M. Shadows has revealed that Avenged Sevenfold were behind the deepfake AI “hack” that falsely announced cancellations of the band’s upcoming festival appearances.
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Earlier this year, an episode of the metal band’s podcast Trax featured an audio snippet from who appeared to be frontman M. Shadows – real name Matthew Charles Sanders – telling fans that Avenged Sevenfold would no longer be appearing at two US festivals they were scheduled to perform at – Welcome to Rockville in Florida and Sonic Temple in Ohio.
The episode, which went live on Spotify, was subsequently shared on the band’s Twitter account.
“Yikes! This is NOT TRUE. We are still playing. Getting to the bottom of this. … What the actual fuck… NOT ME!” M. Shadows posted in response.
Yikes! This is NOT TRUE. We are still playing. Getting to the bottom of this. https://t.co/dQ9yC3mc1T
— M. Shadows (@shadows_eth) February 26, 2023
Despite the musician’s concerned reaction, it’s since been revealed that it was an AI stunt from the band to promote new music.
Speaking to Rock Feed earlier this month, M. Shadows said that he’d secretly colluded with the band’s management behind the scenes to pull off the stunt, while also keeping the festivals in question in the dark.
“Our management has two guys that run it. There’s Mark Wakefield and Beno [David Benveniste],” the singer explained (via Blabbermouth). “And we work really closely with this girl Samantha. So Samantha wasn’t even gonna tell them, because we knew that everyone would say ‘no.’ I said, ‘Don’t tell anyone.’
“She said, ‘We’ve gotta call Danny [Wimmer, Welcome To Rockville and Sonic Temple promoter].’ [I said], ‘No. If you call Danny, he’s gonna say ‘no’.’ She said, ‘We’ve gotta tell [Ryan] Harlacher,’ who’s our booking agent. I’m, like, ‘No. Harlacher’s gonna say ‘no’.’ So we kept it secret. And we just did it. And I said, ‘Samantha, all you know is we got hacked and we are trying to fix it.’ She’s, like, ‘Are you serious?’ And I’m, like, ‘That’s what we’re doing.’”
M. Shadows went on to explain that his phone was “blowing up” when he was in Mexico and “watching this go down”.
“The whole plan all along was I would go on Twitter [and deny it]… And it worked,” he added. “And then, as people went back, they were, like, ‘Oh, it is AI’ ‘Cause once the knee-jerk reaction [was out of the way], you go back and listen, and you go, ‘Oh…’”
The musician said he wanted the AI to be as “authentic as possible” to “make an overarching comment on society and where it’s going”.
Avenged Sevenfold made their appearances at Welcome to Rockville and Sonic Temple as planned.
The band’s new album, ‘Life Is But A Dream…’ arrived on June 2.
In other AI news, Paul McCartney has clarified the process of creating a freshly announced AI song by The Beatles, saying that it features nothing “artificially or synthetically created”.