“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.