For people who havent heard your music, how would you describe yourselves?
Damian: Uh, rock n roll. Okay, youre driving on a highway
and theres...its really too hot, kind of gross, and the person
youre with is smoking too much and youre kind of disgusted
by it, and then you notice that in the car next to you theres someone
just flying along in a convertible and is just like having the best time
and their stereo is cranked; were on their stereo.
Whats your favorite 80s movie?
Damian: My favorite 80s movie...probably Pretty In Pink.
PZO: I like that one.
Damian: Yeah, its a really good one. And I love the soundtrack;
its so awesome.
Whats one of the most embarrassing things thats happened to
you while you were onstage performing?
Damian: Well, I cant think of anything embarrassing thats
happened to me onstage. This is sort of boring, but the most embarrassing
things are just total equipment failure. One time we had a keyboard, like
a sample, like a sampling keyboard completely lose all its memory and
the drive, which we needed to load the stuff in, had broken. And we literally,
as we went onstage, we learned that everything was broken and that it
was going to take us about 45 minutes to an hour to get everything together.
We were playing in this enormous college auditorium; it was a stadium
basically. It held 6,000 people and there were like 40 people there; it
was like this tiny show, and the poor suckers all had to wait for like
an hour while someone went and got us a new disk drive. Which is not like
that embarrassing, but its just kind of lame. Tim will probably
remember something. <to Tim> Hey Tim!
Damian: Can you think of anything embarrassing thats happened onstage?
Tim: Someone called me a fucking dork once.
Damian: Someone called you a fucking dork once?
Tim: Yeah, it was at a They Might Be Giants show.
Damian: Oh. Oh, but see, that was funny though.
Tim: I dont think its funny. But of course he thinks its
funny cause hes not getting called a fucking dork. Know what
Damian: Yeah, but it made for the best retort because I was like, I cant
believe a They Might Be Giants fan just called us dorks.
Tim: Yeah, right.
Damian: Of all people, you know? And the crowd loved that one; they went
nuts because theyre like self-proclaimed dorks.
Tim: We dont have embarrassing moments onstage.
Damian: <laughs> Yeah, we dont really have embarrassing
Which other bands from the Chicago area do you think other people should
Damian: The Lonesome Organist.
PZO: What kind of band is it?
Damian: Hes a solo artist who plays like, 4 instruments at once.
Sometimes more. Hes a fucking genius; hes unbelievable. Hes
way better at all of his instruments than any of us are at our own, you
know? Hes literally like, insane sort of genius and totally worth
it. His records are good, but its so much...he really has to be
seen live for you to understand how awesome it is.
If you had a choice, what time in history would you like to live in?
Damian: Im not terribly un-fond of our own, actually. Its
hard for me to think of what I would enjoy more. Um, it might be kind
of nice to live in like the Middle Ages, you know? Just like, in the deepest,
darkest, historical pit and absolutely nothing happened and you could
just sort of live in a hut somewhere and exist.
Do you have any pre-show rituals; anything you do each time before you
Damian: No, we do...Tim and I and Andy just do vocal warm-ups, which are
kind of funny cause we always do them in our van and theres
always people walking into the show when were parked right in front
of the venue, and so theres always people...thats probably
the most embarrassing part of the show, actually. Just having people watch
you go <starts making funny noises> in the van outside.
Damian: But theres nothing else, really.
I dont know if you guys have been doing that dance that I heard
Damian: Yeah, see, this is why were not embarrassed onstage cause
we purposefully embarrass ourselves. Like we do, we have that choreographed
boy band dance. We dont usually do that at rock shows though, we
usually do that for like special, other events. We did that on tour with
This American Life, which was nice. We got to do it on a Broadway stage.
We do a scene from Les Miserables sometimes; theres a rap that me
and Tim have done occasionally and stuff. And all of those things would
for most people be embarrassing, but the fact that were making fools
out of ourselves is sort of the whole point of it. Were not doing
the dance tonight, though. Theres not enough room here. And its
pretty...you kind of have to not be set up with instruments, you know?
It requires a whole different scene.
Do you have a favorite childhood memory?
Damian: I dont think I like, ranked them.
PZO: Well then one that you remember really well.
Damian: My very first, distinct childhood memory was my 4th birthday party
in which I got like totally rebellious, like viciously angry because some
other kid had opened my presents. And then, well he was like, Look
what I gave you, and then started to open it, and then I was like
you cant do that, Ive been waiting a year. And at that point
a year was a whole quarter of my life, it seemed pretty...you know, like,
I was really upset. And then starting from this, because I was on this
plane already then any kid who wanted to use, there were like 15 kids
from my pre-school that were at my birthday party and once you get the
presents open everyone wants to play them, and then I had decided because
I was so pissed off and jealous of this kid for opening my present that
I wouldnt let anyone play with any of my toys. Then my mom made
me let them play and I remember the scolding and I remember having to
watch all these kids play with my toys.
Damian: Its a sad first memory to have, I think. Thats not
a particularly fond one. I do remember vaguely from before that there
was a chair that I used to stand on and look out my window and thats
a very fond memory, actually. But its not to a specific time; its
just that I used to stand on it all the time. Most of my childhood memories
are pretty embarrassing; I was a pretty embarrassing child. When I was
like in 7th and 8th grade I really wanted to be a hip-hop dancer and I
wore those patent-leather shoes with steel-toe on the outside, know what
Im talking about?
Damian: And did like routines to Kid and Play and Third Bass and stuff.
It was...thats embarrassing to think about and I spent most of high
school with totally ridiculous hairstyles. I had bleached-blond dreads
with copper winding in them and stuff and thought I was like totally crazy
and I look back on this stuff and its sort of just cringe-worthy.
But yeah, theres my childhood for ya.
Have you chosen a name for the album?
Damian: Its just gonna be called OK Go. <to mosquitoes>
Stop biting me! Its not fun for me. God, Im getting shredded
PZO: Yeah, theyre biting me too.
Are you planning on doing when the album comes out?
Damian: Yeah, were gonna tour. Tour like the dickens.
PZO: But nothing special on the day of...?
Damian: I think were playing in New York that day, so well
probably play like a midnight show the night before or something like
that just for the fun of it. <sits on top of the table> Uh,
and, sorry that Im sitting up here, but I think that they like the
floor better. I think were just having a record-release party in
Chicago a couple of days later, so it should be fun.
Whats your favorite line from one of your songs?
Damian: "Mediocre people do exceptional things all the time."
If you could be any video game character, which would you be and why?
Damian: Id be one of the dudes in Joust, you know, who gets to ride
around on the birds. Just because I love Joust in general, and because
flying would be fun in general, but being able to harness a bird and fly
on it I think would be even more fun.
Whats your song "Shortly Before The End" about?
Damian: Its about the end of the world.
Youre kind of close to the end of the tour; what have you enjoyed
the most about it so far?
Damian: Well we have a keyboardist with us right now, and thats
really fun. Normally Andy, our guitarist, has to play all the keyboard
lines as well and it can be a real pain in the butt cause he has
to do so many things all at once. But thats kind of a lame favorite
thing. Whats my favorite thing about the tour...um, well we got
to go...in Birmingham, AL we got to go to a late-night karaoke place where
Tim and I did a really drunken version of a Toto song. That was a lot,
a lot of fun. I think thats probably the most fun moment on the
tour so far.
If you bought a personalized license plate, what would be on it?
Damian: It depends what car it was going on. See, I have a shitty little
Geo Prism. Ive never named it, like people always name their cars,
because its just way too bland to even have a name. Tim and I have
this rap group called Diamondz and we want to have tricked-out wheelchairs
and if I had a tricked-out wheelchair maybe it would have my hip-hop name,
which is Sir Airbag, on it. But usually you dont put a license plate
on a wheelchair, so I dont know.
Which 4 musicians would form the perfect band when put together?
Damian: I dont know. See I dont usually think...you wouldnt
want the best of everything all at once. I mean, I have favorite singers
and I have favorite guitarists and all that kind of stuff, but I think
if they were put together they would be too...it would be a little difficult.
Its hard to find a better band than Queen, for instance. I mean,
I suppose you could have John Bonham play drums for Queen and that might
make it a little bit better. Or you could like...it would be pretty fun
to see a collaboration between the Pixies and Prince maybe. But see, there
you go again, none of them were particularly good at what they did, they
were just an awesome, awesome band. I dont think getting virtuosic
musicians together actually makes a very good band. You wind up with things
like Steely Dan or something like that. Not that Steely Dan doesnt
have some awesome songs, but...
What do you think is the best thing about your performance?
Damian: We just have a lot of fun.