Devo members Mark Mothersbaugh and Gerald Casale have assembled a unique chronicle of the pioneering New Wave group. Two new books – Devo: The Brand and Devo: Unmasked – will be packaged together to show the group’s trajectory both as a product, in the first volume, and as a musical unit, in the second.
The book will come out on July 13th and is available for preorder now; people who preorder by Thursday will get their names printed in the book.
The two volumes feature rare and archival photos and artwork alongside insights from the band. Devo: The Brand focuses on the group’s visuals and press from British and U.S. publications. Devo: Unmasked tells the band’s story from the 1960s to the present with photos of the Mothersbaugh and Casale families together at Christmas in the early Sixties, pre-Devo groups, Kent State art events and a history of the band through the present day.
A statement accompanying the book promises that readers will “see Devo in various states of undress, unmasked and raw.” Throughout both books, Casale and Mothersbaugh provide first-person commentary. Both band members also provided forewords to the book, along with one by their Booji Boy mascot.
“Devo has always been a misunderstood phenomena,” Mothersbaugh said. “We weren’t trying to do what most people thought we were trying to do, and what we did wasn’t what most people thought they were seeing. This book, besides being a coherent exposition of how we were officially presented by ‘the entertainment industry,’ represents an attempt, akin to a post-plane crash autopsy, to lay things out and let people see what was inside the suitcase.”
The books, which feature more than 500 photos by Bob Gruen, Chris Stein, Moshe Brakha and others, will come out in two different configurations. One, dubbed “The Classic,” will run 320 pages and contain both books bound together, upside-down from one another. The other, the “Signature Edition,” features the books as separate volumes in a clamshell box, signed by the group and containing vintage Devo art that Mothersbaugh and Casale created.
“Devo was, and is, an adjective, an adverb, a noun, a Gestalt – unified field concept embracing art, music, politics and fashion with an alternate worldview we christened ‘Devolution,'” Casale said in a statement. “For the first time ever, this book compiles the breadth of our depth and our attempts to create something unique against all odds, while fighting the good fight as the world slowly proved that devolution is real.”