Been watching videos certain bands/people from the earliest to the most recent that I can find on YouTube. I’ve become fascinated, not only with certain people, but also (more?) with the differences/changes/all that stuff that one can see through time. Also seeing media and stuff change over time — interviewing styles, show formats, stuff off VHS — analogue distortions an’ that; and language habits — the use of the word “like”.
This past day or so I’ve been watching Devo related things. Here are links and some quotations too, where I could be bothered —
(8 min 38)
“Interviewer What does your mother think about what you’re doing? Mark : She just wants to know if I’m eating all right
Interviewer : Are you? Mark : Well, I get fed every day. Interviewer : So she’s not worried about you? Mark : No, her brain was stolen by Christ a long time ago so she has no idea what I’m doing…”
Devo in 1981 interview with Robert Hilburn talking about the “Whip It” video —
(3 min 14)
“Hillburn : Is it almost like a silent triumph… you were trying to stir people up with this thing, the fact that it did stir them up is that… in some kind of perverse way is that almost a kind of pleasure for you?” Casale : (laughs) I suppose yes, perverse. It certainly wasn’t meant to be received in the way it has been received.”
(9 min 10) “Letterman : What do you guys hope in the future, five years from now, for yourselves? Casale : Oh you know maybe, like, make a record that sells enough that we could subject ourselves to recombinant DNA experiments or something like that.
L : Well gosh, good luck…”
“Casale : We do things to ourselves before other people can do them to us, kinda self-demeaning — it’s basically the Devo aesthetic.”
Jerry Casale’s oral history of DEVO part 1 — description sez “Unseen interview from 1995 for rock ‘n roll history television documentary” not sure how many parts there are to this doc., I’ve not watched them all yet. On becoming politicised, doing performance art, forming Devo. Part 2 — on not being punk, making the videos, “being smart and appearing stupid”
Mark Mothersbaugh in 2005 on getting spectacles and being able to see clearly for the first time, becoming a visual artist, meeting Jerry Casale, starting Devo. Mentions the student shootings in 1970 that Casale talks about (in the oral history link above).
(1 min 58) ”Mark : He had a very fatherly approach to the whole thing, he could have been a jerk and he wasn’t. He was very empathetic to five crazy guys from Akron Ohio that really… Bob Casale: Had their minds set on something. Mark : Yeah, and he kind of gave us the ability to do it. He empowered us by taking us to Germany and putting us up in a studio when we didn’t have a record deal. Interviewer : So are you gonna work with him on the new album? Bob C : He hasn’t called Mark : You know, he’s a funny guy. I had a conversation with David Byrne about him. David said, ‘you know, I worked with him (Brian) a number of times, but I gotta tell you, if he doesn’t have a specific need to talk to you he hides from you and he doesn’t take my calls, he won’t talk to me.’ So I didn’t feel so bad then.”
(0 min 40) “Mark: I don’t know if you know, I have a band and we put an album out last year, so I’ve been touring some and finding out how shocking it is to go out on stage for like 3 or 4 weeks in a row every night compared to when you’re 20; it’s different when you’re 20. Honestly, it kinda sucks. I like the part where you’re on stage, but the rest of the day is such a waste cos you’re being corralled into airplanes and then into cars and then backstage and then you’re waiting to do a show. And then you do a show for 90 mins and the rest of your day is a waste…”
(2 min 40) “Mark : It’s kinda weird to find yourself to be an elder statesman in pop music…”
I watched more stuff than this. And there’s even more that I could have watched, but by then I had a headache.
Austin from Swim Deep talks about the Birmingham scene. Mentions Peace, Troumaca, and the National Sea Life Centre (not a band).
Austin : “I think there was just like a whole generation of us just going out and getting wasted, but just like “this is boring, let’s do something else”. And cuz there’s so many of us all together doing it then I think obviously there’s a scene that’s collected; and it is a genuine scene because we are all buddies. It’s pretty cool…”
Sez they’re on tour with Pond; talks about writing a song about Jenny Lee Lindberg from Warpaint.
Podcast with that interview and session tracks is available to download for a month (I think) on this page, tho probably not till later today (it’s 02:10 as I write this.) And show on iPlayer for a week.
As a disclaimer, I don’t know much about these bands at all, and I’m not really following their exploits. I wonder why I post about this.
“We’ll write a bit of music and sing over the top. Then we’ll tidy up the music and write some new vocals. Then we’ll write a new piece of music and sing the new vocals over the top. And then when it’s about to be released we won’t like it anymore, and record a different song with the same name so we dont have to change the artwork.”—Helen Love from An Interview with Helen Love