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Tim Nordwind of OK Go

March 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Interviews

Since their first viral video success, a simple dance in the backyard, OK Go has become pioneers in the art of both video-making and viral marketing. The video for their latest single, “This Too Shall Pass,” is their most ambitious yet; it took months to develop and involved a team of creative engineers with day jobs at NASA and Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The two-story Rube Goldberg machine is a wonder of science and art, and received 1 million hits a day in its first week on YouTube.

But the video itself is only half the story. Just after the release of the band’s new album in January, “Of the Colour of the Blue Sky,” a furor erupted because fans could not embed earlier OK Go videos due to contractual issues. When lead singer Damian Kulash posted a candid explanation of the situation to fans, his letter itself went viral, netting over 500,000 hits in two days. The band was able to secure corporate sponsorship by State Farm of the Rube Goldberg machine to allow fans to embed it and post it anywhere on the internet.

Just a few days ago, the band announced it is leaving its label and has launched its own. Starting April 1, OK Go will be in charge of its own distribution and promotion. And they take off with a vengeance, making a flurry of appearances on late night TV before setting off on a North American tour and hitting music festivals like Bamboozle along the way.

In the midst of all this, bassist Tim Nordwind took some time to talk with TWRY about videos, record labels, and OK Go’s apparent penchant for nerdy high school pastimes.

Interviewed by Laura DiBetta

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