Artist News Business News Labels & Publishers Legal

Warner sues after Avenged Sevenfold use ‘seven year rule’ to bail on record contract

By | Published on Friday 15 January 2016

Avenged Sevenfold

Warner Music is suing Avenged Sevenfold because, well, why the hell not, I say. It’s 2016. These are dangerous times, and if in doubt, sue.

The legal action relates to attempts by the Californian band to get out of their current contract with the major, using the so called “seven-year rule” that exists in their home state’s employment laws. The rule allows people to leave personal service contracts, in certain circumstances, seven years after a deal is done. It crops up from time to time in fall-outs between artists and labels in California, always posing interesting questions, because record deals are normally based around number of albums rather than number of years.

Confirming that the band – who seemingly owe one more long player under their most recent Warner deal – had decided to terminate their alliance with the record company, their lawyer Howard E King told reporters: “Avenged Sevenfold recently exercised the rights given them by this law and ended its recording agreement with Warner Bros Records. [Since doing the 2004 record deal, Warner] 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”.

In litigation filed on 8 Jan, Warner raises various arguments as to why the band shouldn’t be allowed out of their contractual commitments under the seven year rule. That includes the fact it has already invested significant funds into new recordings and that it had been led to believe the label’s agreement with the band would continue for another album, and it’s therefore jolly unfair for them to decide to bail at this juncture.

It remains to be seen how the band respond to the specific arguments in the lawsuit, though for now King says his clients are looking forward to building a relationship with a brand new label. Though maybe only for the next seven years.