Warner Bros. Records and longtime Los Angeles based mutant band DEVO announced this morning a partnership that would see the band's first, best home assume responsibility for all aspects of their career. Specifically, according to the press release, “… DEVO continue to pioneer new territory by exclusively teaming with Warner Bros. Records to internationally service all aspects of the band's career, including recorded music, touring, merchandising, web services, promotion, ecommerce, sponsorships, licensing, and endorsements.”
The first order of business: deluxe reissues of the band's seminal first
twoand third albums, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are DEVO!, and Freedom of Choice. As well, each album will be released on limited edition colored vinyl.
To celebrate/promote the new partnership, DEVO will also embark on a tour that will see them perform each of the first two albums in their entirety, one per night. The band will perform Are We Not Men? at the Music Box at the Henry Fonda Theater on November 3, and will perform Freedom of Choice on November 4.
Reading the press release, though, had us scratching our head a little bit. DEVO has long been known for its consistently surprising merchandising efforts. Their red “energy dome” hats fly off the shelves at their concerts, and a few years ago the band teamed with Hasbro to unleash “Turbo Tooth Tunes,” a toothbrush that plays “Whip It” — renamed “Brush It” — while you brush your teeth. Why, we wondered, would DEVO want to divide that income stream with Warner Bros, to say nothing of splitting the profits from touring and licensing? (Remember their “Swiff It” ad, which paired “Whip It” with Swiffer floor mops?) But, then, we checked Club DEVO, the official merchandising arm of the band's empire, and noticed that all the purchasing bin categories, from T-shirts to stickers to whatever “kung fu baby” is, where virtually empty. It seems the stock at Mutato has run dry. Add to that the fact that the band has been working with high profile producers on a new album for the past year — we ran into Diplo and Switch at Mutato Studios a few weeks back — and it makes more sense: They've secured a label deal with WB for their new work, too.
For an established, iconic band like DEVO, signing a negotiated 360 deal means having the professionals at Warner Bros. do all the heavy lifting. We're trying to get in touch with DEVO this morning to hear their thoughts on this, and will let you know what we find out. For now, watch DEVO work it below.
DEVO fall tour, in which they perform their first two albums in their entirety, below:
11/03 Los Angeles, CA Henry Fonda Theater
11/04 Los Angeles, CA Henry Fonda Theater
11/06 San Francisco The Regency Ballroom
11/07 San Francisco The Regency Ballroom
11/08 Seattle, WA The Moore
11/09 Seattle, WA The Moore
11/12 Chicago, IL The Vic Theatre
11/13 Chicago, IL The Vic Theatre
11/15 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
11/16 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
11/20 New York, NY The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza
11/21 New York, NY The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza
11/23 Toronto, ON Phoenix Concert Theatre
11/24 Toronto, ON Phoenix Concert Theatre