Update – January 14th 10:09am:
The band have now released their own statement on the matter, read it here.
Avenged Sevenfold are currently embroiled in legalities with their label Warner Bros. Records. According to Billboard, the band have attempted to exit their contract with the label, citing the California Labor Code’s ‘seven-year rule’, which allows for parties to exit contracts after seven years if certain conditions are present. A statement from Avenged Sevenfold‘s attorney argued that the label had: “underwent multiple regime changes that led to dramatic turnover at every level of the company, to the point where no one on the current A&R staff has even a nodding relationship with the band.”
Avenged Sevenfold are currently four albums into their five album deal with the label, and were due to begin recording their next album in February. Warner Bros. have filed suit against the band over the matter, Billboard summarized the suit as follows:
“In its lawsuit (dated Jan. 8, 2016), Warner Bros. claims Avenged Sevenfold’s decision to utilize the “seven-year rule” was unlawful for several reasons. The label says the band sent it a letter announcing an intent to leave the contract effective Nov. 25, 2015, but Warners did not receive it until Nov. 30. And even if such notice properly met a so-called “future date certain” requirement, Warner Bros. claims it has invested significant funds in the band’s future releases and has allegedly been led on to believe the agreement would remain effective, thus making the sudden opt-out unfair and a breach of good faith and fair dealing. Furthermore, the lawsuit reveals that the band is obligated to turn in an additional CD/DVD live album, which the label purportedly already funded.
Avenged Sevenfold’s original contract called for just five studio albums (of which they’d completed four), though the lawsuit states than an attempt to renegotiate the contract was made in fall 2015 to include a sixth album, albeit unsuccessfully.
Warner Bros. has demanded a trial, where it will seek to rule out the band’s attempt to escape its contract via the “seven-year rule” and, in addition to the aforementioned damages, it is seeking “restitution and disgorgement of all gains and benefits” Avenged Sevenfold has received, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorneys’ fees and other relief deemed necessary.”