Parent Teacher's guide to devo
It is always fascinating to learn where artists draw their inspiration, what drives them and how they develop the passion for what they are doing. Working closely with Parent Teacher allowed us to have countless interactions about his own music and the artists that inspired him. Devo was a big one in this picture, so we asked him to give us an insight into this legendary band from his perspective. Read it below the image.
"Devo, the angriest band of all time, made music that was incredibly fun. This duality taught me how to harness anger as a source of enthusiasm and playful mischief. From their early works you can hear a deconstructed mechanical art-rock that later became the foundation of “new wave”. Before drum machines and arrangements centered around electronics, Devo developed a minimalist and futuristic sound, repetitive and direct, much like their dystopian message.
Their early recordings and demos are the most striking to me in their lo-fi simplicity. This simplicity, however, belies a complex and dark philosophical concept of de-evolution based on the regression of humanity, which was fleshed out with comical satire considered “sci-fi” in its time. It can now be seen as a glaring warning of the perils and collapse of the modern American empire.
In an open letter to Vice Magazine, founding member Gerald V. Casale wrote:
“...A philosophy emerged, fueled by the revelations that linear progress in a consumer society was a lie. Things were not getting better. There were no flying cars and domed cities, as promised in Popular Science; rather, there was a dumbing down of the population engineered by right-wing politicians, televangelists, and Madison Avenue. I called what we saw “De-evolution…”
What is remarkable about Devo is how they walked the line between aggression, oddball synth-tinkery and catchy song writing that will stay in your head forever. Here’s a few tracks that sum up their ingenious message with perfectly controlled musical madness."
- Parent Teacher

1. Mechanical Man (1974)
I'm a mechanical man
I'm a mechanical man
2 mechanical arms
2 mechanical legs
I'm a 2 + 2 = 4 man
2. Jocko Homo (1977)
They tell us that
We lost our tails
Evolving up
From little snails
I say it's all
Just wind in sails
Are we not men?
We are Devo
Are we not men?
3. Smart Patrol / Mr. DNA (1980)
We're Smart Patrol, nowhere to go
Suburban robots that monitor reality
Common stock, we work around the clock
We shove the poles in the hole
4. Blockhead (1979)
Block head…
Never tips over
“Stands up on his own
He is a blockhead
Thinking man full grown
He comes well prepared”
5. Freedom of Choice (1980)
Freedom of choice
Is what you got
Freedom from choice
Is what you want
6. Social Fools (1978)
If you obey society's rules
You will be society's fools
You'll obey and then disobey
You'll disobey but then you'll obey
7. Find Out (1982)
To find out
You have to find out
Its good to find out
Before you open your mouth
8. Clockout (1979)
I got my money
Tied up in stock
I got my mammy
Take my doggie for a walk
Me, I got the biggest little business
Down on the block
Get ready, get set
Cause we gonna clockout
9. Mecha-Mania Boy (1981)
All alone, or in a crowd
Never say his name aloud
Now he wants to know your human's name
Where you go, and whence you came
He's the mecha-mania boy

10. Planet Earth (1980)
It's a place to live your life
Where pleasure follows pain
People go insane, fly around in planes
Pray that it won't rain, drive around in cars
Get drunk in local bars, dream of being stars
Well I lived all my life on planet earth
11. Beautiful World (1981)
It's a wonderful time to be here
It's nice to be alive
Wonderful people everywhere
The way they comb their hair
Makes me want to say
It's a wonderful place
12. Big Mess (1982)
I am cowboy kim
Cowboy kim I am
I am a lucky cowboy
Let me tell you why
I'm a man with a mission
A boy with a gun
I got a picture in my pocket of the lucky one

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