Craig Aaronson, the longtime music industry executive, has passed away. Craig played a large roll in Avenged Sevenfold’s signing to Warner Brothers Records in 2004. In a July 2004 interview Craig spoke of the signing, “I just signed a new group that’s on an independent label called Avenged Sevenfold. I’m doing that together with Andy Olyphant. We’re going to put out the record next year, but we’re really excited. They’re doing very well and are a good example of something that’s really been built up on the underground [level]. They’re on Hopeless Records right now, and we’re hoping to market that record a little bit with Hopeless. The record will sell over 100,000 records on an independent label, which is great for us.” Avenged Sevenfold have issued the following statement. My thoughts go out to Craig’s family, friends and all of those affected by his passing.
It’s with great sadness in our hearts that we write this message to you all. An integral part of our A7X family has passed away. Craig Aaronson was one of the driving forces behind our decision to sign with Warner Brothers Records back in 2004 along with Tom Whalley and Andy Olyphant. We had heard horror stories about independent bands signing with major labels so when we first met Craig we were skeptical. We ended up trusting him and Warner Brothers Records and in the end we are glad that we did. Craig had not only been a personal friend to us through the years, but also helped spearhead many of the bands successes, including allowing us to have complete creative control throughout all of our albums. No matter what we handed into the label he would get behind it and go to work. Our manager Larry Jacobson has always said working with Craig was like working with a partner, always agreeable even when you disagreed, and because of that, A7X and WBR got so many good things done together.
A couple of years ago Craig left Warner Brothers to do other things, we were saddened by his decision but realized he needed to move on. A few months later we were informed that Craig had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. While on chemo Craig still made it out to our Hail to the King album release show in Los Angeles earlier this year. We were all blown away by his dedication and will to live. Sadly, yesterday he lost the battle against cancer. He is survived by an amazing wife and kids. We will always be grateful to Craig and everything he has done for us. He has done the same for many other countless bands and without a doubt will be sorely missed. Thank you for everything Craig.
P.S. Life is too short, spend some extra time with the ones you love today.