This week OK Go hit the road in support of their new album, Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky, which was produced by David Fridmann of Flaming Lips and MGMT fame, and found the band discovering new terrain that was more “experimental and dreamlike,” according to frontman Damian Kulash.
“He has access to another place that other producers don’t,” Kulash tells RadarOnline.com, explaining that he struggles with writing music he likes, though the band wrote a whopping 106 songs total for this album. “I’m such an incredibly vicious self-critic. You just want something you feel proud of and you actually like yourself.”
The guys veered away from guitar-driven structured rock songs for a more layered and dancey vibe, and appropriately a big influence on the album was Prince’s Purple Rain, which happens to be the second album Kulash ever bought (Cyndi Lauper’s She’s So Unusual was the first, if you’re curious), and an album he says he’s listened to for most of his life.
“It’s timeless for me,” he says, adding that it wasn’t a conscious influence, but rather something they all noticed while laying down the tracks in the studio.
“We picked out the songs we liked the best and you could hear this thing going thought it, and it was like ‘Holy shit, I guess there’s a lot of Prince in our vocabulary!’”
Kulash has also gone for mostly falsetto vocals on this album, which he says he would’ve been reluctant about doing on earlier records due to a lack of confidence. “I felt very self-conscious about it,” he admits. “Coming from a tradition of white boy rock singers it felt too pastiche-y to allow myself to sing that way.”
The unique album title comes from the 1876 book The Influence of the Blue Ray of the Sunlight and of the Blue Colour of the Sky, in which A.J. Pleasonton lauded the supernatural healing powers of blue light, believing that sunlight filtered through blue glass cures all ills.
“It’s absurd, it’s poetic, and it’s amazing,” says Kulash, “to see a real life story of somebody who so desperately wanted to find tangible optimism that he not only convinced himself, but he convinced the world.”
Kulash says the band saw writing this album in a similar, if less grandiose, way. “We were trying to figure out ways to believe and have hope,” he says, explaining that they wrote the album at a time when both the world and their own personal lives were in turmoil. “But we were trying to write all these upbeat dance songs and statements of hope. I guess I felt like this guy was one of us.”
But don’t worry, the guys haven’t lost their ability to have fun. Already winning rave reviews for their Rube Goldberg-inspired video for This Too Shall Pass, they hope to complete 13 videos for this album, one for every track.
“Six are in production now, so we might not do 13 but we’ll get pretty damn close,” says Kulash. “We have so much fun making them.”
OK Go on tour:
|Fri 04/16/10||Milwaukee, WI|
Turner Hall Ballroom
|Sat 04/17/10||Chicago, IL|
Metro / Smart Bar
|Sun 04/18/10||St. Louis, MO|
Old Rock House
|Tue 04/20/10||Columbia, MO|
The Blue Note
|Wed 04/21/10||Indianapolis, IN|
Earth House Collective
|Thu 04/22/10||Detroit, MI|
|Fri 04/23/10||Toronto, ON|
The Mod Club Theatre
|Sun 04/25/10||Ithaca, NY|
|Tue 04/27/10||Northampton, MA|
|Wed 04/28/10||New Haven, CT|
|Thu 04/29/10||Brooklyn, NY|
Music Hall Of Williamsburg
|Fri 04/30/10||Brooklyn, NY|
Music Hall Of Williamsburg
|Sun 05/02/10||East Rutherford, NJ|
Meadowlands Sports Complex
Appearing at "The Bamboozle New Jersey"
|Mon 05/03/10||Philadelphia, PA|
Theatre Of The Living Arts
|Wed 05/05/10||Washington, DC|
|Fri 05/07/10||Boston, MA|
House Of Blues Boston Presented By Foxwoods Resort Casino
|Sat 05/08/10||Albany, NY|
|Sun 05/09/10||Baltimore, MD|
Rams Head Live!
|Tue 05/11/10||Raleigh, NC|
|Wed 05/12/10||Charlotte, NC|
|Thu 05/13/10||Atlanta, GA|
The Loft At Center Stage
|Fri 05/14/10||Tampa, FL|
|Sat 05/15/10||Orlando, FL|
|Sun 05/16/10||Gulf Shores, AL|
Appearing at "The Hangout Beach, Music And Arts Festival"
|Tue 05/18/10||Dallas, TX|
|Wed 05/19/10||Austin, TX|
|Fri 05/21/10||Los Angeles, CA|
|Sat 05/22/10||San Diego, CA|
House Of Blues
|Wed 05/26/10||San Francisco, CA|
|Fri 05/28/10||Portland, OR|
|Sat 05/29/10||Quincy, WA|
Appearing at "Sasquatch! Music Festival"
|Thu 06/10/10||Manchester, TN|
Bonnaroo Music Festival