AVENGED SEVENFOLD's M. SHADOWS 'Would Love To Give Up' His Voice For AI-Generated Songs: 'It's Kind Of Cool'

May 19, 2023

AVENGED SEVENFOLD's M. Shadows says that he "would love to" have his voice cloned using Artificial Intelligence in order to create new songs.

The 41-year-old singer, whose real name is Matt Sanders, made his comments during a discussion on Decrypt's "gm" podcast about the music industry's reaction to a spate of AI songs trained on artists' voices.

Just last month, Universal Music had a song called "Heart On My Sleeve", which used deep-faked vocals from their artists Drake and The Weeknd, removed from the streaming services, claiming in a statement that "the training of generative AI using our artists' music" was "a violation of copyright law".

M. Shadows, for his part, is enthused about the possibilities, saying that "AI can be incredibly useful" for songwriters.

"If you're looking at purely this data brick of taking information and regurgitating it to us in some way, whether it's through music or art or novels, literature — whatever it is — you're basically taking everything humans have ever done or discovered and you're giving it to this thing that can distribute it to you quicker and in a different way, can mix it up and do it in a different way," he explained (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTHH.NET).

"I think if you actually look at music, most fans aren't mad that all the drums are already being resampled and replaced," he continued. "Pro Tools already will quantize your albums and make it perfect. You can Auto-Tune your voice to do all these other things. But for some reason, they have a problem… And by the way, if you think about it, how you write music, it's like you're going into your own database of 'I've listened to Bach, I've listened to The Weeknd, I've listened to Kanye, I've listened to all these things, and now I'm gonna regurgitate it in this way and spew out my own version of that.' AI can be incredibly useful if you have AI doing some of that work for you. 'Give me 20 versions of this chord change,' or, 'I wanna hear a different top line there,' and you take a little thing that interests you and you go somewhere with it. So now you're using AI to not only spark ideas but you're using it in a much quicker way to kind of get to some of these cool little nuggets of gold that you kind of are, like, 'Oh, that's cool. Let me see where I can take that.' So that's not really AI writing a song for you; it's kind of giving you this kind of jumping-off point of, 'Now where can I be creative with it?' And I think that will be the next step."

M. Shadows went on to say that AI also opens up the possibility of fans using the work of their favorite acts as a machine learning library to create their own songs.

"What I think is cool is that… Listen, there's a lot of fans that don't wanna hear new AVENGED SEVENFOLD," he said. "We're 40 years old now and we're going places that are much more eccentric than they want — some of 'em. They might want another version of 'Waking The Fallen' or 'City Of Evil', which are our old records. Now, what's wrong with someone throwing in a prompt and saying, 'Listen to these two records and send me a new record with 11 songs.' And if I was to give up my voice and say, 'Take my voice,' and AI create an album that kind of sounds like that. I think that's incredibly cool. I think it would be really cool if people can prompt their own versions of what AVENGED SEVENFOLD sounds like. You get the sounds you want, you get all these things, but now you're getting different versions of albums that you like. So I think there's something really cool there and nothing that crazy or wrong about it. I back it. I think it'd be cool. As a human, I'm gonna be going my own way and making my own stuff that I feel is kind of breaking the mold or pushing things forward. I'm giving the AI more data for the future, wherever I'm gonna take it. But I think it's kind of cool. And I would love to give up my voice to where people can create their own versions of our songs or whatever they feel would be cool."

Pop singer Grimes, whose real name is Claire Boucher, recently said she would "split 50% royalties on any successful AI-generated song that uses my voice".

"Same deal as I would with any artist I collab[orate] with. Feel free to use my voice without penalty," she tweeted.

AVENGED SEVENFOLD played its first concert since June 2018 on May 12 at AREA15 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The band's setlist included the live debut of three songs from AVENGED SEVENFOLD's upcoming album, "Life Is But A Dream…", which will be released on June 2 via Warner: "Game Over", "We Love You" and "Nobody".

Written and recorded over the span of four years, "Life Is But a Dream..." was inspired by the writing and philosophy of Albert Camus. Accordingly, the lyrics are rooted in existentialism and absurdism.

Last month, AVENGED SEVENFOLD announced the second leg of its extensive "Life is But A Dream…" North American tour featuring support from FALLING IN REVERSE. Produced by Live Nation, leg two includes stops in Nashville, Denver, Austin, and more before concluding at Fort Worth's Dickies Arena on October 15. Fans will have the opportunity to hear the group's first single in seven years, "Nobody", and their new album "Life Is But A Dream…" for the first time live during the 30-show outing.

The first leg with support from ALEXISONFIRE includes thirteen cities across the U.S. and Canada, such as Mansfield, Québec City, Tinley Park, Calgary, and more. The group kicks off their 2023 solo touring run with two unique one-night-only arena shows in New York and Los Angeles this June.

To date, AVENGED SEVENFOLD has sold over 10 million albums worldwide and earned two consecutive No. 1 albums on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart (2010's "Nightmare" and 2013's "Hail To The King") to go along with over a billion video views and a billion-plus Spotify streams, as well as multiple No. 1 singles on rock radio. The band is equally known for their spectacular live shows, selling out arenas and headlining the world's most prestigious rock festivals.

Photo credit: Brian Cattelle

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