Trick question – which is harder: executing a synchronized dance on treadmills for three minutes straight without getting some nasty rug burns or finishing one of the most exhausting world tours in music history?
The only four guys in all of mankind that can actually answer that will be happy to let you know at this year’s Fall Fest on Sept. 8.
OK Go has prided itself on being a band with a few tricks up its sleeve. Their most popular trick is in the video for their hit song “Here It Goes Again.” Also known as “the treadmill song,” the video has earned well well more than 25 million views on the Internet. But OK Go’s unique take on media convergence has redefined the way the band looks at success.
They also just got off the road from a world tour with The Fray.
“We know that not every one of those 25 million people are going to run out and buy our record,” said Tim Nordwind, in an interview with The Hatchet. Nordwind, the bassist and lip-synchist for the group, is the guy with the thick glasses and shaved head “singing” in the video. He’s is not actually the lead singer, as you’ll see Saturday.
Tim and the rest of the group are far more realistic than that.
“The two can certainly feed off one another,” Nordwind said. “Hopefully a certain percentage of those people who watch the video will stick around and see what we do next.”
The group did not stop their viral video conquest with just the one single. Their newest hit, “A Million Ways,” off the 2005 album titled “Oh No,” has a unique dance video all of its own. To the band members, the videos aren’t a ploy or a gimmick. They are simply another form of artistic expression.
“For us, everything is done under the context of the music that we write,” Nordwind said. “That said, we just sort of enjoy making videos. We just feel like one doesn’t have to be exclusive from the other.”
And OK Go is certainly all about inclusion.
It’s a concept that they are proud to employ in everything from their influences to their live shows.
Damien Kulash, the band’s actual lead singer, is from right here in D.C. As a District resident, he followed the hardcore punk scene of the 1980s here, and when he began trading mixtapes with a summer camp friend from Michigan (Nordwind), he had no idea that the two would form a band based upon their musical exchange. Although it sounds like Nordwind’s Brit-pop tapes won out in the battle of musical influences, the undertones of the District are still there.
“These days, you don’t necessarily hear it in our sound,” Nordwind explains, “but the spirit of D.C. punk rock is still definitely there underneath it all.”
If D.C. punk rock and Brit-pop isn’t an eclectic enough mix, the band recently got back from New Orleans where they spent time rearranging and re-recording their own songs with local brass band Bonerama. Look for their new blues influence on the record that will benefit the Musician’s Village rebuilding project in Louisiana.
But GW students will be happy to know that the true spirit of inclusion really comes out in an OK Go live performance – good news for all those who will be in attendance this Saturday.
“In general, a good show is when the crowd and the band work off one another,” Nordwind said. “We want to make it feel like a party where people just want to have fun and throw down.”
Surely, GW students will be happy to oblige.
OK Go will be performing at Fall Fest this Saturday, Sept. 8 with Derek James, Bottles/Cans and Hello Society. Admission to University Yard is free with a GWorld card.