Artifact – 30 Seconds to Mars

A great movie that tells of truths behind the closed curtains of the music business. Artifact documents the battle between the band 30 Seconds to Mars and their label EMI in 2008 and 2009. An inspirational film where an album tells the story of the struggles of a brutal lawsuit. Being a contracted Artist isn’t just about performing and writing songs; there’s the record label, the business aspect, and the lawyers. This film is extremely eye-opening and you get to see how complex the music business actually is.


Not only was this a great documentary that reveals how dirty the Music Business can get, it was a great film to watch. You have: a beginning, celebrities, action, awesome music, comedy, struggles, a variety of emotions, suspense, a climax , solutions, hope, and an ending. And, beyond the film itself you have a real story with real problems, real struggles, life changing decisions, and real facts. I love music and it’s thee most important aspect of my life but I am no artist. So what did I take from this film? …

… Hmmm …




After watching Artifact, the record label started to look really bad, almost evil to me. I felt disgusted with the whole idea of signing with a recording label because their method of business felt like a complete ripoff.  On one side you have the artist, who is all about the art of music and on the other side you have the business, who seem to mostly cares about profit, profit, growth, and profit.  Artifact made me feel that the whole design of record labels was created to trap the artists into a contracted cycle of debt.



Making money and yet gaining more debt

Going in circles

Many artists do cross paths with these struggles, the feeling that you are trapped. Feeling like you will always be losing even though you have multiple sold-out albums. Feeling as if you were just another puppet of profit within the endless game of the Music Business. Not being able to leave because you are legally bind to that label because of a contract. These were the messages I kept receiving from the film and they made me cringe. The endless debts allow the record label to practically “own” the artists because the artist can’t break free until the debt is paid and the contract is over. After learning these facts, of course the record labels would start to appear evil but then I remember,  every coin has two sides. The industry does help beginning artists break through the ice and live their dream, unfortunately, there’s just a wild price you have to pay.




Music Business is made up of two words, “music” and “business”. So when you really see the whole breakdown of the system you start to understand how the industry became what it is today. Instead of judging the industry of being good or evil, you should aim to learn and gain knowledge about the industry. Understand that it was because the record labels grew too big and caught the eyes of Business owners that the labels shifted towards commerce. The Music Business is the way it is now because the labels are being run by business people and not the humble music fans who started the record labels.



You have to remember, although the legal business of the Music Industry isn’t much different than how it was in the 50’s, you must realize that today you have choices. You do not NEED a recording label to pursue your dreams. The idea of being an independent artist is exploding. It IS POSSIBLE! Back when entry to the Music Business was not easy, you pretty much had to sign with a label, but the Music Business is changing and Artifact, 30 Seconds to Mars,  made an effort in showing how. You have choices now, you have options, there are ALTERNATIVE ROUTES. You can DO IT YOURSELF. There is HOPE FOR THE FUTURE as an artist. This is what I got from the film Artifact. There is hope so be true to yourself.

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