When OK Go were dreaming up the eye-popping, retro-futuristic video for “I Won’t Let You Down” off their fourth LP, Hungry Ghosts (out Oct. 14 via OK Go’s own label), the inventive alt-pop foursome visited Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant, a 12-floor underground theater with robots roller-skating to heavy metal music.
“It was the best hour of my life,” bassist Tim Norwind tells Billboard, laughing.
The innovative clip, released Monday on NBC News’ Today show, raises this humans vs. machines theme literally sky-high. Filmed by a camera on a drone, the band members ride motorized scooter chairs made by Honda, which paid for the film. Accompanied by dozens of elaborately choreographed dancers in perfect synch, “I Won’t Let You Down” takes OK Go’s history of innovative videos — starting with their groundbreaking treadmill hi-jinks in 2006’s “Here It Goes Again” — to the next level.
For what may be OK Go’s best video yet, frontman Damian Kulash, 39, enlisted film director Morihiro Harano. He linked the band with Honda’s ad agency and eccentric Japanese choreographer Airman, who distinguishes himself with an “enormous hat that makes him look like he’s in Mars Attacks,” says Kulash. Check out our breakdown of the video below.
As the jubilant opening bars kick in, OK Go splays limbs a la Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain while spinning in a circle atop the seated Segways that feel, like Tokyo, very “2075,” Nordwind says. “A lot of times in our videos, we play with using pieces of technology in ways that feel warm and human,” he adds.
After the song’s first chorus, OK Go leaves the building and the camera shoots up into the sky to give a bird’s-eye view of the umbrellas twirled by the band and a troupe of dancers in knee-high socks and pleated skirts. How does the camera do that? Why, on a drone, naturally (called an octocopter, according to Harano).
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com