Midnight Metal

Friday 12:00 a.m. Midnight

Avenged Sevenfold made headlines back in February when their podcast Trax was targeted by an alleged AI deepfake. Turns out that “deepfake” wasn’t so deep.

In a new interview with Rock Feed, frontman M. Shadows says he was behind the stunt. To briefly recap: The stunt involved uploading a bogus Trax episode where Shadows is heard telling fans A7X had to pull out of some high-profile festival appearances due to issues with their upcoming album. Shadows says he was able to pull this off with the help of someone that works on the podcast. However, he had this person promise not to tell anyone in management or promoters of the aforementioned festivals.

RELATED: How Psychedelics Influenced New Avenged Sevenfold LP

Shadows said, “The day that it went down, I was in Mexico and I’m watching this go down. And my phone is blowing up … And it’s my voice. And people are calling [management and the promoters], going, ‘You guys are so lame for letting the band…’ And then [podcast producer] Mark [Wakefield] said, ‘What are you talking about?'” (At the time, Shadows played dumb and said 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.”)

The stunt utilized ChatGPT and seems like it was a way to show how easy it is to fool someone with the help of AI. Shadows said, ” … The whole thing was, like, ‘We don’t need to be a real person. You will be fooled. You will feel something. And we can fool you just by some bad actor that’s got this in the wrong hands.'”

A7X’s new album Life Is But A Dream… comes out tomorrow (June 2.) It’s available for pre-save/pre-order here, with special album-themed merch available at A7Xworld.com.

How A7X's M. Shadows Pissed Off Taylor Swift Fans

Avenged Sevenfold frontman M. Shadows made a huge mistake last night (November 7): He shared an opinion on Twitter that an intense fanbase thought was an attack on them, and then they got all up in his mentions.

That intense fanbase? Swifties aka: Taylor Swift fans. Just a quick lesson for everyone on things you shouldn’t ever do:

-Don’t tug on Superman’s cape.
-Don’t spit into the wind.
-Don’t pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger
-And don’t mess around with the fanbases of massive pop stars!

Anyway, here’s what went down.

  • M. Shadows shared an opinion that makes a lot of sense.

    Shadows tweeted, “Selling multiple versions, repackages and bundles of your album to the same fan so that you can get a chart position that no one cares about and is manipulated should be called out for what it is…. Fan Abuse.”

    He added, “I’ll expand: many options are fine. It’s when it becomes: buy the vinyl for ticket discounts… buy the cd version 1 for an extra track. Buy first week 8 track for an exclusive t shirt. Its all bull— to make you buy the same shit to pump numbers. Thats f—ed!”

  • Why did this upset Taylor Swift fans?

    Swift released her tenth studio album, Midnights, on October 21. The LP has a standard cover design but also three additional artwork options. In addition, she also had different color vinyl options, too. Because of this, Swifties thought Shadows’ tweets were directed at Swift, herself.



    Deep in the replies, a fan said to Shadows, “I agree!!! Though I do like when artists will offer like 2 or 3 different vinyl variants, cuz sometimes I like to have all of them if I really support or love the artist (like you guys), or sometimes I may not like a certain vinyl pressing & glad there’s others.” The A7X singer responded, “100%. Different versions for different markets… I get it…. But when you make a fan think they need 4 versions of the same s—… it becomes a problem.”

  • And then M. Shadows notices his mentions were blowing up.

    Shadows responds writing, “I was actually trying to figure out how a bunch of little kids started commenting on my post… and now I see all of taylors fans think I’m talking about her because they all bought multiples of the same album. Gotta love the twitter cults! Hope they enjoy the PFP.” He added, “Let me expand: I will not reply to swifties…. Not because its Fan Abuse but because it’s Child Abuse.”

  • While he didn't respond to all replies, Shadows did respond to some.

    One Twitter user wrote, “Taylor Swift would’ve topped the charts on streams alone, (confirmed by the billboard charts) but sure go off.” Shadows responded, “Btw. I wasnt even talking about Taylor… literally the furthest thing from my mind. We are getting ‘options’ from our label but its all a cash grab (hence the tweet)… but dont you find it strange one fan base is so upset about my tweet which names no one?”

  • Shadows ended up being called out by his own fans

    Regarding releasing multiple versions of the same album, one A7X fan wrote, “Wasn’t this the case when Nightmare was released? I remember needing to buy multiple special versions in order to get all of the bonus content (i.e. book of nightmares, iTunes deluxe version, etc). Was it a decision made by Warner Bros at the time?” Shadows replied, “I will admit we were less engaged… sorta like ‘ok that sounds cool’. Now we are alot more focused on whats happening once we turn the music in.”

    Additionally, another fan replied, “What I’m inferring from this tweet is that there won’t be a Target exclusive, Best Buy exclusive, or WalMart exclusive CD of the new Avenged album.” Shadows responded, “God I hope not… if there is dont buy it! Hahaha.”

  • The funniest part of all of this? Shadows might just be a bit of a Swiftie, himself

    When asked whether he likes Taylor Swift’s music, Shadows said, “I actually do.”

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well-versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice. #TransRightsAreHumanRights

Sign me up for the 101 WRIF Cybercrew email newsletter!

Join the 101 WRIF Cybercrew to get everything that rocks sent right to your inbox from The Riff! You’ll get updates on concerts and your favorite bands, along with exclusive chances to win. Plus news and stories from all around metro Detroit!

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.