Meet the guys who know how to make a viral video one dance step, treadmill, or Rube Goldberg Machine, at a time. Ok Go — a band rocking it’s way to the top of the music charts and YouTube favorites lists — is all about being creative when it comes to their latest album release, silk-screen concert posters and music videos.
“We never defined ourselves as different when we set out to start the band. We started by playing rock shows and making hand-screened adverts,” said vocalist and guitarist Damian Kulash in a phone interview. “It’s been more of a pan-art project — whatever we can do, the band has been a framework for all sorts of ideas.”
Originally from the Windy City, Kulash and bass guitarist Tim Nordwind met at summer camp when they were 12-years-old and became long distance friends. Later, in 1998, they started their band with members Dan Konopka (drums and percussion), who they met in college, and Andy Duncan, who they met in high school. In 2005, Andy Ross replaced Duncan on the guitar, keyboards and vocals. “When I was in high school I was obsessed with making stuff as I am now,” Kulash said about the band’s creative side. “I’m dedicating my life to that particular interest.”
Ok Go now chases down their ideas in Los Angeles, where they create the hilarious and innovative videos made popular on YouTube. Back in 2007, the popularity of their videos was recognized when “Here It Goes Again,” won the “Short-Form Music Video” Grammy. And last fall, they rented a warehouse to film “This Too Shall Pass,” an endeavor that took from August 2009 to February 2010 to complete.
If you haven’t seen it, this new video is even more elaborate than their famed back yard dance from “A Million Ways,” or the award-winning treadmill act in “Here It Goes Again.” This time, with the help of a team of physics experts, they built a Rube Goldberg Machine, complete with dominoes, Lego cars that drive themselves, a piano on a pulley, flying band members splattered in bright-colored paint, among many other gadgets and gizmos. When asked what inspires these types of videos, Kulash said, “Anything that inspires wonder in us.”
Check out this ingenious video, full of wonderful and wacky moments, below. And, since the release of their Rube Goldberg Machine video, the band has made a video for their song “End Love,” a time-lapse, primary colored confection.