It was more just about serving the song, which is sort of the way that we work in general. We wanna do the best that we can with it and make it the most interesting to our ears. And putting auto-tune on 'California English', was just one reflection of that.
In the studio you can auto tune vocals, and with drums, you can put them on a grid and make them perfect. I hate that sound. When someone hands me a record and the drums are perfectly gridded and the vocals are perfectly auto tuned, I throw it out the window. I have no interest in rock music being like that.
The music on the radio is fine, it's just not my type of music. You don't play an instrument, and you don't need to be able to sing. You just need to be able to make a beat and use auto-tune. It's crazy!
You can take a bad singer and make them sound decent; you couldn't do that in the past. With things like Pro Tools and all the other things you have available; like auto tune, and pitch correction you can make someone who can't sing into someone who can.
These days, I find it harder to listen to really trebly lo-fi recordings. At the same time, without the old limitations, these new technologies require self control. So much of the software seems to be about correcting imperfections - quantizing, Auto-tune - and, to me, those corrections can really drain the life out of a performance.
I think whatever an artist does, it just has to be quality and good. I think the way Kanye's doing what he's doing with the Auto-Tune is actually creative because he just writes good melodies. He just writes good songs. He's just gifted.