metal + hardcore
pop punk + alt-rock
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Legal Problem Delays Hawthorne Heights Album

Hawthorne Heights have written two dozen songs and have a producer ready to hit the studio to start recording them, but the Dayton, Ohio band have to get out of legal limbo before they can move forward.

The emo/punk quintet have done some pre-production work for their third album with producer Howard Benson (Daughtry, Hoobastank) and are hoping to start more extensive work on the tracks as soon as they can, but they’re still entangled in a legal battle with Victory Records.

Hawthorne Heights filed a lawsuit against Victory in August 2007, citing fraudulent accounting practices among their accusations. At the same time, the group announced that they were leaving Victory because they didn’t like the way that label head Tony Brummel did business. Victory maintained that the band still owed it two more studio albums, according to their agreement, and filed a countersuit for breach of contract and libel. Victory also sued Virgin Records and EMI Music North America, which it claimed wrongfully interfered with its contractual relationship with the group and was trying to steal them.

A judge ruled in March that Victory doesn’t have exclusive rights to Hawthorne Heights and that the band are free to record for any label, but he maintained that they still owe two albums to the Chicago-based punk label.

Hawthorne Heights’ former management company, Wild Justice, has sued the band for breaching a verbal contract. But drummer Eron Bucciarelli told Billboard.com that the group hadn’t yet paid an agreed-upon severance fee to the firm and that the matter should be cleared up soon.

“We’re just concerned with making a new record, getting it out there to our fans and getting back in the swing of things, basically,” he said.

Hawthorne Heights launches a 28-date U.S. headlining tour with Escape The Fate, Amber Pacific, The A.K.A.s and The Secret Handshake November 24.

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