With Devo On Hold, Casale Pursues Evildoers
With pioneering synth-rock act Devo unlikely to pursue a new studio album and/or extensive touring in the near future, principal member Gerald V. Casale is progressing with his solo project, Jihad JerWith pioneering synth-rock act Devo unlikely to pursue a new studio album and/or extensive touring in the near future, principal member Gerald V. Casale is progressing with his solo project, Jihad Jerry and the Evildoers.
The group's debut album, "What's in a Name," is due for release in March via Cordless Records, a division of Warner Bros. Three songs -- "Beehive," "The Owl" and "Army Girls Gone Wild" -- are already available for download via digital music services. Casale also recently completed a video for the latter cut.
"Obviously, you'll hear some Devo in it, but it's not trying to sound like Devo, other than that I brought half of Devo to the table," Casale tells Billboard.com. "You'll probably hear some familiar themes and some familiar types of progressions."
Casale says he went "for something more basic and raw" than would normally be found on a Devo record. Session drummer Josh Freese plays on every track, while Casale contributes bass, harmonica, tambourines and shakers. "There are very few synthesizer touches," he says, adding that the Evildoers are actually two female backup singers.
And while Devo's only live plans for 2006 are a tentative "little cluster of shows around Halloween," according to Casale, the Evildoers are gearing up to take their music to the masses. "I may have it together in time to play a showcase at South by Southwest this year, he says, referring to the music festival and conference held each March in Austin, Texas.
But the question remains: will Devo ever make a follow-up to its 1990 studio swan song, "Smooth Noodle Maps?" Casale says he'd jump at the opportunity, noting, "It would be the greatest thing, because, my God. The state of the country now is so devolved -- we were more right than we ever thought. There's a need for Devo to come back."
However, principal member Mark Mothersbaugh is reluctant to commit to a project, having devoted himself in recent years to film score and soundtrack work. "That's a more comfortable thing than the effort and the risk of making a record, making a statement," Casale says. "And being lambasted in the press, possibly. In other words, you're scrutinized. He's not scrutinized making soundtracks."
As previously reported, Devo's members did reassemble to work with Devo 2.0, a group of pre-teens that contributed to new recordings of the original band's songs for a self-titled album due March 14 via Disney Sound. The youngsters are expected to embark on limited touring at some point this year.