Is the current DEVO world tour their last? Everything we know so far about the band’s retirement 

Devo at Eventime Apollo in London, England on August 19, 2023 (Image via Getty Images)
Devo at Eventime Apollo in London, England on August 19, 2023 (Image via Getty Images)

Devo has confirmed that their current world tour, titled 50 Years of De-Evolution, which is scheduled to run till November 18, 2023, will be their last tour. Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Guardian, the lead vocalist and co-founder of the band, Gerald Casale, elaborated on the reason behind the band’s decision to retire.

“Imagine you had four wives and you worked together. It’s tricky being in a band.. You’ve got a body of work informed by a whole manifesto and philosophy. Do you let go and move on to the next thing? You want change, otherwise you’re stale, but you don’t want to be contrived,” he said.

The band leaves behind a rich legacy of anti-establishment music. They were inspired by the shooting of college students participating in a peaceful anti-war protest by the Ohio National Guard. The band inspired the grunge music scene, including Nirvana.

DEVO to release one last record after their final tour

During the interview, Gerard Casale said that he was of two minds regarding the retirement, acknowledging that their musical style caused friction with the labels, something which has contributed to the decision to retire for the second time:

“We came out fully formed. People want to grab you when you’re malleable and change you, but they couldn’t do that to us because the armour was too strong.”

Casale later added that he was going to miss touring with the band.

"I’m in denial. Because I love performing and I’ll hate to see it go. It was part of Devo’s DNA. But we did as well as we could, for as long as we could."

While the band is headed for retirement, they will be leaving behind a parting gift for their fans in the form of their 13th and last compilation album, Art Devo 1973–1977, which will be released in 2023.

The album will be a collection of rare songs and unreleased recordings from the band's early years, specifically between 1973-1977, as the album title suggests.

Fans of the band also have the authorized documentary on the band, DEVO, to look forward to. The documentary was directed by Chris Smith and produced by VICE Studios. It will feature a mix of interviews and archival footage to trace the band’s story.

Tracing DEVO and their music career

The band had their chart breakthrough with their debut studio album, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, which was released on August 28, 1978. The album was a major success and peaked at number 7 on the Kiwi album chart.

The band had their best commercial success with their third studio album, Freedom of Choice, which was released on May 14, 2023. The album has a platinum-level sales certification from the RIAA.

The band is considered to have influenced the entire grunge music scene, including bands such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam and the early generation of dance musicians such as Moby.

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Edited by Shreya Das