OK Go Goes Out on Its Own

BY Jeffrey Brown  May 7, 2010 at 2:23 PM EDT

Chances are you’ve seen one of OK Go’s music videos. The quirky productions, shot on the cheap, have been viewed tens of millions of times on YouTube and launched the band into popularity. Whether dancing in one of their backyards or on treadmills in elaborate choreography, OK Go’s charm and songs proved infectious to many pop fans.

Formed in 1998, OK Go released a self-titled album in 2002, and a second, “Oh No,” in 2005, both on Capitol/EMI. A third album, “Of the Blue Colour of the Sky,” came in January. But the foursome decided in March to produce music independently and left their major record label, which began to restrict embedding of the band’s videos soon after their initial success.

Now on its own independent label, Paracadute, OK Go rereleased “Of the Blue Colour of the Sky” with two new music videos — their most elaborate to date — featuring a choreographed routine with the University of Notre Dame’s marching band and a warehouse-sized Rube Goldberg machine.

In recent years the band’s lead singer Damian Kulash has become a strong advocate for digital distribution of music and evolving economic models in the music industry. He wrote an op-ed in the New York Times explaining OK Go’s issues with EMI and has testified before Congress about net neutrality, the principle that the internet should be unrestricted by service providers or governments, with users able to access any web content they want and post their own content.

Kulash stopped by our newsroom earlier this week to talk about the band and the future of the music industry:

See OK Go’s music videos after the jump.