Damian Kulash

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Damian Kulash
Damian Kulash in 2010
Damian Kulash in 2010 at Apple WWDC Bash, Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco, CA
Background information
Birth name Damian Joseph Kulash, Jr.
Born (1975-10-07) October 7, 1975 (age 38)
Origin Washington, D.C., USA
Genres Alternative rock, Indie rock
Occupations Singer
Instruments Guitar, vocals, keyboards, programming
Years active 1998-present
Labels Paracadute
Associated acts OK Go
8in8

Damian Joseph Kulash Jr. (born October 7, 1975) is the lead singer and guitarist for Chicago-based rock band OK Go.

Early life[edit]

Born in Washington D.C., USA, Kulash graduated from St. Albans School in 1994, and later Brown University in 1998 with a concentration in Art-Semiotics. 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.[1][2]

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 5-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 4 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.[3] Kulash also attended Interlochen Arts Camp while in high school as a visual arts major.

Musical career[edit]

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 three albums: OK Go, Oh No, and Of the Blue Colour of the Sky. 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.″[4]

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.[5]

Personal life[edit]

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.[6] OK Go made another appearance in April 2010, and performed "This Too Shall Pass."

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.[7] Kulash had previously written two other op-eds in the New York Times: one in 2008 about Net Neutrality[8] and another in 2005 about the Sony BMG CD copy protection scandal.[9] He has also testified in Congress in favor of Net Neutrality.[10] Kulash is married to designer Ambra Medda.

In March 2014, Kulash was part of a viral video titled "First Kiss" in which twenty apparent "random strangers" kissed in pairs. It was later discovered to be an elaborate advertisement scheme.

References[edit]

  1. ^ #2 (podcast), OK Go .
  2. ^ Kulash, Damian (Jan 2010), Interview (transcript), Garg mag .
  3. ^ "Third Annual Awards Ceremony". Brown University Department of Theatre, Speech and Dance. Archived from the original on April 10, 2005. 
  4. ^ Blog Post By Damian http://thewilltorock.blogspot.com/2007/07/letter-from-damian.html
  5. ^ OK Go Announces new label http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mdyb_Ip_R8w
  6. ^ "Damian Kulash". The Colbert Report. Comedy Central. 2006-08-23. 
  7. ^ Kulash, Damian (February 19, 2010). "WhoseTube?". The New York Times. 
  8. ^ Kulash, Damian (April 5, 2008). "Beware the New New Thing". The New York Times. 
  9. ^ Kulash, Damian (December 6, 2005). "Buy, Play, Trade, Repeat". The New York Times. 
  10. ^ "Hearing on Net Neutrality and Free Speech on the Internet". US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. March 11, 2008. 

External links[edit]