According to TMZ, AVENGED SEVENFOLD is attempting to stop its former label Warner Music from releasing a two-CD AVENGED SEVENFOLD collection called “The Best Of 2005-2013”. The band sent a letter to the Warner‘s CFO claiming the company prepared the album without notifying them, letting them select the songs or prepare the artwork — a clear violation of their recording agreement.
Warner Music announced an AVENGED greatest-hits package just days before the surprise unveiling of the band’s new album, “The Stage”, scheduling it for a December 2 release after initial rumors hinted at a December 9 arrival for the group’s Capitol Records debut.
AVENGED SEVENFOLD singer M. Shadows told 101.1 WJRR: “We’re not promoting [the greatest-hits album] at all. That has nothing to do with us. They, basically, saw the [rumored release date] and, from what we understand, they are trying to undercut our new record, so they were trying to put it out the week before. And as childish as things can be behind the scenes with lawyers and stuff, as I’m sure you can imagine, this is childish on a whole new level.”
Shadows added: “You’re gonna try to put this record out right before our new record just to undercut us and try to confuse the casual fan, like, ‘Is this the new record? Or is that the new record?’ It’s a record label basically digging themselves into a deeper hole, as far as I’m concerned, ’cause it doesn’t look good to other bands who are potentially gonna sign there, and it doesn’t look good to fans.”
Warner Music sued AVENGED SEVENFOLD earlier this year for breach of contract. The suit seeks compensatory damages because the band is refusing to fulfill its agreement with the company. AVENGED SEVENFOLD released four studio albums through the label but sought to exit its contract, while Warner Music contended that the group owed the company a live CD/DVD.
At the end of 2015, AVENGED SEVENFOLD notified Warner Music that they would not render services to the label, citing Section 2855 of the California Labor Code, which limits the duration of personal-services agreements to seven years — the so-called seven-year statute.
To recover damages, Warner Music will have to show how much it would have earned had it released the band’s latest album.
AVENGED SEVENFOLD released its seventh studio album, titled “The Stage”, via Capitol Records on October 28, becoming the first-ever rock band to issue an unannounced album in both digital and physical form. The quintet revealed that their album was out during their live-streamed performance from the rooftop of the Capitol Records Tower in Hollywood, California on October 27. The band give a 3D/360-degree live-streamed virtual reality performance, enabling fans around the globe to view the show.
The marketing plan and launch of the album was months in the making, starting with the projection of the band’s logo, the Deathbat, on buildings in cities around the world.
The campaign even included some misdirection, as the group had its friend Chris Jericho “accidentally” leak a fake album title and release date.
“The Stage” debuted at No. 4 on The Billboard 200 album chart, selling 76,000 physical and/or digital copies in its first week of release. While the sales were decent for the current music business, they represent the lowest first-week total for any AVENGED SEVENFOLD album since “City Of Evil” in 2005. “The Stage” sold less than half as many copies in its first week as the group’s two previous efforts, 2010’s “Nightmare” and 2013’s “Hail To The King”.