Hackers impersonate Avenged Sevenfold with deepfake tech, make fake festival cancellations

“We are still playing.” (the actual) M. Shadows declared.

Avenged Sevenfold

Image: Ollie Millington / Getty Images

Avenged Sevenfold appear to be the latest victim of a rather elaborate deepfake technology hack.

On a recent episode of the band’s “Trax” podcast, a voice seemingly belonging to frontman M. Shadows announced that the group would be cancelling their upcoming festival appearances at Welcome To Rockville and Sonic Temple due to delays with their new album.

Shortly after the episode went live, Shadows took to Twitter claiming that the entire clip was a hoax, writing “Yikes! This is NOT TRUE. We are still playing. Getting to the bottom of this.”

“Literally walking in the streets of Mexico and listening to this. What the actual fuck … NOT ME!” he added in a later post.

And on Monday, Avenged Sevenfold officially addressed the hack, stating “Our accounts were compromised over the weekend and have now been recovered. Our festival appearances have not been cancelled. For the time being, please go to our Discord for all future communications. Thank you for your patience.”

Despite the clarification, some fans have speculated that the ‘hack’ was part of an elaborate marketing campaign to promote the band’s new album. They argue that the entire scheme seemed a little too elaborate to pull off — given that hackers would have to infiltrate the band’s podcast and generate an entire Shadows voiceover with deepfake tech.

No stranger to unorthodox marketing tactics, Avenged Sevenfold’s last album The Stage arrived as a surprise release with nearly zero promotion beforehand. Time will tell if the A7X are indeed up to something this time round.

The original Trax podcast has since been taken down, but you can listen to it below.

(Please note that the audio below was generated with deep fake technology)

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