Joe Bonamassa Decries Use of AI in Music, Says We’re “Getting Away From What Music Really Is”

Singer-songwriter Joe Bonamassa is railing against the use of AI in music, claiming that we’re “getting away from what music really is” with the growing implementation of artificial intelligence programs. In a recent interview with Appetite for Distortion, Bonamassa explained his stance on AI and wondered why there aren’t any classic records being made anymore.

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Bonamassa began by listing artists who have been on tracks with AI generated vocals, such as Mollie Marriott and Peter Frampton. He also brought up the viral Apple commercial which featured a hydraulic press squishing instruments and other means of artistic expression in favor of the new iPad and AI. The commercial was quickly pulled and garnered an apology from Apple, but the damage was done.

“I mean, the technology’s impressive, but we’re also getting away from what music really is,” said Bonamassa. “[Music is] a binary thing made by human beings for human beings. And call me old-fashioned, but I don’t think you can ever replace that, especially in our generation.”

[RELATED: Slash Shares Thoughts on the “Misleading” and “Confusing” Use of AI in Music: “I See It Happening Already”]

Joe Bonamassa Claims AI Technology is “Impressive,” but Doesn’t Have Staying Power in Music

Joe Bonamassa continued, claiming that music isn’t made like it used to be. “But there’s a reason why classic music stands the test of time,” he said. “Why [aren’t] any classic records like ‘Can’t You Hear Me Knocking’ by The Rolling Stones coming out anymore?”

Bonamassa has a theory about this, and it has to do with AI being used to make a record perfect. “I’s the technology that takes the rough edges off. Everything’s perfectly in tune, perfectly in time, and quantized. Great, but it’s not the same as four or five people in a room, with live amps, and singing live, warts and all, just going direct to tape,” he explained.

“That’s why classic records and classic music is classic, because it it hits you on a binary level that, sometimes, the more edited stuff that comes out today does not,” Bonamassa concluded. AI is certainly making great strides in accessibility, such as allowing Randy Travis to sing again after his stroke. However, there are clearly artists out there with the opinion that AI in music isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Crossroads Guitar Festival

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