It's over 30 years since jerky post-punk provocateurs DEVO kickstarted a musical revolution, singlehandedly inventing synth-pop, new wave and MTV. Now Jarvis Cocker has coaxed them back to England to play this year's Meltdown Festival, Music News caught up with founder member Jerry Casale to find out where they've been.

MN: This is your first European tour in 17 years. What took you so long?

Jerry Casale: No one in Europe asked us to play until now, so we accepted. Besides, we wanted to wait until the dollar was worthless so people couldn’t say we were doing it for the money.

MN: How do you feel about being asked by Jarvis to play Meltdown? Had you met Jarvis before or listened to his work with Pulp?

Jerry Casale: I have not met Jarvis but I am very familiar with Pulp. Mark [Mothersbaugh, co-founder] has spoken with him on the phone. We like Jarvis and were happy that he thought of us.

MN: Your side project Jihad Jerry & The Evildoers seems to pour equal scorn on Islamic fundamentalists and President Bush’s 'war on terror’, almost like an episode of South Park. Do you feel more of an obligation to be political nowadays?

Jerry Casale: I always have been very political but DEVO wasn’t about 'on the nose' politics. I loved 'Team America' and think Matt Parker and Trey Stone are near genius satirists. My solo project was very much in the same vein and therefore very misunderstood by the very people I was targeting. Bush and Bin Laden are two sides of a coin, anti-democratic fundamentalists fanning the flames of hatred and holding the rational world hostage to their retro ideologies.

MN: You’re no spring chickens, but your live shows have always been very energetic and physical affairs. Does that get harder to sustain with the years?

Jerry Casale: You bet, but we do it because we are compelled to fulfill our DEVO genetic imperative.

MN: Musical technology has moved on quite a bit since the synths of the 1970s. Have you incorporated the newer gizmos into your sound? Have you been tempted by the possibilities of digital sampling and software, for example?

Jerry Casale: Oh sure, we’ve done it all but in the end we’ve returned to those analogue sounds from Moogs and Arps that a generation raised on the internet and cell phones is fetishistically obsessed with.

MN: You helped Walt Disney assemble a facsimile group called Devo 2.0, comprised of children playing bowdlerised versions of your songs. What was the motivation behind that?

Jerry Casale: To experience degradation by the Corporate Feudal State first hand and emerge victorious by planting the DEVO seed in a new generation. When they age 3 or 5 years they will Google DEVO and watch the real thing and find out what the Disney Taliban did.

MN: Do you listen to much contemporary music? What records have you been playing recently?

Jerry Casale: LCD Soundsystem, The Teddy Bears, The Knife, Digitalism, TV on the Radio, etc.

MN: Devo’s last studio album came out in 1990. Can we expect another one any time soon?

Jerry Casale: When the last bees disappear from the planet then DEVO will be the house band on the Titanic, so to speak, and come forward with new set of sonic dispatches.

DEVO on tour in June:
Brighton Dome (18), Jarvis Cocker’s Meltdown: London Royal Festival Hall (19), Birmingham Symphony Hall (22) Manchester Apollo (23), Glasgow Academy (24), Shepherds Bush Empire (26).
Ticket Hotline: 0870 735 5000,; Meltdown Tickets 0871 663 2520,