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Unleash The Archers recently announced their new record Phantoma alongside the release of the single “Green & Glass”. The single featured a heavily-AI music video directed by Danny Gayfer and Adam Junio at RuneGate Studio that was, in their own words, “created in Unreal Engine 5 and animated in Stable Diffusion with AI models trained on the licensed artwork of Bo Bradshaw.”

Unleash The Archers experienced a pretty hefty blowback about the video and use of Bradshaw‘s artwork. Unleash The Archers has now posted a lengthy statement on their social media, saying they thought they were being ethical in the use of Bradshaw‘s artwork to train the AI, but that it’s clear that wasn’t exactly the case.

Long story short, Stable Diffusion pulled from a much larger pool of artists outside Bradshaw, meaning that unlicensed work was also used alongside Bradshaw‘s work. Unleash The Archers also makes it clear that Bradshaw had no artist input in the video itself and was only sent the final product.

“Wow, what a week. There have been a lot of posts and discussion about our new music video and its use of AI, and while we were expecting some controversy, we weren’t expecting as much as we got,” wrote Unleash The Archers. “Our goal with the video was to create it in a way that credited and compensated all parties while allowing us to utilize a technology relevant to the subject matter of our music to achieve a style that was previously unavailable to a band of our size.

“By licensing the work of an artist to train the models, we thought we had covered this issue, but through posts from the community at large as well as conversations with both Bo and RuneGate, we now know that this is not the case given the process used to make the video.

“The use of Stable Diffusion’s base features, which pull from uncredited source material, means we necessarily used unlicensed work. We don’t think this discredits our intention to only use licensed art, but it’s an important distinction. We also need to make it clear that Bo’s contract with us only stipulated that his work would be provided for us to train AI models for the video.

“We used phrases like ‘artwork by Bo Bradshaw‘ in some of our previous social media posts but that’s not a fair characterization of his involvement. Bo did not have artistic input on the animation and while we did send the video to him prior to release asking his thoughts, the video was essentially finished at that point. Bo is going to make a statement tomorrow clarifying his side of this so make sure to check that out if you’ve been following along with everything.

“Our final thought on this is that we genuinely tried to do this in a way that would be ethical. We missed the mark on that, and we hope our missteps in the process of using AI sets better expectations for the next band who tries this. However, there’s a lot more coming from Phantoma that is in line with the work we’re best known for; more headline shows are being announced, the next single drops in March, and we have a few more music videos including a performance video coming from the RuneGate team. Thanks for sticking with this everyone, talk soon!”

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