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30 Seconds To Mars Ask Fans to Tattoo Themselves, Stir Controversy

“YES, THIS IS A CULT.” Anyone familiar with the fan base of 30 Seconds to Mars (known collectively as “Echelon”) will recognize this as a popular catch phrase for fans (it appeared several times in the comments of my recent less-than-stellar review of the band’s record LOVE LUST FAITH + DREAMS). But inviting fans to effectively brand themselves for said cult might be a bit over the line.

This week, 30STM issued an invitation to their fans via their website to be included in their upcoming lyric video for the song “Do Or Die.” The primary requirement: have lyrics from the song tattooed somewhere on their bodies, and send video of the process before, during and after. Another qualifying factor: film themselves saying, “I am the Echelon,” along with an explanation of why they are having the ink done.

The move was immediately met with criticism, including from fans themselves, some of whom called it “irresponsible.” Granted, as with many bands, existing 30STM tattoos are abundant (there is even a Flickr group for them), but the online casting call was apparently encouraging fans to get fresh ink for the video.

As of press time this morning, the page containing casting call had been removed from the 30 Seconds to Mars website. Whether this means 30STM has scrapped the idea is currently unclear. The deadline for video submissions was to be Monday, July 29.

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About the Author


Tim Ferrar's interest in pop and rock started as a child, listening to Top-40 radio for hours on end while playing air guitar in his bedroom. Eventually air guitar led to electric guitar, and Tim began playing in bands and writing his own songs. With an admitted weakness for "a great hook or a great guitar riff," Tim's musical tastes are broad and varied, ranging from Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga on the pop side to Bon Jovi and Foo Fighters on the rock side- making him the ideal guy to cover our Rock and Pop categories. By day, Tim is a mild-mannered accountant in Chicago. By night, he rocks out on electric guitar in a cover band in various clubs around town- much to the surprise of some of his clients.

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