OK Go depart EMI following criticism of the company, set up own label with two dogs

OK Go today announced they are to leave EMI and set up their own label, Paracadute. The company will oversee the promotional campaign for band’s CD, Of the Blue Colour of the Sky, which came out last January.

In a video on the band’s official website, singer Damian Kulash. claims the band are leaving EMI “very amicably,” though the frontman also insists the quartet’s new business partners are the pair of tie-wearing dogs that flank him in the clip. Feel free to take both statements with a pinch of salt.

Kulash was critical of EMI in an opinion piece he wrote for the New York Times last month. In particular, the singer took the company to task for blocking the band’s famous, self-directed, videos from appearing on the websites of fans and bloggers. “In these tight times, it’s no surprise that EMI is trying to wring revenue out of everything we make, including our videos,” an obviously frustrated Kulash wrote. “But it needs to recognize the basic mechanics of the Internet. Curbing the viral spread of videos isn’t benefiting the company’s bottom line, or the music it’s there to support. The sooner record companies realize this, the better — though I fear it may already be too late.”

Kulash will discuss the band’s departure from EMI on today’s edition of the NPR show All Things Considered. Meanwhile, you can check out the band’s Rube Goldberg-inspired video for their single “This Too Shall Pass” below.

What do you think of the band’s decision to leave the corporate fold? And do you trust their new canine partners to look out for the act’s best interests? Or should they take a walk?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Comments (12 total) Add your comment
  • Hans M.

    Good for them, I say. I’ve seen from experience, how major labels shaft artists in so many ways. Those dogs don’t need nearly the kind of cut label CEO’s snag. And he is so right about the benefits of free mp3s on-line. I would have not bought some of the back catalog of artists like Broadcast, Lali Puna, Deerhunter, Broken Social Scene, among others, had it not been for a few free mp3 downloads I found on line.

  • joblo

    Why is this a news story? Bands leave labels all the time. Why does this incidence deserve a story on EW’s home page? I’ve never even heard of these guys and just clicked because I thought I was missing something. Weird.

    • Wil

      Well the band did kinda get famous because originally they were discovered via a series of creative self-made youtube videos around 2006-2007. Obviously being dependent on the internet originally for their music videos to be seen had a big impact on their opinion about general access to view music videos. As for you not knowing who they are, while I don’t feel that they’re the best things to happen to the music industry in the past 5 years or anything, you’ve definitely been living under a rock for a few years if you don’t know who OK Go is.

  • Sean

    I do believe that the major labels need to strike a balance between control over their artist’s material and the benefits of free viral advertising. Susan Boyle is proof positive that viral exposure benefits sales.

  • Amity

    It’s news Joblo because OK Go has done a fantastic job of marketing and being inventive.

    Many bands sit around and let labels do the promotional lifting, and it shows. If I were a shareholder @ EMI, I’d be pissed. OK Go is a hard working talented band with a loyal following.

  • Chris

    Maybe, doing it on their own, the next time they come out with an album the audio won’t be compressed to the point where the songs actually sound distorted and are borderline unlistenable. That would be nice. It would also be nice if their next album was better than the current one, which was definitely a step down from their first two.

  • Frank from MusicNerdClub.com

    Sounds like OK Go has made a wise decision. They’re one of the rare bands who can probably handle the business aspects of their music by themselves and be successful.

  • jared

    I remember when OK GO made really great music… instead of thinking up clever videos and then trying to write music that would fit them.

  • jen

    “And do you trust their new canine partners to look out for the act’s best interests?”

    absolutely, look at that dora, seems like a real go getter, ready to get out there and work for the band…

  • Jay

    OK Go is still around? I’ll be darned.

    • Casanova Quinn

      yeah turns out their last video has just under 7 million views… i guess youll be darned

  • Mindy

    It isn’t really a surprise. Kulash seemed really upset in the NYT piece.
    Meanwhile, that video for “This Too Shall Pass” is one of the greatest music videos ever. I *love* how the machine moves with the beat and lyrics of the song.

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