Indie-pop rockers OK Go saw their share of early-2000s spotlight, as per smash hit “Here it Goes Again.” This was before they became engineers. Since the band’s inception in 1987, they’ve worked with the Muppets, performed at Obama’s 50th birthday party and had their videos encoded on actual strands of DNA. That’s what they’re best known for, actually: their videos, which are quite elaborate, sometimes one-take and always pushed to scientific extremes that (at least this go-round) can be pegged as more neurotic than nerdy.
This is what the band has written in the description for their new video “Obsession,” off of new album Hungry Ghosts (out now via Paracadute/BMG). It was shot in Japan over the course of two years, using 567 printers and “a lot” of paper:
This video has a lot of flashing colors. If you’re susceptible to seizures, be careful, please. Your viewing experience will look significantly better if you manually set your YouTube resolution settings to 1440p or 2160p (for desktop, click the gear icon in the lower right). Just leaving it on “Auto HD” results in some pretty intense distortion during a few sections, because when the the colors and patterns get crazy, there’s actually just too much information flying by for YouTube’s normal HD compression. We broke the matrix. The good people of YouTube have been working with us to solve this (it’s a bit rate limitation issue) over the last 24 hours, but there’s no quick fix, and now it’s Thanksgiving in the U.S., and we’re all with our families.
By the time you’ve watched the video, as they say, the paper used in it will have already been recycled, proceeds will have been donated to Greenpeace and the band will have disappeared into a moving backdrop made entirely of printer paper. Directed by OK Go’s own Damian Kulash Jr. and Yusuke Tanaka, the video starts out with an off-kilter acapella delivered by Kulash Jr. When the cowbell kicks in, things start to get weird.
“This song is about how our most intense and complicated emotions are also our simplest and most universal. Obsession is so overwhelming and perplexing, but it’s also so binary and basic—everything’s normal and then suddenly it’s not,” Kulash Jr. says. The video takes the same idea, turning “simple” on it’s head and showcasing the complex power of perception.
None of this would have been possible without corporate backing from the Double A paper company, so they’re offering a few lucky viewers a chance to meet the band on tour, as well as to win some iPhones and gift cards. Enter to win here. While you’re at it, check out “I Want You So Bad I Can’t Breathe” from the Paste Cloud below. Ready, aim, go.