JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Richie Faulkner has weighed in on a debate about people using artificial intelligence (AI) to create music. The 43-year-old British-born musician, who is promoting the debut album from his ELEGANT WEAPONS project, was asked about the impact of AI music generators on the music industry and what the future might hold during a recent appearance on the "Rock Of Nations With Dave Kinchen And Shane McEachern" podcast. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It's a great question, because I've been putting drums down on demo tracks for years, and I'm not a drummer. So I've been playing keyboard drums… To me, it's almost the same thing. I'm sure someone's got an argument against that. But we've been creating stuff, like drums, for example… I haven't put the time in to learn how to play paradiddles or tune a snare or mic a drum. I can just throw on a program and play a snare that's perfectly miked, perfectly tuned, sounds great and play a kit and put that on a demo to express my idea of what I want. Now, is that the same as an AI program? It's probably different. But it might be just the way things are going, and it's up to us to figure out how to do things… I don't know what I'm trying to say. I don't quite know.
"I think there's pros and cons with AI," Faulkner continued. "I think it's good to get your ideas out, like the drum program, for example, but there's still gotta be some sort of artistic merit to stuff. Or maybe there doesn't anymore; maybe people don't care about that. I don't know. It's the time we live in.
"The artwork on the [debut] record [from ELEGANT WEAPONS], I put a lot of ideas together to send to the artist that does artwork, and he said, 'We should use these.' And I said, 'Yeah, but I've done them on an AI generator and then I fixed a few of them with Photoshop, so they were a little bit different.' And he said, 'It doesn't matter. They're great.' The point being, it was just a representation of what was in my head, like the drums, like the drum thing, but it ended up being the artwork on the album. So I don't know… Is that legitimate? I don't know. Some people would say it's not. I didn't go to art school to learn how to do that. But there it is.
"I don't know whether it's legit or not, or where it's gonna go," Richie said. "I know I'll produce music the way I know how until I can't do it anymore. Or until we get overrun by the machines.
"So, yeah, who knows what the future holds with it?"
Last month, AVENGED SEVENFOLD's M. Shadows said that he "would love to" have his voice cloned using artificial intelligence in order to create new songs. The singer, whose real name is Matt Sanders, was also enthused about the possibilities, saying that "AI can be incredibly useful" for songwriters. M. Shadows went on to say that AI gives fans the opportunity to use the work of their favorite acts as a machine learning library to create their own songs.
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.
SLIPKNOT singer Corey Taylor expressed his disdain for AI during a recent interview with "Loudwire Nights". He said: "It's cheap shit. I don't know what it is about human beings — they keep fucking opening Pandora's box for God's sake. It's scary, dude. I thought deep fake was bad and now here comes AI and all you do is teach this thing to do this or you type this thing to do that and all of a sudden it's just there. How much more do we want to lessen — and I mean lessen as in detract from — what we actually do as human beings? How much more do we want to take away from our own creativity? How much more do we want to make reality completely fucking pointless or better yet, how much do we completely want to devalue true talent, true creativity, true hard work, true persistence and heart to the point now that people are going to question whether it's you or not. It's so fucking ridiculous."
DREAM THEATER keyboardist Jordan Rudess told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" about artificial intelligence in music: "It's a very big topic, and I personally am very excited about it. If people are being nice, that know about AI, like artists, musicians, graphic artists, they'll usually say, 'Oh, we can use it as a tool. And we've had tools before. And that's kind of a cool thing.' But the reality is that the technology — as it's really always done, but now maybe even more — opens up all these incredible possibilities for new levels of creativity that we haven't seen before. So, it's, yes, a tool, but it's a complete door opener and it kind of shatters what we know in a lot of ways. And it can be used in so many ways so we can hear and we can see things that we've never really seen or heard before.
"I myself am somebody who works not only in the audio domain, but I'm also really involved in the visual domain. I'm what's called an ambassador for a company called Lightricks, which is out of Israel, and they do incredible things with AI and photo and video. And I've also been involved in the AI part of music as well. And I'm very excited about it. How much of it will roll over into the DREAM THEATER world or even need to, that's a whole another question. We've actually been pretty open to the technologies that I bring in, although it doesn't completely take over, obviously, what we do, 'cause we've been doing this for a long time. But in general, [I'm] really, really excited about it. I think it's cool. People should pay attention to it. And as a creative person, I'm very involved in, let's say, the positive sides of it."