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Interview: Tim Nordwind (of OK Go)

on January 12, 2010, 3:15pm

It’s been five years since OK Go‘s homemade music video for “A Million Ways” ushered in the age of YouTube, and five years since their last album, Oh No, brought them mainstream success. That’s a lifetime. Thinking of a time before YouTube seems like recollecting the age of dial-up and free AOL trials in the mail — it’s been that long. OK Go, however, have not gone the way of 56k. They’ve been constantly in the public eye, touring like mad men, making new videos — all in all keeping quite busy. Last winter, they finally found the time to record record their third album, Of the Blue Colour of the Sky, which hits streets this week.

CoS reporter Cap Blackard spoke to OK Go bassist and backing vocalist Tim Nordwind during the band’s stay in South Florida last month. They were performing with custom laser guitars as part of an installation at Art Basel/Design Miami. (Yeah, more on that below). During this epic-length interview, Nordwind talks about the long road between Oh No and Of the Blue Colour of the Sky, as well as the origin of the album’s unusual name, videos new and old, childhood musical influences, the New Moon soundtrack, and what he geeks out on the most.

Listen to the whole thing below.

When Of the Blue Colour of the Sky comes out, it’ll have been almost five years since your last full album. What was it like to work on a record again after all that time?

[audio:https://consequenceofsound.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/tim-nordwind-okgo-1.mp3%5D

Can you describe the recording process for this album? There was a YouTube video of you guys recording in the middle of a blizzard.

[audio:https://consequenceofsound.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/tim-nordwind-okgo-2.mp3%5D

Would you say that this was an extremely different recording experience from your previous albums?

[audio:https://consequenceofsound.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/tim-nordwind-okgo-3.mp3%5D

What did producer Dave Fridmann bring to the recording?

[audio:https://consequenceofsound.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/tim-nordwind-okgo-4.mp3%5D

Would you say that this is a more diverse selection of songs?

[audio:https://consequenceofsound.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/tim-nordwind-okgo-5.mp3%5D

Damien [Kulash] mentioned that the new album was inspired mostly by music that he listened to when he was 12; Prince is referenced a lot. I was wondering what music did you listen to when you were twelve and are there similar musical influences at work?

[audio:https://consequenceofsound.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/tim-nordwind-okgo-6.mp3%5D

Do you have a favorite track on the new album?

[audio:https://consequenceofsound.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/tim-nordwind-okgo-7.mp3%5D

What song on the album would you say is the most different from any previous OK Go work?

[audio:https://consequenceofsound.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/tim-nordwind-okgo-8.mp3%5D

Word is you guys came into the studio with around one hundred songs. How many songs narrowly missed being on the album and are there any you’re going to miss?

[audio:https://consequenceofsound.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/tim-nordwind-okgo-9.mp3%5D

Was there any sort of emotional strain with the band not being able to create, just touring, touring, and touring for almost three years straight?

[audio:https://consequenceofsound.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/tim-nordwind-okgo-10.mp3%5D

The album’s title is inspired by a pseudo-scientific text from 1876 called, The Influence of the Blue Ray of the Sunlight and of the Blue Colour of the Sky. How’d you guys end up picking that to base your title off of?

[audio:https://consequenceofsound.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/tim-nordwind-okgo-11.mp3%5D

You’ve got a track called, “Shooting the Moon” on the soundtrack to the latest Twilight film -– did you record it exclusively for the soundtrack?

[audio:https://consequenceofsound.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/tim-nordwind-okgo-12.mp3%5D

ok go Interview: Tim Nordwind (of OK Go)

The video for “Get Over It” from your first album was directed by Francis Lawrence, who’s a huge director. What was it like to work with a big name director right off the bat?

[audio:https://consequenceofsound.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/tim-nordwind-okgo-13.mp3%5D

When you guys released your DIY dance video for “A Million Ways” you got a massive spike in notoriety – what was that like?

[audio:https://consequenceofsound.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/tim-nordwind-okgo-14.mp3%5D

In all the band’s dance videos you, rather than Damian, are the one lip-synching the lyrics. What’s the story behind that?

[audio:https://consequenceofsound.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/tim-nordwind-okgo-15.mp3%5D

Do you have the next single lined up and a music video planned for it?

[audio:https://consequenceofsound.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/tim-nordwind-okgo-16.mp3%5D

You and Damian are by-and-large the public presence of the band, and Dan and Andy often take the back seat – are they shy?

[audio:https://consequenceofsound.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/tim-nordwind-okgo-17.mp3%5D

You seem like a pretty geeky guy, Tim. What do you most geek out on?

[audio:https://consequenceofsound.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/tim-nordwind-okgo-18.mp3%5D

Of the Blue Color of the Sky comes out January 12th, what’s the band doing in the calm before the storm?

[audio:https://consequenceofsound.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/tim-nordwind-okgo-19.mp3%5D
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