New-wave art-punks Devo are announcing plans to release a new album this fall, the band’s first in 19 years. The “Whip It” quintet are in the studio now, putting the finishing touches on the still-untitled new LP. “De-evolution has finally arrived… and who better to guide us through the mess than Devo,” the band says in a statement. “It’s pretty much fact — we now live in a devolved world that’s getting wackier each and every day.” The band’s last album was 1990’s Smooth Noodle Maps.
The group is still anchored by co-founders Mark Mothersbaugh and Gerald Casale, with Bob 1 and Bob 2 — or Bob Mothersbaugh and Bob Casale — backing up their older brothers. Former Nine Inch Nails/A Perfect Circle/Gn’R drummer Josh Freese fills out the quintet. Devo briefly returned with new music in 2007, as their awesome Teddybears-produced “Watch Us Work It” was released as a single and featured prominently in a Dell computer commercial. In July 2007, Casale told Rolling Stone the Dell song could lead to a new album: “Mark is less resistant to it than he has been in years. He did sit down and cooperate on a few songs, so odds are better than ever.”
2009 promises to be packed with Devo activity, as the band will first perform in Dallas on March 18th, then appear at this year’s SXSW Festival, sitting in on the keynote panel on March 19th and performing live at the Austin Music Hall on March 20th. From there, the band will perform their entire Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo album May 6th in London, then play a May 8th set at All Tomorrow’s Parties.
Although most recognized for their 1980 hit single “Whip It,” the band was one of the most influential and fascinating bands of the late-’70s/early-’80s with album like Q: Are We Not Men? and Freedom of Choice and hits “Jocko Homo,” “Girl U Want,” and covers of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and “Working In a Coal Mine.” In the time since Smooth Noodle Maps, Mark Mothersbaugh has carved a niche as a premiere film composer with scores for four Wes Anderson films and the first season of HBO’s Big Love. Two years ago the band scuffled with Korn after Jonathan Davis’ group seemed to borrow their “de-evolution” concept; Davis apologized in a statement, proclaiming “Our hats are off to Devo.”