You probably know Ok Go for the remarkable coordination they displayed in their viral video for "Here It Goes Again"--yes, they're the treadmill dancing band. It's high time you paid a little more attention to this Chicago quartet, however--you'll be hearing "Shooting The Moon" on the Twilight Saga: New Moon soundtrack and come January 12th, 2010, they're gifting the world with "Of the Blue Colour of the Sky." Eloquent frontman Damian Kulash was kind enough to answer our questions about the new album, the song, and setting the mood for Twilight's tortured couple.
Buzznet: Where are you right now as you are answering these questions?
Damian: On a plane to Tokyo.
Buzznet: Your music video for 'Here It Goes Again' was up for a VMA award, so it must have felt great to have it re-recognized. If you could have nominated a music video that you felt needed to be re-recognized what would it be?
Damian: Those wonderful dogs. The Vitalic song "Pony." The video is just dogs shot with an incredibly high-speed camera. It's goooooorgeous.
Buzznet: What is the inspiration behind "Shooting The Moon" on the New Moon soundtrack?
Damian: The song is about an astronaut involved in a conspiracy. I am not personally a doubter re: the US moon landing, but the story fascinates me. The story, that is, that would be, were the conspiracy theory true. One of the most iconic heros of all time would have to live with the guilt. He'd have to keep such a heavy, terrible secret: that this huge historical watershed was a cynical lie. As the basis of a song, it let me get at a feeling that I otherwise have a hard time describing, the feeling of dread and conviction at the same time. Of wanting to say it's going to be OK, when in fact it probably isn't. It's a feeling I have a lot. The hero knows the only way to make things better in the long run is to unleash this awful truth which is going to break everyone's heart.
Buzznet: Did you create this song with the intention of having it on the New Moon soundtrack? Was "Shooting The Moon" recorded at the same time that you recorded your songs on your upcoming album?
Damian: It was recorded along with the songs on our new album, but it was a perfect fit for New Moon. Our record's already nearly an hour long, so we could afford it let this one go on to greener pastures. Which is no euphemism. The song is in such great company on this soundtrack that it's probably happier in its new home.
Buzznet: What is your favorite song off of the original Twilight Soundtrack?
Damian: I like the Iron and Wine song a lot.
Buzznet: If you were to have to choose 1 OK Go song to "set the mood" for Bella and Edward, what song would you play?
Damian: Hmm. I'm gonna give a few answers. Sorta depends on their mood. They're both earnest types, so perhaps the super-honest love song is the way to go. There's one on our new album called Last Leaf, in which I tell the woman I love that I will wait for her forever, which, sentiment-wise, seems pretty on-the-nose for B&E. But whether it'd get them feeling randy, I don't know. There's a dancier love song called "I Want You So Bad I Can't Breathe," and again, bingo, right? Or do vampires breathe? To me, the sexiest song on the record is this one that we've already released online called "Skyscrapers." But I have sorta different parameters for sexy than most folks; it's probably only advisable as an aphrodisiac for the slow-jam inclined.
Buzznet: If OK Go could perform at any celebrity's party who would it be? Why?
Damian: That's kind of a trick question, because the bigger the celebrity, the stuffier their guests are likely to be, or at least they certainly get less likely to be paying attention to the band the higher up the totem pole you go. Playing to people who don't give a shit is a drag. So maybe Russel Brand. Don't you get the sense that his friends are probably pretty rowdy partiers? And mostly pretty hot, to boot? Or I'd go the other direction and say (if he were still alive) David Foster Wallace, or Steven Hawking, or some universally-recognized genius like that who could get all of my idols into one room at the same time. I'd probably be too nervous to play a good show, though.
Buzznet: What is the craziest thing you have ever done for love?
Damian: Get married.
Buzznet: If you could bite one actor (to turn them into a vampire) and have that actor then live forever who would it be?
Damian: Brigitte Bardot maybe? The world shouldn't have to go on without such incredible hotness. Or maybe Heath Ledger -- a lot of people would thank me for that and we could use another performance as good as the Joker. Or Julianne Moore. I don't think she's ever really let me down, and she's beautiful in a way I could look at forever.
Buzznet: What is your favorite movie soundtrack?
Damian: Pretty In Pink. Easily.
Buzznet: Have you ever discovered a new artist from a movie you enjoyed? If so, who?
Damian: Oh tons when I was a kid. Pretty much everybody on the aforementioned Pretty In Pink soundtrack was new to me: the Smiths, New Order, Suzanne Vega, Psychedelic Furs. Krush Groove, which I went to see because I was so obsessed with Run DMC, introduced me to Kurtis Blow. Axel F, which I think was the theme to Beverly Hills Cop, was my favorite song for like a year. I sat in my room with a Casio keyboard trying to figure out how to play it for days. But I can't say I ever learned anything else by Harold Faltemeyer, so maybe that doesn't count.
Buzznet: What is OK Go's fascination with blue light? What serves as the "blue ray of light" in your life?
Damian: We've named our record after an 1876 book about the incredible healing powers of blue light because blue light, of course, has no incredible healing powers. The author so desperately believed that for a short time he managed to convince the whole world. A lot of our album is about trying to have hope in hopeless situations, and I'm totally smitten by the idea of this guy who, in the face of solid evidence to the contrary, briefly convinced the world there was a cure for everything.
Buzznet: We heard this record is influenced by Prince and its super dancy. What track do you expect to start the dance party? What song/artist pumps up OK Go and gets them dancing (other then Prince)?
Damian: The danciest song on our new record is called 'White Knuckles.' I think it'll be out on a digital EP in November.
There are a lot of insta-dance jamz out there. I'm in a phase at the moment where I'm particularly susceptible to throwbacks, especially "Mr. Boombastic" by Shaggy, and "Oh Shiela" by Ready For the World. I need advance warning if those two songs are going to play back to back. Otherwise I could dance dangerously into the red. And you know what's kind of got me recently? That new Jamie Foxx song about alcohol. I'm not generally a big fan of the autotune R&B thing, but it's an undeniable hit. "Fill another cup up, feeling on your butt, what?"
Buzznet: What is the best compliment you have received this week?
Damian: You've picked a great week for compliments. Here are two:
"What fantastic socks you have." That was Ronnie Wood – the Ronnie Wood – backstage at a festival in Dublin. It's the first time I've ever had my fashion validated by a member of the Rolling Stones.
"Wow, you really are a nerd." That came from an engineer at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Los Angeles – the people who make the robots that go to mars and so forth. If one of those people confirms you're a nerd: blammo, you're in.