PKM: But are you merely suggesting that humankind is simply in some metaphorical infinite arm wrestle with itself and are neither evolving or devolving to any form of satisfactory level and are just destined to remain a gaggle of obtuse, dim-witted morons until the end of time? And radio hated us. DEVO (often capitalized as Devo or devo, it varies) is an early punk rock/post-punk band from Akron, Ohio. A: We Are Devo ! The Kent State University shootings. PKM: Is the chant, “We Are DEVO” in fact the ultimate answer that we’ve all been searching for? PUNK ROCK WAS NOT A BOYS’ CLUB, PART 3 (THE UK EDITION) He wasn’t political at all. We are not in harmony with the rest of what keeps us alive. So what he did was conspire with the dean of the university to bring the National Guard on the scene. My assumption is that it’s similar in theory to that of Reich’s orgone accumulator? So that was the excitement. We were being smartass artists and musicians with an aesthetic pose, a manifesto. I mean, I was ready to preach! We are Devo!”, one of the most singable parts of the record. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Just naïve as hell. We bought into it. Maybe ‘Whip It’ was the biggest single but I mean, I can think of so many grooves that didn’t depend on the radio that had huge followings. PKM: Let’s talk about some DEVO musical concept projects. MARK E. SMITH: RENEGADE. DEVO (often capitalized as Devo or devo, it varies) is an early punk rock/post-punk band from Akron, Ohio. This guy was a human metronome and he could play all these crazy things we’d came up with for ninety-minutes every night. This is all a sideshow. Bob Dylan said long ago that if people can understand your songs, you’re in trouble. Gerald Casale: Yeah, I’m sorry about that. DEVO formerly tried to warn people to fight devolution, but in recent years they've stated that they've decided to instead, embrace devolution, although they may have been sarcastic. To take the ideas and make them flesh. We’re going down. Gerald Casale: Yes. It is only fitting, then, that we hear from the great man whose one regret over the past year was not pushing harder to have DEVO adorn red baseball caps and play their anthem “Jocko Homo” at Trump’s inauguration. And as soon as the protest was called on midday of May 4th, they declared martial law. That’s all we’re trying to say. He didn’t participate in campus life. We really did! PKM: There are obvious Dadaist and outright absurdist elements to DEVO, particularly with an added visual aspect. Gerald Casale: My contention is not. Gerald Casale: De-evolution happened. How we would look. So that’s why it’s so important what the ideas behind DEVO were. It was these self-imposed rules like maybe Dadaists would have or whatever. That was our only response. They were in a class all their own, paving the way for new wave but staying head and shoulders above the rest through the 80s. PKM: DEVO’s live performances to me are beyond outrageous! And they have ten times the power now that they had in the 1970s. Gerald Casale: We would spend a good amount of time at our rehearsals and in our basements doing parodies and joking around. He’d make it sound good. Then there’s this moment of silence and slow-mo and I turn around and see Allison Krause laying there in the parking lot behind me, and people are screaming, “Allison, Allison”, and then somebody else is screaming “Jeffrey, Jeffrey”, which was worse because I turned to the right and he was face down in a big pool of blood. A clown show. DEVO co-founder and bassist Gerald V. Casale’s theses of human de-evolution now seems more pertinent than ever. Most of this resurgence in popularity is, of course, due to the fact that we now really have a lunatic clown in the White House, and looking to satirists of the past for answers to current disasters seems as good an option as any. Take your favorite fandoms with you and never miss a beat. I hated that stuff and he thought the blues stuff I was doing was dumb and shitty too. ORSON WELLES’ HEART OF DARKNESS, BADFINGER: THE TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY OF 'THE NEXT BEATLES', buy the autographed 20th Anniversary Edition book at PleaseKillMe.com, PUNK MAY BE DEAD, BUT LEGS MCNEIL SURE ISN’T, TULI KUPFERBERG: THE RIGHT-NOW ART AND WORDS OF A FUG. I can’t explain the terror. The school was built in the 1930s and was an Art Deco building. There are seven billion people on the planet. We were doing that because we were freaked out. DEVO will be headlining Burger Records’ Burger Boogaloo festival in Oakland, California on June 30th/July 1st. It wasn’t a music idea. BETTYE LAVETTE HAS HER OWN HELL TO RAISE! I was playing the bassline very well, but moving like something you’d see me do with DEVO during ‘Jocko Homo’ like moving in this jungle lurching thing with the mask on. Until then, I was this pseudo-hippie, content to be this kind of campus intellectual taking in these great classes like liberal arts and art classes. You weren’t dangerous. Because there would be some wisdom and some shame behind it. Our problems now are major problems. And, happily, the multi-instrumentalist, performance artist and conceptual genius will still be pursuing them in 2018, as a slew of DEVO-related events and releases are on the horizon. I remember playing a show one New Year’s Eve as Dove (The Band of Love) where we were booed off the stage because the crowd just kept chanting, “We want DEVO, we want DEVO!” With the E-Z Listening album, that was just another way of having fun by doing a parody of a musical style that we thought was designed to numb you out. The world’s descended into madness. And then the chaos starts. I was always very focused on what we would wear. It’s like, we’re absurd! “What is going on should be clear to everybody. Learn more about the upcoming DEVO 5K charity fun run here. I’m very pessimistic now. PKM: Where did Mark Mothersbaugh fit in to all this? The ideas of de-evolution came from these late night sessions where Bob and I really saw that the whole propaganda of constant progress that was based on consumerism and new technology was a con job or red herring and that in reality what was happening was that people were getting less and less able to have critical thought to use logic to reason about information they were receiving. So there was this moment where you go into slow motion and sweat’s flying and everything just turns surreal. And that’s why the collaboration was so strong because out of that came the body of work that people knew as DEVO. There would be no DEVO without us. So we thought, “Well, what would our hats look like?” Then Bob Mothersbaugh one day showed me this Little Lulu comic where she’s tired of all the kids being mean so she puts on this cancellator helmet so she doesn’t have to listen to anyone. At least they would have drawn a bigger crowd. They had already built up a reputation for their unique and well-honed aesthetic early on and their nerdy take on punk antagonism of crowds at shows. We thought it was a big game. We laughed at that. You’re a scared little mouse. The truth doesn’t matter. Unless we could tell each other why we were going make a chord change, we weren’t even allowed to do that. Learn how your comment data is processed. The Mothersbaugh brothers and the Casale brothers, along with Alan Myers (not an original member, but the drummer that solidified the lineup), created their own world of human de-evolution (hence the name Devo) and it caught on with a certain crowd in a big way. Then you realize that those with the power to tell the stories in the media are the ones that write history. So I started to think, “What would DEVO music sound like?”. They didn’t appreciate any sense of humor or an intrusion of something transgressive into their aesthetic. It’s just a fact now. It seems that you were already aware of the concept of de-evolution. There was a correction from Alan Frank, who I think was around back then: the Peter Gray, who is referred to as one of the original members, is actually named Peter Gregg. We didn’t separate ourselves from that idea. A must-have record for any record collection. PKM: And would you like to tell us why you were thrown out of The Numbers Band, or shall I? He had such power because of his tai-chi thing. is a more guitar-based affair than their later work, with the clean robo-funky guitars and buzzing and blooping synths holding equal ground.