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OK Go gets lean and mean

Photo courtesy of CAPITOL RECORDS
OK Go - Featuring members of Please Get Out and I'd Like You To Proceed Towards The Egress, OK Go is all set to perform at Club Congress March 1. Apparently, Ira Glass (of the radio show "This American Life") is quite a fan of these guys, so liking OK Go might make you smarter, or just more like your parents. Either way, you will get rocked.
By Lauren Hilery
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, February 24, 2005
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OK Go would be your average rock band, except for the fact that they have been known to do imitation boy-band dances.

Do not be alarmed if one of them gets down on both knees, bearing his freshly waxed chest while spontaneous rain pours down, because the rest of their thumping pop-rock set will blow you away when they stop into Club Congress on Tuesday. Damien Kulash, guitarist and lead vocalist, spared a few minutes during sound check to talk to us.

Wildcat: When did you know that music is what you wanted to do with your life?

Kulash: I think I had an inkling when I was 15, and then I was sure when I was 18.

Wildcat: What is your writing process like?

Kulash: We all write a lot of demos sort of internally; everyone does a lot of doodling at home and then we share those things with one another and often we'll collaborate in pairs or so on that level. And then sort of introduce more fully formed songs to the band and then as a band we will practice and re-write. So it's sort of like three stages, as one, as two, as four.

Wildcat: Where do you get your inspiration?

Kulash: The most direct path is through other music. A lot of times through things people say, particularly evocative terms of phrase, occasionally through books or movies or disasters or theme parks or mini golf courses.

Wildcat: I hear that you guys used to be quite the choreographers.

Kulash: I assume what you're referring to is that we have a choreographed boy band dance. I've decided that we should stop calling it a boy band dance, because if it's a boy band dance then it seems like it should be sort of ironic. There aren't any similarities between us and a boy band, so instead of us mocking somebody I think it should be more of an homage to the ridiculous art of lip-synching. We choreographed this thing for a TV show that we were on many years ago, and it seems to have reared its ludicrous head again.

Wildcat: What's your favorite part of touring?

Kulash: Shows don't have much maneuverability; it's not like a sports car where you can just dart about if you get the sort of momentum going right. It feels like you're going a million miles an hour and it's a very invigorating and powerful feeling. You can steer, but you have to steer carefully and artfully, because you don't have that much control; it's a big lumbering thing. I think it is that feeling. I don't really know what I just said, but whatever it was I think that's what it's like.

Wildcat: Did you try to do anything specifically different for this album?

Kulash: Yes. There were a few things we wanted to do. One, we wanted to make it sound like our band, which I guess seems like circular logic. Our first record we really wanted to make something really synthetic and sort of overproduced and surreally perfect. This time we wanted it to actually sound like our band, instead of some overproduced slicked-up version of our band. I think we were looking more for energy and excitement and less for sort of a majestic pop thing. This is like a leaner, meaner record.

Wildcat: What is "Get Over It" (the hit single from OK Go's first album) about?

Kulash: It's about people who take themselves too seriously. There are some specific people in mind, but I have chosen not to name them. I believe in the school of writing that you should be specific enough to call forth real images and elusive enough to let people fill in their own specifics.

Wildcat: Who's your favorite new band that's just come out?

Kulash: There's a band in Sweden where we recorded our album called Quit Your Day Job and I believe what they call their music is "iron fist." What the Hives are to garage rock, so are they to Devo. It's sort of electronic groovy dance music played really rough and energetic. It's really raw and exciting. Their lyrics are rarely more than like six syllables long.

OK Go will play at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Tuesday, with Still Nameless. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door and can be purchased online with PayPal. It is an all-ages show that starts at 9:30 p.m.

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