Interview: OK Go on the Rebirth of the Music Video Page 2


You once explained to me that the videos are perceived very differently within the band than they often are externally. A lot of bands use videos as promotional vehicles to sell CDs or publicize tours, but you really see them as another creative outlet.
I think the world has come to see creativity in a series of fairly well-defined categories and pre-ordained boxes based more on a distribution system for the things that people make than on the actual way that people make them. For example, pop songs are between 3 and 3.5 minutes, albums are generally between 38 and 52 minutes, and so on. These are rules for things that are created, and the primary product musicians are supposed to be making is a recording, which can be distributed by a record label and profited from in very specific ways. With the dissolution of that distribution system, people are trying really hard to figure out ways to revalue those same productive endpoints. I guess what's exciting for us is that with the dissolution of the system, you also have the dissolution of those particular compartments into which we have to fit our creative ideas.

Formerly, videos were pretty strictly a commercial for the CD or tape or record that was being sold by a major label - and therefore, being funded by that major label, and generally watched over by that major label if not actively being made by that major label. That doesn't have any reason to exist anymore. So from the creative side of it, [videos] don't need to serve the same purposes - and, in fact, you can pretty much do what you want with it. For us, what's exciting - and it sound incredibly pretentious - is being able to chase our creative ideas wherever they go. There's a fairly standard and traditional part of us that likes writing songs, and that's where most of this begins for us.

But all the other parts that are involved, which are frequently seen as the crass marketing side of the creative process - those things are also fun, creative endeavors. We view the album artwork, the videos, and the [live] shows or anything involved with it as opportunities to chase different creative ideas. It's just really fun for us.