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Thread: The Making Of A Hit Album - And Why I Have Respect!

  1. #1

    The Making Of A Hit Album - And Why I Have Respect!

    I've probably gone on and on way too much about my son Jamie and his recent work. But today I was curious to see how the new 30 Seconds To Mars record he worked on was doing; I know that he was very hopeful that it would do well, because of his career demands. I was happy to see that it IS doing well; #3 on the US rock chart only 10 days after its release, #3 on the alt-rock chart, #1 in the UK, doing very well in the rest of Europe, too.

    So I started thinking about the two years of effort that went into this project, and what made it succeed. I put together the bits of information my son shared over the past couple of years, and most especially the culmination of the effort and how it all came together - it was a team effort, and the result of an incredible amount of work and leadership, like any other successful product!

    Let's start with their 2009 effort, "This is War." They made that album while in a lawsuit with their label. No one knew what was going to happen. The band fronted the money for the project out of pocket rather than stop working. Lots of other bands wouldn't. Jamie was an assistant engineer on that record.

    Talent and creativity aside, I'm talking about hard work. Hard choices.

    By 2011, the band was in the middle of a 300+ date Guinness record tour. They had been writing on the tour, and in the fall of 2011, called Jamie and said they were ready to start recording demos. Not in the studio; they recorded in every spare second they had while on this grueling tour! Jamie brought portable recording gear, and they simply started production, in hotel rooms, outdoors, even on a mountain top in India (yes, for real, next to an old fortress overlooking Jodhpur).

    They got back in January of 2012. They took a couple of days off, and then immediately started production on the record. They worked 7 days a week; Jamie had to work on his stamina, it was that demanding. I would call him, no matter what time of day, no matter what day, and he'd say, "Dad, I have to get back to you, I'm working." At one point I could tell he was so tired that he was ready to fall asleep on the phone.

    Meantime, along with all of this effort, Jared finished directing and putting together a documentary film (Jamie was the music director for it and got his first film credit), the promotional videos for the record, the interaction with the label, the work with the outside mixers and mastering guys, promotional interactive shows on Vyrt, and all kinds of other stuff. All this has to be shot, recorded, mixed, and so on.

    Plus finishing the record. Plus working the social media. Plus tons of fan interaction. Plus Jared Leto and Jamie sitting outside Grauman's Chinese Theater in freaking LA, and in Union Square and in a subway in NYC, and Soho in London, with acoustic guitars to get a little attention for the record. Yes, it gets down to that level. Bottom-up. Top-down. Whatever. That's what it takes. Do everything and anything to rise above the noise floor.

    Then the real heavy lifting got going; TV appearances, rehearsals, radio interviews, warmup shows all over the US, and now a tour of Europe all the way to Russia and Turkey. Flash events in every city. More interviews, performances, radio concerts, you name it. Sure it's a fun job, but it's incredibly demanding work when you hear about it from someone who's living it.

    So I'm really impressed with these guys. I see the reason they're successful. It's called hard work, concentrated effort, etc. It's a 24 hour a day, real deal, JOB. And there's a plan, and leadership, and direction, and it's not a bunch of guys who can play and sing and can't find their rear ends with both hands. These are serious guys, with a serious agenda.

    Oh, and Jamie tells me that Tomo is an incredible guitarist!

    Huge thumbs up. You want a hit album? These days, in most cases, you're going to have to put in a lot of effort for it!

    EFFORT, above and beyond the usual expectation, directly connecting with fans, this...



    Becomes this:

    Last edited by LSchefman; 06-04-2013 at 01:29 PM.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

  2. #2
    A♥ hoards guitars A♥ rugerpc's Avatar
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    Les - Don't EVER think we don't want to hear this stuff. I can feel how proud you are of Jamie and 30stm, and it's wonderful. You go, daddy!
    Thbbbbbt...
    Check it out: Phillybri used to have a band: Resonance But he's soooo over them now!
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  3. #3
    Senior Member jfb's Avatar
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    Good read. I certainly agree. The schedule of artists trying to build and keep up their momentum is grueling to say the least. I know how drained I am after a night long social event. I wonder what it's like after a week, a month, a year...and curious to know what Leto what say about the schedules of acting versus musician. It's great to get an inside look. Thanks for sharing Mr. S.
    Plank Owner

  4. #4
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfb View Post
    curious to know what Leto what say about the schedules of acting versus musician.
    I've done both (of course not on the same scale as Mr. Leto) and I can say they are both pretty similar: you wait around all day for what amounts to be a couple hours of actual work. But it's true that nobody really appreciates how much time and effort it takes before hand to make even the slightest dent in the entertainment industry.

    I love to hear about anybody making a living at art, knowing that it's a member of the extended family makes it even better! Please keep us in the loop Les, it's great to see your son hustling.

  5. #5
    Senior Member veinbuster's Avatar
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    Great band.
    Great story.
    It is hard for me to imagine the level of dedication.

  6. #6
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    Echoing what ruger said - it's in no way too much. About the only thing better would be having Jamie come on here to share the inside story (saying that without knowing how much of it he would actually be at liberty to share). But that studio stuff always geeks me out - I love seeing all the behind the scenes stuff and how the sausage is made. It's one of the things I loved most about Mettalica's "Year And A Half In The Life Of" video, although I was disappointed to see how much Lars' drum parts were comped together. I can watch that making-of stuff for hours.
    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by alantig View Post
    But that studio stuff always geeks me out - I love seeing all the behind the scenes stuff and how the sausage is made
    Then how about a pic of some sausage being made?

    Jamie sent me this, from the show the band did "Live at the BBC." Jamie got to mix it, and here's a nice control room shot of the famous room where the Beatles, Led Zep, and many other artists through the years have performed for broadcasts. It's called the BBC Maida Vale studio (and thanks for your patience with me, guys). I gotta say, isn't this a cool place?

    As a studio rat, my tongue was hanging out:

    Last edited by LSchefman; 06-04-2013 at 04:21 PM.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

  8. #8
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    Definitely don't stop Les, if you did, we'd might think you weren't proud or were jealous of your sons achievements.

    I love this stuff, it's grounding for me, it shows how bloody hard one needs to work in the music industry. At age 16 (as we all did) I had the dream of being a rock star, fast cars, faster women etc, but the reality is, well what you just shared with us.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Rango's Avatar
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    Keep it coming Les, I read every bit and appreciate you sharing with us.
    If I thought I was going to live this long I'd have taken better care of myself!

  10. #10
    30 STM did a one night show in Chicago to warm up for the tour a few weeks ago. Jamie got to see his sisters and introduce them to the band. The guys in the band welcomed them, and said, "You're family." They had nice things to say about Jamie's work, too. He hadn't seen them in 6 months, so it was pretty special. The girls said the show was awesome, and were really impressed with how nice the guys were.

    Last edited by LSchefman; 06-05-2013 at 08:15 AM.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

  11. #11
    Just a member JustRob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    30 STM did a one night show in Chicago to warm up for the tour a few weeks ago. Jamie got to see his sisters and introduce them to the band. The guys in the band welcomed them, and said, "You're family." They had nice things to say about Jamie's work, too. He hadn't seen them in 6 months, so it was pretty special. The girls said the show was awesome, and were really impressed with how nice the guys
    Cool stuff. Love it

  12. #12
    Senior Member vchizzle's Avatar
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    Les, it's awesome you share this stuff with us. It's great that Jamie got this opportunity by working his ass off, and continues working his ass off with everyone else in the band. It's incredible that he's become that close knit(pretty much a band member). That doesn't just happen, and not very often. That says a lot about his work and what kind person he is.

  13. #13
    Senior Member frankb56's Avatar
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    Les, you have a lot to be proud of. Your son is the real deal. Congrats!
    Frank Bello
    PRS CUSTOM 24
    http://frankbello56.blogspot.com/



  14. #14
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Successful son, beautiful daughters, and a new Private Stock...... Les for the win.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by sergiodeblanc View Post
    Successful son, beautiful daughters, and a new Private Stock...... Les for the win.
    Nah, Jamie for the big win -- today, in Warsaw, Poland -- his first gold record as an engineer and mixer, and he actually emailed Mom and Dad the picture (!):

    Last edited by LSchefman; 06-05-2013 at 01:59 PM.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

  16. #16
    Senior Member frankb56's Avatar
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    Cool! On his way to stardom!

    I just went to J&R Music world in NYC. Picked up the new Satriani and 30STM cd's (so that I can add to the fame).
    Frank Bello
    PRS CUSTOM 24
    http://frankbello56.blogspot.com/



  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by frankb56 View Post
    Cool! On his way to stardom!

    I just went to J&R Music world in NYC. Picked up the new Satriani and 30STM cd's (so that I can add to the fame).
    On behalf of my son and the band, I hope they passed the audition!
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

  18. #18
    I don't think a dad could be in a much better mood than the one I'm in.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

  19. #19
    Just a member JustRob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    Nah, Jamie for the big win -- today, in Warsaw, Poland -- his first gold record as an engineer and mixer, and he actually emailed Mom and Dad the picture (!):
    So cool. Congrats to him, and the proud family.

  20. #20
    Thanks, Rob!
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

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