The members of OK Go make good music, but they make really great videos. Ever since their groundbreaking-single-take clip for “Here It Goes Again” — the 2006 video where they performed the song on treadmills- the quartet has consistently raised the bar for creativity without embracing special effects and explosions.
Like their videos for the “White Knuckles” (the adorable one with the dogs) and their Rube Goldberg-inspired masterpiece, “This Too Shall Pass,” the clip for “The Writing”s On The Wall” is a single take (watch to the end and see the band and crew”s reaction at getting a usable take).
The theme for “The Writing”s On The Wall” is that everything we see is an illusion as the band goes through fake-out after fake-out. It”s a blast to watch repeatedly and try to figure out how they accomplished some of the feats, while others are very easy to track. It tangentially ties in with the theme of the song, which is about a couple who have broken up and he just wants to make her happy again.
The video was made over a three-week period and there were 50 takes, according to Rolling Stone, which premiered the clip. As lead singer Damian Kulash, who also co-directed the video, admits, the band has to make sure they aren”t seen as some novelty video makers, where the videos overshadow the music (I”d say that”s a close race, quite frankly).
“Getting people to not overlook or discount the music can be a challenge,” he told Rolling Stone. “When the treadmill video broke we suddenly were a much bigger band than we were the month before, but we also knew that now people were gonna see us as a kind of a one-hit stunt band,” Kulash recalls. “We could go in two directions: We could either try to out-cool it – try to out-run it like Radiohead did with 'Creep' – or just embrace it and go, OK, what really worked here.”