Devo: band reinvented as Web 2.0 start-up
Get excited, Devo fans. Your chance to have a real say in composition of the 1980's new wave band's latest album is here.
That's because the group is launching a "song study", an online survey where its best fans will be given the opportunity to help it choose which 12 songs from a collection of 16 will make it onto its forthcoming album, its first in 20 years.
The song study interface, which will allow Devo fans to listen to clips of the 16 songs
and choose the 12 they like best. (Credit: Devo)
The effort is part of Devo's attempt to remake itself as, essentially, the music version of a Web 2.0 start-up. That initiative, which the band announced at last month's South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) festival, is based on the notion that today there is no better way for an act like Devo to market itself than to follow the example set by an endless supply of internet companies.
"From the beginning, Devo was always doing things differently," Gerald Casale, one of Devo's two main members, said at SXSWi. "Sometimes we were misunderstood and sometimes we were understood perfectly... We thought there was nothing stranger that we could do at this point in time to re-brand ourselves than use the modern tools of business practices."
Now, fans who visit the song study will get a chance to listen to at least parts of each of the 16 tracks and decide for themselves which 12 are best suited to be included on the new album.
"The songs you are about to hear are the result of combined efforts with the Devo Inc corporate partners, a selection of the finest music producers in the business as well as a small cross section of the general public, to craft the most appealing selection of songs for the biggest audience ever ... you," a greeting on the song study site begins. "Each of these 16 songs has gone through rigorous scrutiny and testing in the effort to reflect what you are looking for in your music. But only 12 can go forward. So now it is up to you, the general public, to make the final decision."
So what do you think? Are fan-selected tracks for albums the way of the future? Or is it an example that Devo really is Through Being Cool?