The lawsuit brought against AVENGED SEVENFOLD by its former label, Warner Bros. Records, has not yet been resolved.
Warner Bros. sued AVENGED SEVENFOLD in late 2015 after the band left the label by citing the California Labor Code’s “seven-year rule.” The rule allows for parties to exit contracts after seven years if certain unfavorable conditions exist.
The band has since moved on to Capitol, which issued the group’s seventh album, “The Stage”, as a surprise release in October 2016, promoted with a concert on top of the Capitol building.
Asked in a brand new interview with Billboard if AVENGED SEVENFOLD has already thought about what its next project is going to be, singer M. Shadows said: “We have a couple things we’re looking at, but right now we’re still dealing with the label situation, the lawsuit [with Warner Bros. ], so we’ve still got a couple of things we have to clean up before we move on to the next record. For us right now we’re going to do [this summer’s ‘End Of The World Tour’ with PROPHETS OF RAGE and THREE DAYS GRACE], and by the time we get to September, we’re either going to South America or we’re not, and if we don’t, then we’ll start thinking about the next record.”
A provision in the California Labor Code’s “seven-year rule” allows labels to collect money that would have been made on undelivered albums. Warner Bros. is seeking damages based on the fact that AVENGED SEVENFOLD had one album left on its contract, while the band has argued that extensive turnover in the label’s staff led to an unsatisfactory working relationship. If it loses, AVENGED SEVENFOLD could face a verdict between $5 million and $10 million. Warner Bros. is also being allowed to seek its attorney fees — already amounting to more than $1.5 million.
“The Stage” debuted at No. 4 on The Billboard 200 album chart in November 2016. The surprise release of the disc earned the lowest sales of an AVENGED SEVENFOLD album in eleven years. It sold 76,000 copies in its first week, less than half the tally of its previous two efforts.
M. Shadows told The Pulse Of Radio that AVENGED SEVENFOLD was aware of the risks in such an unusual release. “One thing that we knew, you know, all the analytics proved that, you know, we shouldn’t do this because of the way that rock fans consume music,” he said. “You know, it’s very physical-heavy, and one thing we knew is that we had to get records in stores, but we were gonna be basically setting ourselves up for a leak, which would have been a huge disaster. But Capitol Records did an amazing job of being able to get these records into stores, so we were able to be the first band to actually have a physical and digital release that was a surprise.”