Death Cab for Cutie takes a stand against Auto-Tune

February 11, 2009  |  10:02am
Those Death Cab for Cutie dudes looked downright dapper on the red carpet Sunday Night at the Grammy Awards. And along with four-piece suits and (generally) groomed manes, the group sported another must-have accessory of celebrity culture: pastel awareness ribbons.

When MTV News caught up with Death Cab, frontman Ben Gibbard revealed that the cuties' light blue ribbons were symbols of a protest against "Auto-Tuner Abuse," the manipulation of one's voice to perfect pitch via sound-editing software like Pro Tools. "Over the last 10 years, we've seen a lot of good musicians being affected by this newfound digital manipulation of the human voice, and we feel enough is enough," Gibbard said, probably referring to artists like Kanye West, Cher and T-Pain.

If this sounds like another one of Lindsay Bluth Funke's charitable causes, be assured that Gibbard and his men feel very strongly about preserving the grail-like quest for the "blue note." 

"Otherwise, musicians of tomorrow will never practice," bassist Nick Harmer explained. "They will never try to be good, because, yeah, you can do it just on the computer." 

"A little use is OK," Gibbard reiterated, "but there is a difference between 'use' and 'abuse.'" 

Listen to Ben Gibbard's unalloyed vocals:

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