Damian Kulash

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Damian Kulash
Damian Kulash performing live for an audience
Damian Kulash performing in 2011
Background information
Birth nameDamian Joseph Kulash, Jr.
Born (1975-10-07) October 7, 1975 (age 48)
OriginWashington, D.C., U.S.
  • Musician
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • music video director
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • keyboards
  • programming
Years active1998–present

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

Early life and education[edit]

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]


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."

In 2023, Kulash co-directed the comedy-drama film The Beanie Bubble, alongside his wife, screenwriter and director Kristin Gore.

Personal life[edit]

Kulash was previously married to artist Shana Lutker and later designer Ambra Medda.[10] In 2016, he married Kristin Gore; they attended high school together.[2]

In 2006, Kulash was jailed for nine hours for defying orders of a police officer. He was released early the next morning, and resumed touring with OK Go in support of their Oh No album.[citation needed]

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

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.[11] Kulash had previously written two other op-eds in the New York Times: one in 2008 about Net Neutrality[12] and another in 2005 about the Sony BMG CD copy protection scandal.[13] He has also testified in Congress in favor of Net Neutrality.[14]

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


  1. ^ "Interlochen Connects Singer-Songwriters to Top Industry Talent". Interlochen Center for the Arts. Archived from the original on 2020-09-19. Retrieved 2021-02-07.
  2. ^ a b 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. ^ Hartman, Darrell (June 28, 2013). "20 Odd Questions With Design Guru Ambra Medda". The Wall Street Journal.
  11. ^ Kulash, Damian (February 19, 2010). "WhoseTube?". The New York Times.
  12. ^ Kulash, Damian (April 5, 2008). "Beware the New New Thing". The New York Times.
  13. ^ Kulash, Damian (December 6, 2005). "Buy, Play, Trade, Repeat". The New York Times.
  14. ^ "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.
  15. ^ "That 'First Kiss' Viral Video May Have Spawned A Real Couple". MTV News. Retrieved 2018-08-31.

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