Johnny Marr issues warning over AI-generated voice messages

Johnny Marr has issued a warning over fake AI-generated voice messages that may appear to be him.

The musician and former member of The Smiths took to his official X/Twitter account to share a tweet advising fans to be wary of fake messages that may be going around which appear to be from him but were created with the use of artificial intelligence.

“Just a warning to people to watch out for fake messages from me generated by AI, including voice messages. If anyone receives one please send them my details as I’d quite like to have a dialogue with AI Johnny, who I really hope isn’t actually smarter than me…than I,” read his tweet.


Fans took to the comments to react, with one person responding with: “What if this is the AI Johnny trying to convince us all it’s the real Johnny?,” while another said: “Not even AI can play the guitar like you Johnny. I’m sure of that.”

Marr recently released his first ever solo Best Of compilation titled ‘Spirit Power’. Speaking to NME as part of the In Conversation series, Marr opened up about the compilation LP and what he has learned about his journey as a solo artist over the last 10 years.

“In all honesty, I learned that I’ve put myself under pressure to make singles – with very little let-up. I’ve got enough about me when I’m making albums to realise that if you’ve got a lot of up-tempo songs, it does give you an excuse and an absolute need to do a deep song. Every solo album I’ve made has a sort of atmospheric, moody, slower or cinematic song. It’s almost a bit of light and shade to all the bangers,” he said.

He continued: “You do get reflective and go, ‘Flipping hell – that 10 years has gone by really quickly’. Because when I started with my own band on the first record, my intention was to keep the tempos up. I wanted to make music that sounded really good in the day. I had this mission about it. Now with a best of, I think not only did I achieve that but I may have done too good a job of it. I don’t mean that in an immodest way, but it just doesn’t let up.”

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Marr is not the first musician to speak up about AI. Artists that have spoken out against AI include Hozier (who has considered striking in protest), Noel Gallagher (who called the creators of a fake Oasis album “fucking idiots”) and Nick Cave (who described it as “a grotesque mockery of what it is to be human”).

Concerns have also been raised around issues relating to copyright and payment for creatives. UK Music Interim Chief Executive Tom Kiehl urged Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to respond to the music industry’s concerns around artificial intelligence by introducing some form of legal protection around the developing technology.

Kiehl and UK Music have suggested that AI could be a form of “music laundering,” opening up a potential means for creatives to not receive compensation for their work.

Back in September, the CMM published five fundamental rules that they want companies to embrace when it comes to developing music AI technologies.

The outlined five key objectives to ensure that all training, licensing and commercialisation of music-making generative AI models in the music sector can be developed in a way that is both helpful to creators and respective of their rights.

In other news, Marr and The Charlatans announced a handful of huge UK 2024 co-headlining outdoor shows.

Both artists are set to perform as part of the Forest Live concert series that will take place at Cannock Chase Forest in Rugeley on June 28, 2024. They are also both set to play the Scarborough Open Air Theatre on June 29, 2024.

Recently, Marr performed a collection of solo and Smiths classics with a 30 piece orchestra during a Manchester homecoming show.

In a four star review of the show, NME said: “Songs from Marr’s four solo albums over the last decade dominate the set, but inevitably it is the choice cuts from the past that rouse the crowd most effectively.”

He was also recently joined by The Charlatans‘ Tim Burgess for a cover of Electronic‘s ‘Getting Away With It’ at Halifax’s Piece Hall.

The performance was the latest in a series of recent on-stage collaborations with Marr previously joined onstage by Gaz Coombes to perform The Smiths‘ classic ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’ at Lakefest 2023.