Are We Not Men? We Are Mutato!

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Are We Not Men? We Are Mutato!

Are we not men?
We are DEVO!
Are we not men?
D-E-V-O.

 

Mark Mothersbaugh and a potato at Mutato Central. Photo by Mr. Banzai.

 

It was Saturday, October 14, 1978, and the Devo-lution was definitely going to be televised. The band from Ohio hit the not-ready-for-primetime (and still-trenchant) Saturday Night Live, and, as a leadoff, showed a 30-second film short—a precursor to music videos as we now know them. With all this, the band kicked into weirdly taut musical gear. Replete with their industrial yellow hazmat-esque suits and biting sense of irony, the band’s first song sang their praises and name-checked themselves as the progenitors of this so-called Devo-lution.

 

Almost 30 years hence, bandleader Mark Mothersbaugh has seen both the rise and fall of Devo’s fortunes (recently, a rise). He’s now delighting in seeing the band members being reincarnated as everyone’s “embarrassing uncles.”

 

“Well, we’re the kind of artists who made our major statement as young men,” says Mothersbaugh from his well-appointed Los Angeles company Mutato Muzika. “So everything we’ve done after that has been permutations on that theme. Which is pretty evident.” And so it is. From Mutato Muzika’s work on commercials for Burger King and Microsoft to the Steven Spielberg game over at Electronic Arts, the Nike skateboarding film Nothing But the Truth, and The Rugrats Movie, it all seems to brim with the same subversive sensibility that drove Devo. That penchant for zigging when a zag is expected has allowed a self-professed computer-illiterate like Mothersbaugh to direct a business that has five fully functional Mac studios.

 

“We’re like these aborigines of electronica,” Mothersbaugh laughs. “I mean, for a long time I’d write these scores by hand—on paper, if you can believe that. And the clients would come in and I’d be showing them the paper and humming it to them. It made them very, um”—here, he takes a theatrical pause—“nervous.”

 

A Solid State Logic E series console in the main room, ProTools rigs, a raft of Macs of all denominations, and a passel of music software from Apple Logic to MOTU Digital Performer might make Mothersbaugh’s insistence on ignorance a case of the lady doth protesting too much. But when pushed, he believably demurs, saying, “Hey, I’m just too old.”

 

“But the computer stuff is easy compared to the audio stuff,” Mothersbaugh says, settling in to this, his last interview on a day that saw him doing no fewer than three others. “I mean, when we were working on albums, we’d work on a song for a month. Now I’ve got four days to do some music for a TV show. And I can. And whereas I used to get 95 percent of the commercial work we got here, now the younger guys here are getting 75 percent of it, so I’ve stepped back and I work on the TV and film stuff. It’s a different kind of satisfaction than that I get from doing Devo, but there is a payoff.”

 

Very strange, and strangely satisfying, to hear this said by the man who, in his now-famous Rolling Stones redux, proclaimed that he couldn’t “get no… satisfaction.” Well, almost a third of a century later, many of us would say it’s about damned time.

 

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STUDIO MACS

 

 

Studio A, the main room and Mark’s room: Apple Dual 2.5GHz Power Mac G5 for Logic, ProTools HD, Performer, Reason, and Live, and a mirrored-door Power Mac G4 for running ProTools

 

Studio B, Bob Mothersbaugh’s room/Devo room: Dual 2.0GHz Power Mac G5

 

Studio C, Silas Hite’s room: Dual 2.5GHz Power Mac G5

 

Studio D, Van Coppock’s room: Dual 2.5GHz Power Mac G5, and an older G4 for ProTools

 

Studio E, John Enroth’s room: 17-inch MacBook Pro

 

Studio F, Albert Fox’s room: Dual 2.5GHz Power Mac G5

 

Dub station, Chris Kennedy’s lair: Mirror-door Power Mac G4 and Apple Dual 2.5GHz Power Mac G5

 

And the dogs are: Finster and Fibi, and a little Chihuahua named Jack (hardware or software? We’re not sure.)

 

 

SOFTWARE

 

 

Apple Logic Studio
TimewARP 2600
TimewARP KikAxxe
NI Komplete
Imposcar
Atmosphere, Stylus, Trilogy
Real Guitar
Korg Legacy Collection
Arturia Minimoog
Reason
Live
Peak
Performer

 

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alexa

Mr Mothersbaugh did the soundtracks for crash bandicoot for playstation too! classic, just wish i could get that on cd!
masini de inchiriat

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rihanna

now the younger guys here are getting 75 percent of it, so I’ve stepped back and I work on the TV and film stuff. It’s a different kind of satisfaction than that I get from doing Devo, but there is a payoff
regards,
Writers

avatar

rihanna

Thanks for sharing great stuff mate :)
i really enjoyed this stuff.
best regards from,
micheal.
Acai Berry

avatar

vandy

"The computer stuff is easy compared to the audio stuff,” Mothersbaugh says-As of my knowledge one knows how much hard is to work depending on the work he is given.Its we  have to change the way we think and change the we need to work.wow accounts for sale

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