Featuring frontman Mark Mothersbaugh and fellow members of the legendary band DEVO, 3P1 Twaaang2 is the first release of new music since 1988 from these pop icons. With this CD, The Wipeouters combine a surf-rock sound with quirky, poppy, unusual, and a definitely absurd style to create a new genre of musical mayhem, which can only be accomplished by these geniuses. "P'Twaaang" also features the Rocket Power theme song, available for the first time anywhere, from the hit NICKELODEON animated series.

Devo Members Resurrect
Junior-High Basement Band

Early Wipeouters songs will be released next month on P'Twaang.

Speaking from the Mutato Muzika complex on Hollywood's Sunset Strip, Mark Mothersbaugh recalled the motivations for his first band, the Wipeouters, surely the premier eighth-grade surf band in Akron, Ohio."We were influenced by some of the first surfing that was done, off the North Coast. Ohio was first settled by Canadians who came across Lake Erie and Lake Michigan," said Mothersbaugh, who is better known as the frontman of Devo. "The pioneers had to wait for
them to freeze over, but it would rarely freeze all the way over. They would
have their wives lay down in a very stiff, ironing board fashion, and climb
on top of them and paddle across."

"We started to think about all the songs
we had written, and how much of a shame it was that we never set up on the
back patio, and really play the songs the way they should have been played."
Mark Mothersbaugh

Mothersbaugh's own surfing experience amounts to an involuntary one. "I was
small of stature and big of mouth, and I got skipped across Lake Erie by some of the bigger, more Neanderthal types. I was the wooden plank," he said.So it
was the little-known (possibly apocryphal) genesis of surfing that led the
young men who would be Devo to first make music together. Around 1967, when
Mothersbaugh, his brother Bob and Bob Casale (Bob 1 and Bob 2, respectively, in Devo parlance) were in junior high in Akron, they formed the Wipeouters.Now, 34 years later, the trio have recorded the songs they wrote at the time, which will be released as P'Twaang (Casual Tonalities) on April 24. The Wipeouters are joined on one track by Jerry Casale and 70-year-old Casale patriarch Robert. Jim Mothersbaugh, although not an official Wipeouter, plays drums on most of the record.Taking a break from designing ring tones for Nokia wireless phones ("They asked me to mentally reprogram people, making them kinder, gentler and more passive," he said), Mothersbaugh recalled the glory days of his first band."Jerry (Casale, Bob 2's brother and Devo's other frontman) was a little older, and was only mildly interested in surf music. He went through puberty before us," and thus was not a Wipeouter.The band spent most of its time in the basement of the Casale home. "When their parents were shellacking the floor near the washer and dryer, we got promoted up to the garage for two weekends," Mothersbaugh said. "That was the biggest thrill of our career. We opened up the garage door, and there were confused kids on banana-seat bicycles, intently trying to figure out what we were doing. It was the biggest venue we ever played."The Wipeouters met their demise in 1969 when Casale and the two Mothersbaugh boys discovered "pimples, BO and other complicated things that got in the way of practicing."Around 1972, the three Wipeouters joined Jerry Casale and Jim Mothersbaugh to form Devo, which Mothersbaugh considers "probably more
successful, although it was less purist" than the Wipeouters. "That band was
very optimistic," he said, "whereas Devo was a product of the youth
being very disillusioned."And that, of course, was the crux of Devo, a band
that for eight albums documented what it saw as the de-evolution of mankind
via herky-jerky songs like "Jocko Homo" (RealAudio excerpt), "Whip It" and
"Peek-a-Boo" and forward-looking use of synthesizers.During the final years
of Devo, Mothersbaugh began to compose music for television and films,
writing the music for "Pee-Wee's Playhouse" and the films "Bottle Rocket,"
"Rushmore," "Rugrats" and "Sugar & Spice." Each member of Devo (barring each
of the band's four drummers) works on various music composition and video
projects by commission at Mutato Muzika.But nearly two years ago, the specter
of the Wipeouters re-emerged. "It happened in the routine of being asked to
do odd things" he said. "'Write a song for "Powerpuff Girls,'" 'Write a song
for a Jackie Chan movie.' One of them was 'Write a title song for a kids show
named "Rocket Power.'" We looked into it, and it was about surfboarding,
skateboarding, snowboarding, that sort of thing."A couple of synapses fired
in Bob Mothersbaugh's brain, and he went, 'Remember down in the basement in
the Casales' house?' And we started to think about all the songs we had
written, and how much of a shame it was that we never set up on the back
patio, and really play the songs the way they should have been played."The
older, wiser Wipeouters imposed some restrictions in order to recapture the
spirit of '69. "We decided to put the same energy into it that we had in
Ohio, which meant that we could only work on it during the weekends and on
the nights when my brother and I could get our parents to drive us over to
the Casales' house."So, thanks to the state-of the-art Mutato Muzika, songs
like "Wedgie Wipeout" and "Nubie Boardsman" have now reached the digital era
without ever having been committed to analog tape at the time of their
composition.It is the recorded debut of Robert Casale Sr., however, that may
be P'Twaang's most notable feature. A retired tool and die man, he was
visiting his sons in California last year when he revealed that he had picked
up the bass guitar.By recording with Wipeouters, the eldest Casale has moved
from telling those kids to keep it down to playing bass on one of the very
same tunes. "For only two years [of playing]," Mothersbaugh said, "he has an
impressive John Entwistle style."Mothersbaugh is hesitant to tour with the
Wipeouters. "In Devo, we were looking good, and we had these really high
testosterone levels. We were in our 20s and didn't know any better. Probably
what will happen is that we will foolishly agree to a few dates here and
there and regret it afterwards. That's my guess."
 Rob Kemp

Return to Planet Earth