Talking with Gerald Casale of DEVO
While attending the 2010 FALL FRENZY in Tempe, Arizona, I was lucky enough to steal a few minutes with Devo founder Gerald Casale.
Pop Bitez: So, how does it feel now that you’re considered the most prophetic band in music history?
Gerald Casale: (chuckles and sighs) It’s a heavy burden, it isn’t as if anyone gave us a big honorarium for being right.
PB: And you’re still convinced we’re devolving, is that correct?
GC: Well, It looks like we’re reaching pretty close to the bottom.
PB: You recently described yourselves as the “house band on the Titanic.”
GC: It’s true, but it’s important to remember, everyone was happy the band was there. We’re just entertaining everybody as we all go down.
PB: And who, in your opinion, is the loosest cannon on our current ship of fools?
GC: I think, hands down, Ahmadinejad wins that title.
PB: When Devo were first starting out, pop music had a certain kind of irreverence to it. With yourselves and also with bands like The Tubes and The Talking Heads, it was political, there was still a message but, most importantly, it was fun. Is it just me or does it seem like rock and roll has lost it’s sense of humor?
GC: (laughing) You are correct my friend.
PB: So, what do you think happened?
GC: I’m not sure, you’d have to ask Eminem.
PB: Something For Everybody is your first full album release in 20 years and much has been made of your “comeback,” but you guys never actually went away, you continued to work, sporadically, with some soundtrack work and occasional concerts throughout those twenty years so, I guess the real question is, what was the deciding factor, after all of that intermittent work, that made you finally commit to a full release?
GC: Well, it just seemed like you needed the Devo voice back in the market place, since devolution is real and since nobody has a musical sense of humor anymore.
PB: Is there anyone on the contemporary music scene you’re listening to these days?
GC: Oh sure, I like LCD Soundsystem, MGMT and I’m really enjoying Janelle Monae, she’s great.
PB: Thanks for your time, Gerald.
GC: Thank you, Scott.