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Not that everybody's excited about the return of the era. "It's sad, isn't it?" asks Robert Casale, one-time guitarist forDevo.

That band, noted for its peculiar, experimental use of then-new technologies, is also back, though not in an '80s sort of way. Three of the former band members (Casale, plus keyboard player Mark Mothersbaugh and guitarist Bob Mothersbaugh) brought in drummer Josh Mancell to re-form The Wipeouters, a surf band they had created years before Devo ever whipped it. The Wipeouters have no touring plans, and the group has no apparent intention of playing on its Devo heritage.

"We're The Wipeouters," Casale insists. "It wasn't even our idea to include the name Devo in [promotions]. We're The Wipeouters. It stands on its own."

There has been interest in Devo. The group, with its wacky flower-pot hats masking deeper lyrical messages about isolation and greed, still has a website, and has been approached about touring. "We've been called about 100 times," Casale notes. "We weren't home."

Other bands, however, have answered the call, and now are preparing to hit the road. Interest in '80's acts is fueled in great part by simple economics, Star 98.7's Patyk suggests. High Schoolers from that decade are now in their mid- to late-30's, raising kids, paying mortgages and grappling with the frustrations of the office. They control the family purse strings, and could use a break from the hassles of daily living, but have little interest in current hitmakers such as Eminem, Rage Against The Machine and 'N Sync. "There's nothing right now that they feel they have a connection with," Patyk says. "That's probably why these tours are popular. You have a good time and you don't think about what's going on in the real world anymore."

Even people who do have a connection with the current wave of stars may feel them growing a bit stale. Anger fueled much of the last decade's music, and many of the young, do-it-all entertainers have a lot of talent that stays on the stage-you admire it from a distance, but never really connect with it.

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 15 - September 2018
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