OK Go is a typical American alternative rock band. The band hasn’t created genre-busting tunes or revolutionized the way people think of music, but it has, in a way, redefined the gold standard for music videos.
Hailing from Chicago, Ill., OK Go isn’t known primarily for the music they create. Just as The Beatles are known for being innovators, The Rolling Stones for their longevity and The Dave Matthews band for great, impromptu live performances, OK Go is more well known for their music videos.
The band, comprised of Damian Kulash (lead vocals, guitar), Tim Norwind (bass, vocals), Dan Konopka (drums) and Andy Ross (guitar, keyboard), formed in 1998, though with a slightly different lineup. One of the original members parted ways with the band in 2005, just before OK Go achieved worldwide notoriety for “Here It Goes Again,” the band’s first breakout song from its second album, Oh No.
Here It Goes Again
The video for “Here It Goes Again” features the four band members performing a dance routine on six treadmills. It may be a simple video, but it’s entertaining and it’s a concept that had never been done before in a music video. It took the group 17 attempts to finally master the routine in one shot.
Almost instantly the video went viral, becoming a YouTube Sensation and a public relations win, garnering more than 52 million views on the original posting of the video and more than 10 million on subsequent releases. As a result of its popularity, the video won the 2007 Grammy award for Best Short Form Music Video, the 2006 YouTube award for Most Creative Music Video and prompted MTV to ask OK Go to perform the video live at the 2006 MTV Music Awards show. Earlier this year, Time Magazine named the video one of the 30 greatest music videos of all time.
It’s hard to imagine that OK Go could have anticipated the success of the “Here It Goes Again” music video, but the band latched onto the combination of ingenuity and creativity displayed in that video and repeated it in future video endeavors. It was a cheaply made video, but the idea resulted in more notoriety than the band likely would have ever achieved without it. However, that wouldn’t be the last time one of OK Go’s music videos went viral.
This Too Shall Pass
“This Too Shall Pass” is a song from OK Go’s third and most recent album, Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky.” Like “Here It Goes Again,” the video for the song went viral with more than 30 million views on YouTube. The video features the same formula the band was able to bottle with “Here It Goes Again,” but this time a Rube Goldberg Machine was created, using more than 700 household items inside a two-story building to make a jigsaw like sequence of events culminating in the latter of the two videos above.
What It Means
OK Go proved that a band doesn’t need a large following or a huge budget to become successful. A little bit of creative thinking and the strategic use of social media can be enough to accomplish what you set out to do, if you’re lucky.