LA boy band Why Don’t We have announced that, in the midst of an ongoing legal battle with their former management company, they will be cancelling their upcoming North American tour and slipping into an indefinite hiatus.
According to Rolling Stone, the five-piece band are currently in cahoots with Signature Entertainment, to whom they signed upon forming in 2016. Why Don’t We released two studio albums under their guidance – 2018’s ‘8 Letters’ and last year’s ‘The Good Times And The Bad Ones’, both of which landed on Atlantic Records – but in recent months, they’ve been fighting to break away from their contract.
The news of Why Don’t We’s hiatus came in the form of a statement shared on Instagram, in which the band collectively wrote: “All we ever want to do in our careers is make great music and perform for all you lovely people.” They noted the official reason as “unforeseen circumstances related to our ongoing legal battle to emancipate ourselves from the production company we signed with when we started our Why Don’t We journey”.
Alongside the statement, the band shared a scan of a cease and desist letter they’d received. Though the overwhelming bulk of it has been redacted, the letter does state that without the formal involvement of Signature Entertainment, Why Don’t We “does not have the capacity to enter into an agreement with any promotor or venue for [their scheduled ‘Good Times Only’] tour”.
“You should immediately cease and desist from promoting or otherwise proceeding with the tour or using Signature’s intellectual property rights without Signature’s authorization,” the letter continues. As the band’s very branding belongs to Signature, all 44 dates of the ‘Good Times Only’ tour – which was slated to run from late July through to early October – have been cancelled.
Last September, the band accused Signature of engaging in “mental, emotional and financial abuse”. They singled out one of their former managers – who isn’t named in the band’s statement, but has been reported as David Loeffler – who is alleged to have “controlled us 24/7, setting an alarm that would go off if any door or window [in the house they all lived together in] was opened”.
As noted by Rolling Stone, Why Don’t We are due to appear at a hearing with the Californian Labor Commission in the coming months. Loeffler is being sued by the band’s current manager, Brandon Phillips – the current president and CEO of LiveStyle – who accused Loeffler of “nightmarish behavior”.