Damian Kulash

Last updated
Damian Kulash
Damian Kulash.jpg
Damian Kulash performing in 2011
Background information
Birth nameDamian Joseph Kulash, Jr.
Born (1975-10-07) October 7, 1975 (age 44)
Origin Washington, D.C., U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Musician
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • music video director
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • keyboards
  • programming
Years active1998–present
Labels Paracadute
Associated acts

Damian Joseph Kulash Jr. (born October 7, 1975) is an American musician, singer, songwriter and music video director, best known for being the lead singer and guitarist of the American rock band OK Go.

Contents

Early life and education

Kulash was born in Washington D.C. on October 7, 1975. Kulash graduated from St. Albans School in 1994. He trained as a youth at the Interlochen Arts Camp. [1] [2] The family name was originally "Kulas" when Kulash's great-grandparents lived in Poland. In a podcast, Kulash states that one of his grandfathers invented the modern day fish stick, and the other found a species of beetle. [3] [4]

While in college at Brown, Kulash played in at least three bands – A La Playa, Calixto Chinchile, and Square. He released three CDs in his senior year: an album of experimental Elvis covers (for his senior project), an eponymously titled five-song EP from his electronic pop band Square, and Appendices, a collection of more than a dozen miscellaneous recordings from his time in college, including solo songs, collaborations with friends, class projects, studio experiments, and recordings from previous bands. Included on the Appendices record are the original recordings of "Bye Bye Baby", which was later re-recorded for OK Go's debut record, and four songs from a never-finished EP for his punk band A La Playa.

In May 1998, Kulash won Brown University's Weston Prize in music composition. [5] Kulash graduated from Brown University in 1998, with a concentration in Art-Semiotics. [6]

Musical career

As a result of courses he took in electronic music, Kulash became interested in more highly produced, carefully crafted music. After graduation from Brown, Kulash moved to Chicago, and in 1998 formed OK Go. After playing in Chicago and appearances on NPR's This American Life , OK Go signed to Capitol Records. They have released four albums: OK Go , Oh No , Of the Blue Colour of the Sky , and Hungry Ghosts . Prior to this, in 1996, he was in a band named Calixto Chinchile in which he played an early version of the OK Go song, ″Hello My Treacherous Friends.″ [7]

He was greatly influenced by many bands from the Washington D.C. area, such as Fugazi, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, and Lungfish.[ citation needed ] He is also a fan of post-hardcore and indie rock. He was also one half of the Washington, D.C. based independent record label Level Records (1994–1996). Level Records released various 7"s, compilations, and CDs for bands such as Branch Manager and Frodus.

On March 9, 2010, Kulash announced OK Go's departure from EMI via their YouTube channel. Their new label is called Paracadute. [8]

In August 2006, Kulash appeared on an episode of The Colbert Report to discuss the band putting their music videos on YouTube instead of going through the normal corporate video-making process. [9] OK Go made another appearance in April 2010, and performed "This Too Shall Pass."

Personal life

In early 2008, Kulash wrote a passage in Ben Karlin's book Things I've Learnt from Women Who've Dumped Me. Kulash describes one of his previous, unsuccessful relationships, involving a dog which he shared with his partner.

On February 19, 2010, The New York Times printed his op-ed piece entitled "WhoseTube?", which discussed the relationship between musicians, record labels, and the Internet. [10] Kulash had previously written two other op-eds in the New York Times: one in 2008 about Net Neutrality [11] and another in 2005 about the Sony BMG CD copy protection scandal. [12] He has also testified in Congress in favor of Net Neutrality. [13]

Kulash was previously married to artist Shana Lutker and designer Ambra Medda. [14] He is married to Kristin Gore; they attended high school together. [2]

In March 2014, Kulash was part of a viral video, titled "First Kiss". [15]

Related Research Articles

OK Go American alternative rock band

OK Go is an American rock band originally from Chicago, Illinois, now based in Los Angeles, California. The band is composed of Damian Kulash, Tim Nordwind, Dan Konopka and Andy Ross, who joined them in 2005, replacing Andy Duncan. The band is known for its often quirky and elaborate one-take music videos.

<i>OK Go</i> (album) 2002 studio album by OK Go

OK Go is the debut studio album by American rock band OK Go. It was released in September 2002. The cover was created by designer Stefan Sagmeister.

<i>Oh No</i> (OK Go album) 2005 studio album by OK Go

Oh No is the second studio album by American rock band OK Go. It was released 30 August 2005. The album was recorded in late 2004 with producer Tore Johansson in Malmö, Sweden and mixed by Dave Sardy in Los Angeles. It is the final album to feature guitarist Andy Duncan, who left shortly after recording finished.

Here It Goes Again 2006 single by OK Go

"Here It Goes Again" is a song by OK Go and is the third released single from the album Oh No. It was the band's only single to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 until "I Won't Let You Down" entered the Hot 100 in November 2014. Featuring the band dancing on treadmills, the video became a staple on YouTube; it was one of their most watched videos, with over 52 million views, until it was removed from their channel. In addition, the single peaked at number 36 on the UK Singles Chart on October 1, 2006, hence marking their second UK Top 40 single and their third UK Top 75 single.

A Million Ways 2006 single by OK Go

"A Million Ways" is a song by American rock band OK Go from their album Oh No. It was the first song from the album to be released as a single and became the band's breakthrough song because the accompanying music video went viral on the Internet.

Patricia Mary Sie is an American film and music video director, best known for directing the films Step Up: All In (2014) and Pitch Perfect 3 (2017), as well as music videos, particularly for the alternative rock band OK Go. She has worked in film, television, commercials, music videos, stage, children's entertainment and ballroom DanceSport.

Invincible (OK Go song) fourth single by the Chicago based rock band OK Go

"Invincible" is a single by OK Go from their Do What You Want EP and their 2005 album Oh No. It was released as a single in 2006 for US radio stations only. It was featured in the films The Fog and She's the Man and in the TV series One Tree Hill and CSI: NY.

<i>Of the Blue Colour of the Sky</i> 2010 studio album by OK Go

Of the Blue Colour of the Sky is the third studio album by American rock band OK Go. It was released on January 12, 2010 on Capitol Records in the USA and EMI in the UK, and re-released on the band's independent label Paracadute Records on April 1. The album was produced by Dave Fridmann and was recorded in a span of seven months at Fridmann's Tarbox Road Studios in Cassadaga, New York. The compilation's name, lyrics, and concept are based on The Influence of the Blue Ray of the Sunlight and of the Blue Colour of the Sky, a pseudoscientific book published in 1876. Its style was noted as a significant departure from the power pop of their earlier albums. After the band's split with EMI and Capitol, Paracadute took over the promotional campaign and all distribution responsibilities. The compilation received generally positive reviews from music critics upon release and debuted at number 40 on Billboard 200 chart.

WTF? (song) 2009 single by band OK Go

"WTF?" is an alternative rock song by OK Go from their third studio album Of the Blue Colour of the Sky (2010). It was written by Damian Kulash, produced by Dave Fridmann and released as the album's first single. The song is in 5
4
time
, and the band has revealed that the song was inspired by Prince.

This Too Shall Pass (OK Go song) 2010 single by OK Go

"This Too Shall Pass" is a song by American rock band OK Go. It was released as the second single from their third studio album, Of the Blue Colour of the Sky, in January 2010. The band took the unorthodox route of creating two official music videos for the song, both of which premiered on YouTube. The first features a live performance of the song in collaboration with the University of Notre Dame Marching Band. The second features a giant Rube Goldberg machine, constructed to operate in time with the song. The popularity of the second music video of the song has been compared to that of the band's video for "Here It Goes Again", helping to boost live performances and single song sales for the group but not significantly improving sales of the Colour album. Difficulties with EMI, their corporate label, in marketing and distribution of the videos led the band to form their own independent label shortly after the videos' releases.

White Knuckles OK Go song

"White Knuckles" is a song by alternative rock band OK Go from the album Of the Blue Colour of the Sky. The song traces its roots to Prince's style of funk and R&B that brought him to fame.

Needing/Getting 2012 song composed by Andy Ross, Damian Kulash performed by OK Go

"Needing/Getting" is a song by American rock band OK Go, from their 2010 album Of the Blue Colour of the Sky. A music video, released in February 2012 as an advertisement for Super Bowl XLVI, features the band performing the song by driving a Chevy Sonic through a rally car course, striking musical instruments on the sides of the course with extensions from the car to create the music.

Paracadute American record label

Paracadute is a record company owned by OK Go. OK Go left their previous record company, EMI, because of a disagreement between the band and the label. OK Go reissued their album, Of the Blue Colour of the Sky, with Paracadute taking care of the promotion and distribution of the album reissues. OK Go's lead singer, Damian Kulash, announced the new label in a video posted to the band's YouTube channel.

The musical rock band OK Go has earned considerable fame for their creative but often low-budget music videos, most of which have been promoted through Internet video sharing sites like YouTube. Many of these have become viral videos; the 2006 video for "Here It Goes Again", in which the band performed a complex routine with the aid of motorized treadmills, has received over 50 million views four years later. Their video for Needing/Getting, released February 5, 2012 in partnership with Chevrolet, debuted during Super Bowl XLVI and has over 32 million views on YouTube. Samuel Bayer, who produced many music videos in the 1990s, asserted that OK Go's promotion of music videos on the Internet was akin to Nirvana's ushering in the grunge movement. Many of the videos also use long or single-shot takes, which Salon's Matt Zoller Seitz says "restore[s] a sense of wonder to the musical number by letting the performers' humanity shine through and allowing them to do their thing with a minimum of filmmaking interference". The success of OK Go's music first won the band the 14th Annual Webby Special Achievement Award for Film and Video Artist of the Year. The video for "This Too Shall Pass" was named both "Video of the Year" and "Best Rock Video" at the 3rd annual UK Music Video Awards."This Too Shall Pass" won the LA Film Fest's Audience Award for Best Music Video, UK MVA Awards – Music Video of the Year Winner 2010, among others.

<i>Hungry Ghosts</i> (album) 2014 studio album by OK Go

Hungry Ghosts is the fourth studio album by American rock band OK Go. It was released on October 14, 2014 under the band's own Paracadute record label and was produced by Dave Fridmann and Tony Hoffer. It is the band's first studio album since Of the Blue Colour of the Sky, which was released four years earlier in January 2010. It is a concept album that is mostly about the pros and cons of a relationship, lyrically. The album has a more electronic and modern approach compared to their three previous studio albums. The album was recorded in three years at Dave Fridmann's Tarbox Road Studios in Cassadaga, New York. Upon release, the album received generally favorable reviews from music critics and charted at number 74 in the Billboard 200.

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I Wont Let You Down (OK Go song) 2014 song performed by OK Go

"I Won't Let You Down" is a single by American rock band OK Go that was released as a single in December 8, 2014 and is part of their album Hungry Ghosts. The video for the song was released on October 27, 2014. Like many of the band's past videos, the video is a one shot take recorded in double time showing the band members and several hundred dancers on personal transportation devices performing intricate choreographed routines while filmed by a camera on a multirotor aerial drone.

"Upside Down & Inside Out" is a song by American rock band OK Go. It was released as a single from their fourth studio album, Hungry Ghosts.

"The One Moment" is a song by American rock band OK Go. It was released as the fourth single from their fourth studio album, Hungry Ghosts (2014). The band released a video associated with the song, its production sponsored by Morton Salt to highlight their "Walk Her Walk" campaign. The one-shot video primarily consists of 4.2 seconds of real-time footage recording over 300 distinct events set in motion by the band members and timed devices, slowed down to be played over the length of the song.

Ambra Medda is a London based design consultant who is the co-founder and director of Design Miami. She also co-founded the design website L’ArcoBaleno and headed a department at Christies auction house.

References

  1. http://www.interlochen.org/story/interlochen-connects-singer-songwriters-top-industry-talent accessed 04/27/2019
  2. 1 2 Merrill, Jonathan (2018-02-25). "Notable STA Alumnus: Damian Kulash". theexchanged.com. National Cathedral School, St. Albans School and Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
  3. #2 (podcast), OK Go, archived from the original on 2007-08-03.
  4. Kulash, Damian (Jan 2010), Interview (transcript), Garg mag, archived from the original on 2012-03-19.
  5. "Third Annual Awards Ceremony". Brown University Department of Theatre, Speech and Dance. Archived from the original on April 10, 2005.
  6. Weiss, Suzannah (2010-02-05). "From MCM to Grammy: OK Go's Kulash '98". Brown Daily Herald. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
  7. Blog Post By Damian http://thewilltorock.blogspot.com/2007/07/letter-from-damian.html
  8. OK Go Announces new label https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mdyb_Ip_R8w
  9. "Damian Kulash". The Colbert Report. Comedy Central. 2006-08-23.
  10. Kulash, Damian (February 19, 2010). "WhoseTube?". The New York Times.
  11. Kulash, Damian (April 5, 2008). "Beware the New New Thing". The New York Times.
  12. Kulash, Damian (December 6, 2005). "Buy, Play, Trade, Repeat". The New York Times.
  13. "Hearing on Net Neutrality and Free Speech on the Internet". US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. March 11, 2008. Archived from the original on 2010-12-05.
  14. Hartman, Darrell (June 28, 2013). "20 Odd Questions With Design Guru Ambra Medda". The Wall Street Journal.
  15. "That 'First Kiss' Viral Video May Have Spawned A Real Couple". MTV News. Retrieved 2018-08-31.