DEVO music and stage shows mingle kitsch science fiction themes, deadpan surrealist humor and mordantly satirical social commentary. Their early, pre-Warner Bros. dissonant songs use synthetic instrumentation and time signatures proven influential on subsequent popular music, particularly new wave, industrial, and alternative rock artists. DEVO (most enthusiastically Gerald Casale) was also a pioneer of the music video. The band had a top ten hit with the infamous and catchy song "Whip It" , which received heavy airplay in the early days of MTV.
The name DEVO comes from the concept of "de-evolution" and the band's related idea that instead of continuing to evolve, mankind had begun to regress, becoming less and less educated, as evidenced by the dysfunction and herd mentality of American society.
Mark Mothersbaugh established Mutato Muzika, a commercial music production studio and meant to further a career as a composer. He has had considerable success writing and producing music for television programs, including Pee-wee's Playhouse and Rugrats, video games, cartoons, and films, where he worked alongside director Wes Anderson. His film score credits include everything from The Rugrats to Thor:Ragnarok.
With collection of synthesizers that is among the largest in the world and a huge kaleidoscope collection is a lifelong interest in creating multimedia art pieces, resulting in gallery exhibitions of items such as his "Beautiful Mutants" photograph series, postcard diaries, art rugs, sculptures and musical instruments created from salvaged organ pipes and bird vocalizations.
Co-Founder Gerald Casale began a career as a director of music videos and commercials, working with bands including The Cars, Rush, Soundgarden, Silverchair and the Foo Fighters. He is curator of his own wine label and at the age of 73, just released a new single.
Mr. Juul's love affair with DEVO began when he was about 10 or 11. He first saw them on the
Saturday Night Live TV show in 1978, then again when their hit song "Whip It" raced up the charts.
He saw his first DEVO concert in 1982. He would see them again in 1988 and help catch lead
singer Mark Mothersbaugh after he dove into the crowd. In 1990, Mr. Juul would finally meet Mark
at, of all places, Disneyworld... on New Years Eve... as he and his band performed on the same bill
as The Village People.
In 1999, Mr. Juul again met Mark during an event at USF university in Tampa. It was during this
meeting Mr. Juul gave Mark some of his own video artwork. Mark would later comment,
"it was like a religious experience on a 70" screen." In 2011, friend of the class Gerald Casale
spoke with our class via Skype, answering questions about his band, Kent State. design and more.
DEVO then visited with Mr. Juul while performing in Pinellas Park in 2012.
They have remained friends and in touch since.