Gregory Brothers (Auto-Tune the News) Interview: My Life Online




Uploaded by vice on 26.04.2012

Transcript:
[MUSIC PLAYING]
[MUSIC - THE GREGORY BROTHERS, "DOUBLE RAINBOW SONG"]

EVAN GREGORY: The Gregory Brothers are mostly known for
online videos that we do, and those videos are the
realization of a Utopian vision in which we uncover
hidden songs from within the speech of ordinary people.
ANTOINE DODSON: Well, obviously we have a rapist in
Lincoln Park.
[MUSIC - ANTOINE DODSON, "BED INTRUDER SONG"]

EVAN GREGORY: We started in a musical background and had
toured together with my brothers.
ANDREW GREGORY: I don't know, we toured a lot as a band, but
in a very small-scale way.
We were playing to crowds of anywhere
between 0 and 200 people.
MICHAEL GREGORY: Nobody likes a regular band.
SARAH GREGORY: We were definitely pursuing the arts
in very traditional ways when we first
started working together.
But then, once your imagination gets a little
crazier and crazier, there's stuff that you can only
produce using technology.
MALE SPEAKER: Senator Obama, two minutes.
[MUSIC - MICHAEL GREGORY, "DEBATE HIGHLIGHTS"]

SARAH GREGORY: Back in the 2008 presidential election,
Michael made a video out of the first debate between Obama
and McCain.
And he wanted to write a song basically about the issues
that he knew were going to be coming up in that debate.
[MUSIC - MICHAEL GREGORY, "DEBATE HIGHLIGHTS"]

SARAH GREGORY: So he successfully made that video
and just thought it would be way more fun if we could
somehow get the candidates to sing along with us.
[MUSIC - THE GREGORY BROTHERS, "AUTO-TUNE THE NEWS"]

EVAN GREGORY: We took some technology that we had a grasp
of, the pitch correction technology that includes
Auto-Tune, and used it to modify their voices so that it
sounds like they're singing with us.
And then we could create duets and melodies that we're
actually participating in together.
And that became "Auto-Tune the News."
[MUSIC - THE GREGORY BROTHERS, "AUTO-TUNE THE NEWS"]

SARAH GREGORY: We spent about a year auto-tuning the news.
And then realized that we shouldn't limit our quest for
music to just news and politics.
[MUSIC - THE GREGORY BROTHERS, "REALITY HITS YOU HARD BRO"]

[MUSIC - THE GREGORY BROTHERS, "CAN'T HUG EVERY CAT"]

SARAH GREGORY: So then we just started calling it Songify
because that's essentially what we're doing, we're just
finding songs out in the universe.
EVAN GREGORY: Where are we, Andrew?
ANDREW GREGORY: Well, as you might notice, our office is
very spacious.
Why you might ask?
Because it used to be a horse barn.
EVAN GREGORY: This is where all the audio magic happens,
where we try to summon various types of sonic wizardry to
coax songs out of those places in the universe that,
heretofore, have been dark, songless corners.

We are trained musically but not in the art of video
editing, so we just kind of accrued those skills by
saying, let's try this in the video.
I don't know how.
OK, let's figure it out, and let's do the next thing.
Nearly everything that we shoot for our videos is done
on a green screen.
Let's say, if we needed a floating head.
ANDREW GREGORY: Or arms waving around, we'll
still use the sheet.
EVAN GREGORY: But we upgraded this year and
just painted the walls.
It's like, why hang the sheet?
Just paint the wall, man.
ANDREW GREGORY: So let's take you back to the
area where we edit.
Hey, Sarah.
SARAH GREGORY: Hi guys.
ANDREW GREGORY: We run After Effects stuff and Final Cut
stuff in tandem to sort of put the videos together while the
audio is being made.
EVAN GREGORY: That's a gold record.
ANDREW GREGORY: That single, it just went gold in January.
I mean, something like "Friday," Rebecca Black's
"Friday," has gotten watched a lot more than the "Bed
Intruder Song." But people are not as excited about
downloading "Friday" for $0.99.
EVAN GREGORY: Little-known fact, you have to buy the
plaque for yourself once you get it certified gold.
But we got-- we got a couple of them
and sent one to Antoine.
So he's got one hanging in his house, too.
ANDREW GREGORY: And, unfortunately, solid, pure
gold does not come cheap.
MALE SPEAKER: Do your moms understand what you actually
do for a living?

MICHAEL GREGORY: She understands, but she still
says "YouTubes," plural.
[MUSIC - THE GREGORY BROTHERS, "WINNING"]

EVAN GREGORY: Once the number of views exceeds the number of
moms related to video producers, then you feel like
you're beginning to hit your stride as an auteur.
We have found success on YouTube, if only by the metric
of we all left our day jobs to just do this.
[MUSIC - THE GREGORY BROTHERS, "WINNING"]

SARAH GREGORY: We're getting into comedy, and we're doing
more writing.
ANDREW GREGORY: We're in the middle of a development deal
with Comedy Central, which is really cool.
EVAN GREGORY: That's pointless to plug, since no one could
actually watch it right now.
If it was about to air on TV, then we would be like plugging
it like silly.
[MUSIC - THE GREGORY BROTHERS, "WINNING"]
EVAN GREGORY: But it is true that a lot of doors have been
opened to us based on our videos being seen a lot.
ANDREW GREGORY: Basically, YouTube actually works.
That's a huge--
MICHAEL GREGORY: YouTube actually works.
ANDREW GREGORY: It actually works.
MICHAEL GREGORY: It's just so egalitarian.
It doesn't matter if it's a very grainy footage of a bunny
making a weird sound or whether it's very high
definition footage of Newt Gingrich giving a speech that
he later regrets.
[MUSIC - THE GREGORY BROTHERS, "GET MONEY, TURN GAY"]

ANDREW GREGORY: The desire of the American workforce to not
be working while on the clock is just really impressive.
[MUSIC - THE GREGORY BROTHERS, "GET MONEY, TURN GAY"]

MICHAEL GREGORY: They don't need solitaire
anymore, they have cats.
[MUSIC - THE GREGORY BROTHERS, "GET MONEY, TURN GAY"]

[MUSIC PLAYING]