Avenged Sevenfold Reportedly Hacked With Deepfake Technology
Avenged Sevenfold has allegedly been hacked with deepfake technology.
In a recent episode of the band's podcast, Trax, a clip of singer M. Shadows appeared to inform fans that the group would be canceling two upcoming festival performances, both scheduled to take place in May.
"Hey, Trax listeners, we're so sorry to bring bad news to you all, but I wanted you to hear it straight from the horse's mouth," the clip said [via Metal Injection]. "We've had some unexpected delays on the new album and have decided to cancel our appearances at Welcome to Rockville and Sonic Temple to focus on finishing it up. It breaks our heart to do this, but some things have to be done.
"I understand this is disappointing news for everyone, and I want to let you know that we are truly sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused. Creating new music is a passion we have dedicated our lives to, and we believe our fans deserve nothing but the best from us. We put our hearts and souls into this new project to make it the best it can be."
But M. Shadows claims that the clip announcing the festival cancellations is not true. "Literally walking in the streets of Mexico and listening to this. What the actual fuck ... NOT ME!" he wrote on Twitter.
Deep fake technology, a form of artificial intelligence, is used to render fictional images or audio, often to replace the likeness of an individual for someone else. Audio deep fake uses this technology to create sentences that appear to sound like a specific person and is sometimes used to produce audiobooks or to assist those who have lost the physical ability to speak. Val Kilmer, for example, utilized such technology after a 2015 surgery for throat cancer removed his natural speaking voice.
The technology has been used by musicians more frequently in recent years. In 2021, Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree used it to appear as multiple people - including David Bowie and Donald Trump - in a music video. Rapper Kendrick Lamar also employed the technology in his 2022 music video for "The Heart Part 5," in which he transformed into people like Kanye West and Will Smith.
Neither of the music festivals mentioned in the clip has commented on the matter involving Avenged Sevenfold. However, M. Shadows noted on Twitter that the band would be "getting to the bottom of this."