Band Bonding: A Review of OK Go’s album Of the Blue Colour of the Sky and An Interview with Dan Konopka of OK Go

OK Go is one of the most unique bands around.  Typically, I tend to compare a band’s sound to that of another, but with them I can’t. I found that no comparison does the description of their sound justice.  OK Go formed in 1998 though the lead singer Damian Kulash and bassist Tim Nordwind, who met when they were 11 years old. Dan Konopka and Andy Ross joined up later on. The band first found major success through the help of their legendary treadmill video for “Here It Goes Again” when it blew up on Youtube.  It currently has 50,988,412 views.

The band’s latest record, Of the Blue Colour of the Sky, shows a wonderful evolution of the band’s sound and creativity.  Their style’s variation from song to song is magnificent, always with new rhythmic and beautiful surprises around every corner.  Their attention to detail as well as the use of technology makes this album shine above many others and is, in my opinion, their best work yet.

My favorite song from this record would have to be the third track, “All Is Not Lost”.  It’s a great song about not letting the bad things in life get you down and that there is always something better around the bend; just keep your head up.  The most memorable lyric for me is “But just remember: when the tide rolls in, it can’t be too long until it rolls back out.”

If you’re looking to spice up your life with a varied sound that still rocks, then you’d do well to pick up Of the Blue Colour of the Sky. It’s an album packed with songs that will get stuck in your head, and you’re sure to be humming them all day long.

I was lucky enough to conduct an email interview with Dan Konopka of OK Go thanks to the help of Bobbie Gale, their publicist. Dan is the drummer and provided some great insight to the band as well as himself.

Crash Chords:  What is the first album you ever bought?

Dan Konopka: Van Halen’s 1984. It’s still one of my favorites. I can’t say it was a huge influence on our band, but I can definitely say it inspired me to pursue drumming.

Crash Chords:  What is your favorite movie of all time?

Dan Konopka: That’s a hard one to answer. Off the top of my head I’d say it’s either Goodfellas or Casino – I love Scorsese’s films. But when I really think about it, I’d say Caddy Shack.

Crash Chords:  What do you think is the most defining factor of the band’s success?

Dan Konopka: I think it is the utilization of the internet. We’ve managed to forge our own metric of success through connecting with people online. We can really connect with so many more people online then without.

Crash Chords:  Do you believe that the future of the music industry resides within internet culture?

Dan Konopka: Yes, we’re already at a place where more music is consumed and shared online – I believe it’s going to stay that way.

Crash Chords:  Do you like bananas?

Dan Konopka: I love bananas. I like banana bread, banana pudding, banana liquor, whatever you got bananas.

Crash Chords:  Which musician or band had the greatest influence on the music you play?

Dan Konopka: Probably the single most influential band would be the Pixies. We also take lots of cues from the Beatles, Prince, Led Zeppelin and the Cars.

Crash Chords:  Was being in a band always your first choice of career and if not, what was?

Dan Konopka: I’ve always wanted to be a professional musician. In college I majored in music and minored in sound engineering.

Crash Chords:  When creating new music, where do you draw inspiration from?

Dan Konopka: Definitely from the bands mentioned earlier, but also from the musicians/producers we work with. Dave Fridmann, the producer of our last record was a huge inspiration to us. He has such an amazing catalogue of music he’s worked on, and is a classically trained musician. Being around great people is always an inspiration.

The last two questions were inquiries from a fellow blogger.

Crash Chords:  Mary asks: Where do you get the inspiration for your music videos from?

Dan Konopka: We come up with them ourselves, and our close friends will pitch in and share their great ideas with us as well. We don’t usually draw randomly from the public or anything like that.

Crash Chords: Mary asks: Do you think that it matters whether you are professionally trained or self started (self taught) when it comes to a love of music or is it inconsequential?

Dan Konopka: I don’t think you need to be trained to be great at music. So many of the world’s best musicians weren’t trained. So many just played by ear – expressing what they were feeling the best they could. The amount of practicing someone does isn’t what people notice when listening to music.

To find out more about OK Go check them out here.

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