Music

Devo Rips Romney, Praises Blondie, Talks Musical: Interview

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(From L-R) Bob Mothersbaugh, Bob Casale, Gerald Casale and Mark Allen Mothersbaugh of Devo. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

(From L-R) Bob Mothersbaugh, Bob Casale, Gerald Casale and Mark Allen Mothersbaugh of Devo. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Devo will spend this month on the road alongside Blondie, playing “Whip It,” “Girl U Want” and other new wave classics to the nostalgic masses. But they also have a brand new song that’s likely to make the setlist, one that finds its inspiration in an unlikely place – Mitt Romney’s dog.

On “Don’t Roof Rack Me, Bro,” Devo cheekily decry the Republican presidential candidate for his offenses against animals, specifically his own Irish Setter, Seamus. As the now-infamous story goes, Romney strapped his dog to the roof of the family station wagon in a kennel for a 12-hour road trip to Ontario. Devo’s satirical ode to Seamus leaked online last month and soon struck a chord, particularly in the political press. Speaking to CBS Local, Devo’s Gerald Casale, the mastermind behind the song and his own Remember Seamus Campaign, explained just what he thinks makes Romney a dangerous figure – and why he actually stands a chance in November’s election.

“Every couple weeks, he’ll change his position on something he said – and significantly change his position,” Casale said. “It turns out, at least with half of America, the facts don’t matter.”

Casale continues: “Romney does [stand a chance in the election] because people, as ludicrous as it is, are starting to blame Obama for the fact that the economy is not better. But what he inherited was a bag of turds. A man who basically robbed the store, Bush, said, ‘see what you can do with this, boy.’ And then Congress wouldn’t let him [Obama] do what he needed to do. It’s been an ugly horror show, but we would have been worse off under McCain. The dream that everybody talks about is never coming back. Those who pander to the simplistic people, who pretend that it’s one guy’s fault, are just charlatans.”

Through “Don’t Roof Rack Me, Bro,” Devo has collaborated with the Dogs Against Romney campaign and a new mobile game, “The Crate Escape: Seamus Unleashed.”  Casale says the immediate response to Devo’s anti-Romney anthem has “changed any modest plans [they] had” and energized the Akron-bred act as they entered rehearsals for their fall tour with Blondie. Kicking off last Friday and running through September 26th, the tour finally aligned for two of new wave’s biggest bands.

“We arrived on the scene at the same time as Blondie, and they were the first people we met when we took a van to New York City in March of 1977,” Casale explained. “Just because of the way business works, we were never on the same tour as them. At this point in time, Blondie, Devo and the B-52s… we’re the last people standing [from that era] who still go out and tour.”

Looking beyond the tour, in lieu of traditional albums – the most recent of which, Something For Everybody, was released in 2010 – the Casale and Mothersbaugh brothers of the always avant Devo are interested in “something much more cutting edge,” be it art installations, more mobile games or an in-the-works musical. “Devo: The Musical,” Casale said. “That’s the ultimate goal. The only thing that’s in the future about it is funding.”

- Jillian Mapes, CBS Local

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