Oh No (Capitol)
An interview with drummer Dan Konopka
by Adam Carney
photos by Adam Carney
Who thought of the idea behind the “Here it goes again” video?
Trish Sie. Damian’s sister thought of us doing the treadmill routine.
(Apparently, it truly came to her in a dream.)
How many outtakes did you guys have to do to get it the way it is?
It took roughly eight days to create. On the eighth day we did 20 or so takes. The one that was the keeper, the one you see, is the 14th take.
How did you guys meet?
Tim and Damian met when they were 13, at summer camp. Tim and I met when we were in college. Damian finished university, then moved to Chicago. We started the band in 1999.
Did all of you go to college?
Tim went to DePaul Uni. Damian went to Brown Uni. Andy Ross went to Columbia Uni in NYC, and I went to Columbia College in Chicago.
What were you studying, and did everyone graduate?
I studied sound engineering, then switched over to music. Damian studied semiotics. Tim was a theatre major, and Andy studied electrical engineering. Everyone graduated except for me.
Do you normally wear the sweet suits and stuff when not affiliated with the band, or is that just an OK GO thing?
I tend to wear more street clothes when not on stage or in a photo shoot. The other boys stay pretty much true to the style.
How did the name come about?
Damian and Tim had an art teacher that would say, “OK go,” to them after he gave a particular assignment. (There’s a long-winded answer, but honestly, when written, it’s a dud.)
When did you guys know that you were going to become a full-time band?
Right around the time I quit my day job. We’d just been signed and I knew I was going to be away from home for a long time. I’d say it was around 2001.
What did it feel like to attend and be nominated at the Grammys?
It felt amazing! It was exciting to be at the Grammys, too. We were the first category to be announced, so it was thrilling to sit down, and then 10 minutes later, get asked up to accept the award.
How does the Grammy process work? Do you have to be invited and do you somewhat know ahead of time if you’re going to be in the running for an award?
It kind of came out of nowhere. We found out we were nominated when we got a phone call from our publicist. We had no idea at any point that we were going to win. As far as the process of them picking winners or making arrangements for how bad ass Justin Timberlake is going to be… I’m clueless.
What is your idea of a perfect day?
At this point, after 27 months on tour, MY perfect day would be to wake up next to my fiancée, in my bed, at home with the sun shining through the window! Then get up and make a nice breakfast, followed by a quick jump in the pool, go shopping with my girl, and buy furniture for our new place. Maybe go see a matinee. Later, see my friends for happy hour, then return to bed, with my fiancée.
How do you guys get along with the dudes in Snow Patrol?
We get along great with them! They’re all hilarious! Incidentally, at the end of the Silversun Pickups set, Pablo (the bass player in Snow Patrol) and I will come up on stage and join them for there last song. Everyone really respects and enjoys what everyone else is doing on this tour. One of the best tours we’ve been on.
What was the first huge concert you did and what did that feel like?
It was us playing a radio show in Houston. We were on a side stage and played right after The Used. There were probably about 5000 people there. Our song “Get Over It” was just released, and we had all those people jumping that day! It was so much fun.
Any final thoughts?
Yes… Adam? I miss you… I want you back.