Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are BeVo!.

Posted by drew On August - 18 - 20103,266 views

Bevo is the perfect soundtrack to the Austin, Texas apocalypse. Combining bluegrass, roots rock, and hard rock, they pay tribute to one of the strangest acts in rock history–Devo! In doing so, they’ve become something equally strange and amazing in their own right.

I mean this in the best way possible, you guys are probably one of the strangest acts I’ve had the pleasure of hearing this last year. Tell me the history of “Bevo?”

Stevo: Thanks, there’s nothing wrong with strange in the BeV0 universe.

Ubb: First of all, I’m not real sure why this interview is being done with Stevo. Everyone knows it’s Ubb who’s the heart and soul of this outfit.

Stevo: Ubb has yet to find the the right mix for his prescribed cocktail. He’ll settle here pretty soon.

Stevo: I’ve been a fan of Devo since I was a kid. I think they are probably the greatest revolutionary band ever, and are totally underrated, but that’s how it goes. BeV0 started as a silly idea about eight years ago when I was living Portland, OR. The original idea was a bluegrass tribute to Devo. I just found myself picking over songs like “Freedom of Choice” and “Mongoloid” in that fast, chunky bluegrass way and things just sort of progressed from there. I had lived in Austin before and wanted to move back, so I thought if I do return I’ll try to recruit some weirdos to try and pull it off. Well, I moved back in ’04 and Ubb moved to town in ’07, but it didn’t turn out to be bluegrass. There’s a lot of roots rock in the formation of what we do, but heavier sounds seemed to seep out naturally. Ubb loves the heavy shit.
Ubb: I too was a big fan of Devo. Strange since I was also really into Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. But it is a lot harder and faster. Amazingly enough, if you break down Devo songs they lend themselves pretty well to this style of music. We honestly haven’t changed that much aside from tempo and level of distortion.

Other than Devo, what music influenced the bands sound?

Stevo/Ubb: General influences would be The Church of the Sub-Genius, Sabbath, The Atomic Bitchwax, Sun Records, and Scroatbelly. In general I would say our fondness for the fast and loud has probably left the biggest impression.

Ubb: Actually, aside from the aforementioned Priest and Maiden, Stevo is my biggest influence.

Stevo: Aww…shucks! See, he’s actually a sweetheart.

Any Devo songs that proved difficult to adapt to Bevo’s style?

Stevo: So far the two hardest songs were “The Day My Baby Gave Me A Surprise” which we scrapped because I stunk it up, and as for the one we kept…probably “Praying Hands”.

Ubb: The only songs I think have been hard to adapt are the ones that we haven’t really changed that much at all. To me it’s easier to completely change up the feel to Jocko Homo instead of playing Uncontrollable Urge basically the same just more distorted.

I mean sure you get asked this a lot, but what’s your favorite Devo album?

Stevo: I’m a big fan of first albums. I will usually go back to what attracted me to a band in the first place. Devo is no exception, so “Are We Not Men” is my favorite.

Ubb: I think my favorite is Duty Now for the Future, but I think there are classic songs on every album.

A lot of my younger friends don’t seem to “get” Devo. Why do you think that is?

Stevo: I think most people don’t get Devo. That’s nothing new. If it can’t be easily defined or categorized, most things either get dismissed or misunderstood; it’s a de-evolutionary by-product of the “herd mentality”. It’s actually a bit surprising more people haven’t discovered Devo, esp. since they have a new album and are touring. Their early videos were self-produced and are much more interesting than a lot of modern fare. Spend an evening searching for their early videos on YouTube. The video for “Secret Agent Man” is fucking awesome.

Ubb: I concur with Stevo. Except the video of Secret Agent Man. I don’t like that so much.

Stevo: The cocktail needs shaking.

Do you think non-Devo fans will still enjoy Bevo?

Stevo: It’s funny, I think if people aren’t familiar with Devo, they probably think these are our songs. So far the reaction has been positive, so we’ll continue to develop the live show and mix up the songs until people stop coming or we get sick of it.

Anything upcoming projects you’d like to plug?

BeV0 plays Headhunters Austin, TX Sept. 25th.
Check out more of BeVo on Myspace!

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