It's Devolution, Baby
Devo hasn't made a new album in years, and the pioneering post-punk band only tours every now and then.Devo hasn't made a new album in years, and the pioneering post-punk band only tours every now and then. So why not reimagine the group in an entirely new context? That's exactly what has happened with Devo 2.0, whose self-titled debut arrives this week via Disney Sound.
The group features five pre-teen musicians revisiting some of Devo's best-known songs, plus the original band's first new songs since 1996. And while Devo's adult members played the bulk of the instruments during the sessions, the kids have progressed significantly during rehearsals and can now play the material with little assistance.
"Everything is live except some sequencer lines, which are really difficult for a human to play," says founding member Gerald V. Casale. "The guitar parts are live. The drumming is live. The vocals are live and the keyboard leads are live."
Casale spent four months casting the band, much in the same way he would cast the television commercials and music videos he often directs. "We were looking for kids that were as unlike the mainstream as Devo was in its day when it was part of mainstream, trendy culture," he says. "They're all really smart. They're by no means goodie-goodie, but they don't have any of the behavioral cliches of the mainstream. They're really kind of like little scientists and they love Devo music."
"We always had this idea kind of like 'Star Trek: The Next Generation,' where it would be a kids band playing Devo songs for the exact demographic Disney wants, which is like 4-8 year olds," Casale continues. "It is benignly subversive. Some of the more controversial politics and irony of the adult Devo is left out of it of course, because that is the Disney mandate, but we enjoyed it. We think it's great."