By now, if you’ve got a computer (and how would you be reading this if you didn’t?), you’ve probably seen OK Go’s video for “A Million Ways.” It’s the ultra-low-budget clip shot in lead singer Damian Kulash’s backyard that features the band strutting and posing its way through a slickly choreographed routine that’s a little bit “Thriller,” a little bit community theater and totally awesome.
The video has become one of the most widely distributed clips on the Net, having been viewed more than 3 million times, and it’s even made the leap onto mtvU, where it regularly tops the channel’s weekly video countdowns. Not too shabby for a clip that originally was nothing more than an in-band joke (see “OK Go Bust ‘A Million’ Moves In Web Phenomenon” ).
“It’s pretty amazing. I think it might be the best thing we’ve ever done,” Kulash laughed. “The greatest dance video of all time is ‘Smooth Criminal,’ obviously. So we’re number two. I think that Fatboy Slim video with Christopher Walken dancing ['Weapon of Choice'] is pretty great. That Björk dance video ['It's Oh So Quiet'] is spectacular. Then I’ll say [Janet Jackson's] ‘Rhythm Nation.’ Then ‘Flashdance,’ which is not technically a video but is near and dear to us, too.”
“And all of those videos were big influences on us,” bassist Tim Nordwind added. “There’s a lot of ‘Rhythm Nation’ in it. There’s a little ‘West Side Story,’ there’s ‘The Matrix.’ There’s a Greek wedding scene, which many people are calling a conga-line scene, but it’s definitely a Greek wedding scene. There’s an homage to ‘Charlie’s Angels’ in there. There’s just so much.”
But now, the question arises: Just how do OK Go plan on following up the success of “A Million Ways”? Well, they’re not. At least not for the time being.
“We’re hoping ['A Million Ways'] leaps further off the Internet and onto TV screens, so we’re going to give it a few extra months to let it breathe,” Kulash said. “But in January or February, we hope to have a second video out, directed by Olivier Gondry [Hot Hot Heat, the Vines], for a song called ‘Do What You Want.’ And it’s about as far-removed from ‘A Million Ways’ as you can get. I think we shot it on about 40 cameras, not just one. And the budget is way more than 25 bucks.”
If “Do What You Want” fails to click with fans, OK Go have another plan up their sleeves: They’ll return to Kulash’s backyard and try to replicate the success of “A Million Ways.” In fact they’ve already done just that.
“There is no real feeling of ‘How do we follow this up?’ ” Kulash said. “But I will tell you that we’ve already made a second homemade video. So actually we have followed it up, but we’re not going to release it for a while. I can only tell you that it’s similar to ‘A Million Ways’ because it’s a single-camera shot. And it will blow your brain straight out of your head.”