Gogh who died penniless... or the musician who made bank by turning talent into a business.

And at what point does the creator let go of artistic integrity in favor of profit, if they must let go of it at all?

In the end the artist himself has to decide weather he is satisfied with his creations :)

shannon leto said:

i understand that things have changed and have been unfavorable to many, but it has opened the band up to worlds they may have never otherwise explored or experienced. they are spreading their music and their message and their love of performing both to countries all over the globe. isn't that all that should matter?

Nicely said  :) because there are people like me for instance and if things haven't changed we wouldn't have a chance to get our experiences with this band, their music and live shows.

#13 CandyO

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 04:13 PM

View Postwildhorses, on 03 January 2012 - 12:26 PM, said:

Now, what is agreable is the illusion that makes you feel like you live something special and thrilling and I've got to admit that it's disappointing when this illusion is damaged.
In this business though, something real is created sometimes: Some friendship and some efficient teams or partnerships in promo among fans. Not that bad! ;)

I guess new needs and desirs growing with age are the cause. If you can combine what you love with what pays the bills, I'd say Banco!  ;)

So do I! This creative interaction have opened some new doors that led to fields that wouldn't have been explored otherwise. I'm really grateful for this!

I think this is an intimate reflection that belongs only to the artist.
The fans will then do or not with it dependings on their own sensitivity and expectations.
First bit, yes to both. :)

And maybe some are able to grow into it easier? And I've always had this awkward fear of making something I enjoy into my profession might kill the joy. I'm weird that way.

Agreed! The creative interaction has been my very favorite part. Very favorite. Hand painted shirts and stuff... If I was just stumbling onto Mars right now, I don't think I would feel the same excitement of that.

Yes and yes.

View PostMistressred, on 04 January 2012 - 10:37 AM, said:

I think that it is the evolution of a band. I think the word Family was meant with sincerity in the beginning.It was a business, but it was like a small family business,you had a small number of clientele, but it paid the bills, and you were happy for return customers. Now they are not going to stop calling us family, but it's a franchise now, scattered throughout many cities, even countries.
I like this analogy a lot. Spot on. The small business, the country store on Little House on The Prairie minus Nelly, grew, understandably, and now it's Walmart and McDonalds. The demographics and business plan understandably had to change too.

I agree with everything else in your post [but trimmed it cause damn my posts get long enough just with my own typing] and the family reunion thing is another good analogy. Like when that dude who's only family was his parents married into the My Big Fat Greek Wedding family and the parents sat on the side, shell shocked... omg wtf... hahaa. Not as much a business analogy as the first paragraph, but still fittin. Plus I just watched the film again the other day. OOMPAH.

View PostAneczka, on 04 January 2012 - 03:09 PM, said:

So there's nothing wrong with selling art and it must be fun to get to the point where you don't have to go to "regular job". But there's a potential danger that creative process may be affected by the will to satisfy audience/customers and sell more.

In the end the artist himself has to decide weather he is satisfied with his creations :)
Bolded: BINGO. While this thread about Business as it relates to Mars, I can say that the creative process being affected by the business side is indeed a consideration. It can't only be me - there have to be other people who make that turn and ponder what they made today as opposed to yesterday. Who look at their potential market and feel differently about them some how.

Good last sentence. :)

I'm a capitalist. One of my first threads here was to offer up an idea for merch that would 1. be cool for the fans and 2. MAKE THE BAND MONEY. I was never against the band making money. It's not about nostalgia vs. business for me. It's about how the model changed, had to change, and subsequent marketing changes, artistic changes...  everything changes. As it must. I've been in the thick of it, with a real good view. I have kicked and screamed a couple of times, sat back and watched a lot, and learned. And changed.

Once upon a time in the late '80s there was a New York painter named Mark Kostabi. He was a marketing genius. He paid other artists minimum wage to paint huge canvases at his direction, signed them as his own then sold them for thousands of dollars, simply on the basis of his name which he had made "marketable". I remember watching a tv show about him. He was proud that rich people were paying all this money for a signed Kostabi that he hadn't even painted. And I remembered thinking "I don't ever want to be like him, ever."

Which probably skews a lot of my opinions when it comes to the business of art and/or music. ;)

#14 Potnez

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 05:08 PM

View PostAneczka, on 04 January 2012 - 03:09 PM, said:

So there's nothing wrong with selling art and it must be fun to get to the point where you don't have to go to "regular job". But there's a potential danger that creative process may be affected by the will to satisfy audience/customers and sell more.
In the end the artist himself has to decide weather he is satisfied with his creations :)


View PostCandyO, on 04 January 2012 - 04:13 PM, said:

Bolded: BINGO. While this thread about Business as it relates to Mars, I can say that the creative process being affected by the business side is indeed a consideration. It can't only be me - there have to be other people who make that turn and ponder what they made today as opposed to yesterday. Who look at their potential market and feel differently about them some how.

Good last sentence. :)

What you're saying is that the creation could be somehow compromised by money, but it is ultimately the artist's decision. Is that right?

Must be hard staying completly objective and putting the best you can in your art without any business considerations influencing it. Especially if your creations are having some success.

Maybe it's also about people's interpretation of the artist's work. I guess that if you put your creation out there to be seen and judged, you want some feedback? But then, what should the artist do about these opinions? Adapting his work, letting it be influenced by other people? Or maybe just taking the best of it and call it "inspiration"? :huh:

#15 _niña_

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 09:47 PM

"family..." i have been candid that the word makes me gag when it is used by someone i barely know. yes, use it but don't be disillusioned that we actually are, even figuratively, after one post or one tweet.

see, this MARS Family i know is the one that has been bonded by years of friendship, though we haven't seen each other in person, not by just one post.

however, since the band says we are family, they can have all the "priviledges" of a family - us providing blunt truth without hesitation.

on the business aspect... we can say their popularity is a promotion and with the promotion comes a bigger paycheck.  of course, we're cashing out. :P

market demand. I know they did mingle with the fans for free in the early days... but what can i really do now that it's no longer free? whatever makes me happy, right?  sure, things have changed, but i'll not limit myself based on what was before, which i never had a chance of having, in the first place.  

needless to say, i bought a GT when they came over to manila. a friend said, yes, the price can buy me two prime seats for CATS, but at least i know it went directly to the band and not the promoter. i'm not sure how this works but that made me satisfied about my decision. (yeah, me and the promoter had issues but that's another juicy story.)

still regarding the market. we do promo stuff and give them away for free. that's the way i know since i've been here. amazingly, enough, when i post photos of these old promo materials, someone wants to buy them.  somehow, this "new" market" i encountered locally does not expect anything for free. though they will be more than happy to accept free stuff, their initial reaction was to offer payment. so, there really is a great demand for MARS stuff.

of course, in the honor of "The Echelon Way," if i have some, i still give them away for free. ;)

#16 AsperaAdAstra70

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 07:48 AM

My problem has always been with integrity and character.  

Of course it is ultimately a business - I want them to earn boat loads of money and live happy, easy lives. The question for me is when is enough, enough? I've never quite understood the "wealthy" mentality of always needing more, more, more when they've already got plenty, plenty, plenty. This is where I am with this now.  Because I am obviously not privy to how much they needed to earn to "pay back" EMI I'm going to go ahead and assume that what all that touring and all those GT's and grossly overpriced Merch was to do just that.
The "art" did suffer through all that - I don't mean the artistic efforts to make TIW but the shows became so bad. I get that too - they did what had to be done to fix this EMI thing. I hope it's fixed. I hope they can return to the studio and make a GOOD album the way they want to make it. They have a huge market to sell to but they are not NIKE or Walmart - the goods they are selling is art, in the form of music, which EVERYONE has an emotional and much more personal tie to than a damn pair of shoes, as should they.  Art is not the same as a pair of fucking shoes. They need to stop whoring it out the same way NIKE does. This is how integrity is lost. It is possible to make tons of money and not rape your fans for every single cent that you know you can rape them for. They love you, these kids who buy all this crap merch - that's no way to treat people. The older fans PUT YOU HERE - don't spit in their faces.

If they're going to charge $50 for a Jared shirt - it sure as shit better be of good quality. Better yet - charge $25 and continue with the cheap materials.  Lower the prices for the GT's OR get rid of them all together. Make art - continue with all the amazing things that matter.

The music is #1, the fans should be #2 and if those 2 things are treated with integrity, respect and honesty - the money will come in vast abundance. They can't make the fans feel used and like they are nothing but dollar signs.  Do something, ANYTHING to make your fans feel important to this thing. Isn't "plenty" enough? Just because you CAN - doesn't mean you SHOULD.

I'm still here too - waiting to see what comes next.  I hope next time around will be less money driven and more music driven.

#17 shannon leto's lezbean

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 09:23 AM

until we know everything for a fact, for ourselves, i refuse to reserve the "right" to be indignant over their business ventures.

i would, however, like to point out the following:

http://ladygaga.shop...?cp=14781_15002
http://avengedsevenf...spx?cp=920_3977
http://disturbed.sho...?cp=12754_13160
http://store.bandmer.../aliceinchains/
http://www.merchdire.../janesaddiction
http://store.halestormrocks.com/
http://stonesour.shop.bravadousa.com/
http://slipknot.shop.bravadousa.com/
http://korn.shop.bravadousa.com/


if you think 30stm is special in gouging merch prices, you have obviously not shopped around for merch lately. take a look around each of those stores. THIS IS NOTHING NEW. just "new" to 30stm fans who have been spoiled/lucky enough to have better merch at better prices earlier on. bands in similar circles as 30stm have the same merch, for the same prices if not more (have you been to any festivals where 30stm has played, and seen their prices compared to 30stm?). everybody has the same crappily made merch these days. the time of quality is dwindling, if not already completely gone.

folks, is it just that you're not happy about the prices being like everyone else's? that the quality has gone down?

now, compare those prices to bands like sevendust who rarely release merch other than for tours where they're included and otherwise don't really offer a lot of different merch choices and don't really release a lot of anything:

http://sevendust.merchnow.com/

how old are those shirts? how old are the cds? (seriously, someone help me out here)

the fact is, ladies and gents, more means more, and bigger means bigger. more exposure means more sales. bigger tours means bigger buses/caravans. more expenses means more business needs to be conducted. the industry is a business. it's always been money driven -- especially now that they've proven themselves to be worthy cash cows when need be, 30stm is going to continually release new merch and offer things for money that a lot of us probably won't think is wise, or whatever. but there are folks that will buy it all and eagerly await their next move, release or offer.

i tell you what, i would give a lot for some of my favorite lesser-known bands to make it big. almost all of them are on permanent hiatus, can't afford to tour, have long splintered apart or have otherwise disbanded. i think i'd rather them be making a lot of money and not worry about how things used to be in the "good ol' days" rather than just be happy they're still together and making music and doing what they've been wanting to do. i don't think i'd care much that they're offering package x y or z because i still have the option not to buy these things.

astra - if you're looking for preservation/integrity/character, you may not want to place a lot of your hopes and dreams in an industry/band whose many images will change according to what their company and what the band themselves want to present to the world. you know, the greater good, keeping up with the times and all that. sure, it may be easier for some bands/artists than others to keep things "pure"...but this is what we've got right now. none of us know what those artists have set up compared to 30stm. it's easier to compare when you don't look very hard at the differences and situations separating them, and consider the options one may have that the other may not.

this is what the band has decided to do, whether or not older/newer fans know the whole story (and i really don't count those who say "i know someone who knows someone who has it on good faith"...that doesn't really count for firsthand knowledge in my book. that's what the courts call 'hearsay'). it's nothing personal. business is anything but. just roll with it, know that you can still shake your head and say "no thanks" to things you don't personally care to pay for (lord knows i do it all the time -- that's why i make my own merch), and keep nodding your head to the beats that brought you here in the first place. i seriously doubt the merch and special offers is what solely brought everyone here together in the first place -- so why let it affect your judgment and opinion and feelings of the band now?

#18 AsperaAdAstra70

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 10:35 AM

View Postshannon leto, on 05 January 2012 - 09:23 AM, said:

until we know everything for a fact, for ourselves, i refuse to reserve the "right" to be indignant over their business ventures.

i would, however, like to point out the following:

http://ladygaga.shop...?cp=14781_15002
http://avengedsevenf...spx?cp=920_3977
http://disturbed.sho...?cp=12754_13160
http://store.bandmer.../aliceinchains/
http://www.merchdire.../janesaddiction
http://store.halestormrocks.com/
http://stonesour.shop.bravadousa.com/
http://slipknot.shop.bravadousa.com/
http://korn.shop.bravadousa.com/


if you think 30stm is special in gouging merch prices, you have obviously not shopped around for merch lately. take a look around each of those stores. THIS IS NOTHING NEW. just "new" to 30stm fans who have been spoiled/lucky enough to have better merch at better prices earlier on. bands in similar circles as 30stm have the same merch, for the same prices if not more (have you been to any festivals where 30stm has played, and seen their prices compared to 30stm?). everybody has the same crappily made merch these days. the time of quality is dwindling, if not already completely gone.

folks, is it just that you're not happy about the prices being like everyone else's? that the quality has gone down?

now, compare those prices to bands like sevendust who rarely release merch other than for tours where they're included and otherwise don't really offer a lot of different merch choices and don't really release a lot of anything:

http://sevendust.merchnow.com/

how old are those shirts? how old are the cds? (seriously, someone help me out here)

the fact is, ladies and gents, more means more, and bigger means bigger. more exposure means more sales. bigger tours means bigger buses/caravans. more expenses means more business needs to be conducted. the industry is a business. it's always been money driven -- especially now that they've proven themselves to be worthy cash cows when need be, 30stm is going to continually release new merch and offer things for money that a lot of us probably won't think is wise, or whatever. but there are folks that will buy it all and eagerly await their next move, release or offer.

i tell you what, i would give a lot for some of my favorite lesser-known bands to make it big. almost all of them are on permanent hiatus, can't afford to tour, have long splintered apart or have otherwise disbanded. i think i'd rather them be making a lot of money and not worry about how things used to be in the "good ol' days" rather than just be happy they're still together and making music and doing what they've been wanting to do. i don't think i'd care much that they're offering package x y or z because i still have the option not to buy these things.

astra - if you're looking for preservation/integrity/character, you may not want to place a lot of your hopes and dreams in an industry/band whose many images will change according to what their company and what the band themselves want to present to the world. you know, the greater good, keeping up with the times and all that. sure, it may be easier for some bands/artists than others to keep things "pure"...but this is what we've got right now. none of us know what those artists have set up compared to 30stm. it's easier to compare when you don't look very hard at the differences and situations separating them, and consider the options one may have that the other may not.

this is what the band has decided to do, whether or not older/newer fans know the whole story (and i really don't count those who say "i know someone who knows someone who has it on good faith"...that doesn't really count for firsthand knowledge in my book. that's what the courts call 'hearsay'). it's nothing personal. business is anything but. just roll with it, know that you can still shake your head and say "no thanks" to things you don't personally care to pay for (lord knows i do it all the time -- that's why i make my own merch), and keep nodding your head to the beats that brought you here in the first place. i seriously doubt the merch and special offers is what solely brought everyone here together in the first place -- so why let it affect your judgment and opinion and feelings of the band now?

To the bolded - Right.  A. My hopes and dreams are for some band, any band to keep some integrity about themselves.   As of late - 30STM is ALL ABOUT MONEY and not much else. The proof is out there - just look. Was giving reasons why I thought that with this album cycle I understood to a degree.  B. Well aware of what I've got right now - still here, as I stated - looking to see what happens next. Hopefully :)

#19 shannon leto's lezbean

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 11:50 AM

View PostAsperaAdAstra70, on 05 January 2012 - 10:35 AM, said:

To the bolded - Right.  A. My hopes and dreams are for some band, any band to keep some integrity about themselves.   As of late - 30STM is ALL ABOUT MONEY and not much else. The proof is out there - just look. Was giving reasons why I thought that with this album cycle I understood to a degree.  B. Well aware of what I've got right now - still here, as I stated - looking to see what happens next. Hopefully :)

understood. glad to see you're still here instead of becoming a deserter like a few folks have already chosen to do. :)

but. they aren't ALL about the money lately. that's more than a little unfair. many bands are in the same situation/predicament, without even the courtesy of a lawsuit to suggest their ticket/merch/meet & greet package prices. it just really looks like the price issue's just more prevalent with 30stm now more than ever because of 1 - the lawsuit and 2 - vyrt, #300, etc etc ad nauseum. how many folks would be making as big a stink about this had there not been a lawsuit and these things had been introduced gradually, or if the GTs weren't as expensive or had been options all along? you can't with good conscience tell me that everything was peachy keen, no one had problems with the merch/quality of merch/prices of merch, ticket prices, etc before the TIW era and the legal woes now unfortunately attached to it. so what, they added a few things that some folks aren't too excited about, and would prefer not to buy. what's new about it? how many people were crying heresy when they unveiled some of the ABL merch and everyone found out it wasn't on par with the ST culture?

making money is about security. security for the band's future and security for the fans to be able to have a guaranteed moment of contact. it's about the only real fair way they can do things nowadays with an exponentially bigger fanbase, with more faces to see and people to please. how else would you suggest they do things without standing outside for hours (which is often not possible with a grueling tour schedule, mind you) talking to every single person who waits for them? would be nice, but it's not nearly as possible as it used to be. the guys still come out after shows, they're still available for chatting up for free at some cities just like before. it's just that you may have to wait a few more minutes for your "hey how are ya" than you would've had to wait a few years ago. hell, at the show i went to last april, folks got to get on a rollercoaster with jared and got pics and everything. i bet he didn't charge them to do any of that ;) and hey -- none of that is an obligation for the band. never was, never will be. the ticket you buy entitles you to a show in the venue, and that's about it.

general rant: can we at least just be happy (read: not ecstatic, not overjoyed, just okay with the fact) that some people who didn't get to experience either show for whatever reason can now have the opportunity to have it without doing it illegally? how many folks in different countries didn't get to experience unplugged as it was streaming live because it was blocked in their countries? i mean shit, we're actually getting something as the band said they would deliver and we're complaining about the price/quality :lol: sure it may not have been what everyone had hoped it would be, but some of that falls on the individual for having their certain expectations. i'm not saying the band is perfect and everything they do is golden, but there's been times when i've expected one thing and gotten something else and just rolled with the punches because hey, it's still my favorite band and they have the right to do what they want, however they want, when they want. of course, there's been times when i've been very pleasantly surprised and it just makes me all the more proud to be a fan of the band. all depends on perspective.

i just have a hard time with folks suddenly feeling like they have a reason to be super disappointed with the band and feeling like everything's a personal affront when they've only really changed their formula/strategy in a couple of ways. everything else has been the same -- just on a larger scale. more merch that has to be sadly mass produced. opportunities to buy more things online than they had before. but think about it. how many of us would kill to have some of the earlier shows streamed, or given a chance to buy shows that we'd like to relive over and over again? and on that note, how would the band decide what was worthy of purchase and what wouldn't be? the 300th show was something they were excited to share with everyone. if people want to buy it, let them. if people don't want to buy it, then they don't have to. sheesh, a little advertising not entirely perfectly worded and everyone's up in arms about having things forced in their faces. okay, what do you do when you see an obnoxious commercial on tv? do you change the channel, or do you sit there through it, torturing yourself until it's over, and complain that the product exists and that you don't like it? if you're in the second category, i'll tell you what -- the companies behind the product aren't exactly marketing to you, lol.

#20 I.R.A

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 12:08 PM

Get your heads out of your asses. If the band were all about the money, seeing where they are at now, they would ditch you altogether.
Seriously what is it that you guys expect in return. I'm being serious. A welcoming orgy? A quick hand job. Seriously you guys act as if you made this band...oh wait i forgot the echelon own all of their rights. my bad i'll step out.




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