“God bless Auto-Tune, it saves us, but modern vocal production makes everyone sound too similar,” says Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig

“A modern ’We Are the World‘ would not hit the same.”

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Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig, Image: Apple Music

Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig, Image: Apple Music

Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig has discussed the pitfalls of modern vocal production techniques in a new interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe — and he seems to have mixed opinions on the sounds of contemporary artists.

“God bless Auto-Tune,” says the Vampire Weekend frontman and son-in-law of Quincy Jones. “It saves us…but everybody’s voice sounds the same.”

He references the 1985 charity single We Are the World, produced by Quincy, which featured many of the era’s biggest stars: “Why that song is interesting to listen to and why people still get excited 30 years later watching the documentary is because people had really different voices. A modern We Are the World would not hit the same…because…everybody’s voice sounds the same”

“You think we’ve evolved as a species towards the Auto-Tune? Unconsciously, we’re becoming the AI?” asks Zane Lowe, as Koenig continues:

“If you take the 10 biggest pop stars [in 2024] and you throw in some indie rockers or whatever, our voices will be different but, with the quality of modern recording, it’s not going to be [like] when you hear Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and Bob Dylan on the same song. They’re so different and it’s so clear.

“I’m just saying, God bless all these people, but even if you did it with The Weeknd and Ariana Granda and Lana Del Rey, it’s not gonna be the same,” he continues, before joking, “And millions will die because of this, because they won’t raise the money, because the vocal quality of modern recording is too similar. Whereas back then, lives were saved.”

Vampire Weekend have also been in the news this week for their album release, Only God Was Above Us, and accompanying show in Austin, Texas, which took place during the solar eclipse yesterday (8 April), which also coincided with Koenig’s 40th birthday.

If you missed it, it’s available on-demand on the streaming platform Veeps, exclusively for Veeps All Access subscribers.

To see the rest of the Apple Music interview with Zane Lowe, check out the video below:

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