OK Go’s Damian Kulash On Working With Chevy And Creative Freedom

Damien Kulash from Ok Go

From Forbes Magazine:

It took about four months for indie pop act OK Go to put together a video for “Needing/Getting,” and it’s taken less than a week for it to surpass 10 million views on YouTube. The band became an international sensation back in 2006 when their home-made video for a song called “Here It Goes Again” struck viral gold, and the scene of the foursome engaging in a choreographed dance alongside and on top of four treadmills will forever be embedded into YouTube history. Since then OK Go have released more entertaining clips, with each new video setting the bar for absurd concepts even higher.

“Needing/Getting” continues the tradition, with frontman Damian Kulash taking the wheel of a Chevy Sonic and driving his band-mates through a track lined with all sorts of instruments and objects designed to make a certain sound when struck by a variety of mechanical arms attached to the car. The complicated set-up makes for a fascinating viewing (or several viewings), and it also took a lot of time and muscle to put together. OK Go frontman Damian Kulash says it took about a month to six weeks to figure out what objects made the right sounds, and about a month to construct the route in the desert of Acton, Calif. Kulash also took three days of stunt driving lessons, and the actual shoot lasted about four days.

Though the whole project took several months to come together, the guys in OK Go had been toying with the idea for a lot longer than that. ”We’d been wanting to make this car video for a long time but you gotta have a car and a bunch of money,” Kulash says. That’s where Chevy came in: Kulash has a close friend at Chevy’s ad agency–Brian L. Perkins, who played drums in one of Kulash’s bands back in college and directed many of OK Go’s earlier videos as well as the new one for “Needing/Getting”–and when OK Go learned that Chevy was looking for some ad ideas they jumped at the opportunity, presenting a handful of concepts they had involving their music and cars. Though Chevy had to draw the line on some things–no major modifications to the car, for example–beyond that they gave OK Go complete creative control. “We were pretty shocked actually that Chevy had the balls to go for it,” Kulash says.

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