The world is in a state of clear and present devolution. It’s just as Devo foretold. It wasn’t bombs we needed to fear but rather the human mind, or lack of it on this planet. Now where are we? The largest oil disaster of all time, a recovering, but still uncertain, global economy, corporations as powerful as governments, and a fast-paced world where the average spud has the attention span of a goldfish. You’re just skimming this, aren’t you?
Yes, devolution is real, but so is the fight against it. Leading that charge is Gerald Casale, songwriter, vocalist, bass guitarist, and a founding member of Devo. Devo has returned when we need them most, and 2010 has been a landmark year for the band. Their first album in 20 years, Something for Everybody, has received rave reviews from average spuds and devotees alike. They’ve signed back up with their old label Warner Bros., wowed live audiences at Coachella, the Winter Olympics, and Lollapalooza, and are headlining MoogFest along with Cee Lo, Big Boi, MGMT, and Massive Attack.
CoS reporter and card-carrying DEVOtee Cap Blackard dialed up Devo Inc. only to find out that despite all the hoopla, it’s not time to celebrate yet. As a band de-branded for years, restarting in the current dystopian music industry hasn’t been easy for Devo, and the fight isn’t over yet. Casale talks about projects past and future, struggling under a big label, and the signs of devolution all around us.
Devo’s return has been triumphant, and the messages are clear. But now that the prophecy of devolution has come true… is it too late to reverse the changes?
Has the uncertain nature of the record industry and the positive response to the new album made performing as Devo feel fresh again?
Devo was making regular live appearances for years before the release of Something for Everybody. Have you seen a change in the crowds since the album’s release?
Between the mid-90s and the release of Something for Everybody, Devo was involved in a slew of scattered projects. In your opinion, what was Devo during those years?
The road to Something for Everybody was a long one. There were moments where it seemed like the project was dead in the water. What was it like on the inside?
Now that Devo are back with Warner Bros., has the arrangement been more than satisfactory or just what you’d expect?
Where does Devo stand for the future?
I’m wearing a blue energy dome right now, which, as everyone knows, safely recycles orgone energy. Does the everybody mask have a similar purpose?
Devo is in Futurama‘s 100th episode in it Devo are actual mutants – you’re 3-legged, 2-faced, and purple-skinned. Was there an approval process for Devo picking its physical mutations?
How did Devo get involved with the production of Neil Young’s 1982 film Human Highway?
In 1996, Devo released the CD-ROM game Adventures of the Smart Patrol. This was only a short while after reforming as a band. What prompted this project?
Devo still has a presence in the video game world. There are 3 Devo songs currently playable in Rock Band, all of them new recordings made just for the game. Whip It is scheduled to appear in Rock Band 3. Is that a new recording as well?
Your side project Jihad Jerry and the Evildoers seems to be on indefinite hiatus…
Watch Jihad Jerry and the Evildoers’ “Army Girls Gone Wild“.
You’ve had a long career as a music video director and a director of commercials. What’s been your favorite project?
Watch Casale’s mid-90s Miller Time commercials.
Are there plans for additional music videos from Something for Everybody?
Devo is headlining MoogFest in October. Do you have any special plans for that performance?