Avenged Sevenfold was seemingly hacked over the weekend by an AI deepfake via their podcast Trax.
The deepfake hack targeted the podcast by uploading a new episode that has since been deleted. The faux episode was transcribed by Metal Injection and claimed the band was backing out of upcoming festival shows due to issue with the band’s upcoming studio album.
“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,” per the hack-cast, which was allegedly done in singer M. Shadows’s voice. “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 … We’ve been working tirelessly on this new music and are committed to bringing it to you as soon as possible. We know that canceling more shows is a major disappointment, and I want to assure you that this is a decision we did not make lightly.”
After this episode went live, Shadows caught wind of it and shared via Twitter, “Literally walking in the streets of Mexico and listening to this. What the actual f-ck… NOT ME!” He later added in response to a tweet, “Yikes! This is NOT TRUE. We are still playing. Getting to the bottom of this.”
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
While this whole incident is very bizarre, some outlets — including Metal Hammer and Loudwire — have speculated that the whole situation might be an elaborate stunt to help promote their highly-anticipated studio LP. The last album from A7X was 2016’s The Stage, which was a surprise release. This new LP has long been in the works and has had multiple timetables for release. Shadows said in April 2022 the album would drop either in late 2022 or early 2023.