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QRD #31 from August 2006
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Jessica Bailiff interview
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Nathan Norman (Devo 2.0) interview
Alan Sparhawk interview
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Kimber Lanning interview
2:22 by Tara Vanflower
Murder Suicide by Tara Vanflower
My Name is Brian
The Transformation of Ernesto
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Interview with Nathan Norman of Devo 2.0 
July 2006

So last issue I wrote the big article on Devo 2.0.  To recap, Devo 2.0 is a Devo tribute band put together by Disney & Devo themselves made up of pre-teens (I think one member might be thirteen).  Now here is an interview with the guitarist for Devo 2.0, Nathan Norman.

QRD – What’s the biggest difference between Devo & Devo 2.0 sonically? 

Nathan – DEVO 2.0 used much better recording techniques than were available in the DEVO 1980’s.

QRD – When & where did you first hear Devo?

Nathan – I actually never knew who Devo was until I got the audition for Devo 2.0.  So, I did my research for the audition regarding Devo, and listened to their songs and watched their videos.  It turned out that I liked Devo a lot and thought they were really cool.

QRD – What’s your favorite Devo song that Devo 2.0 doesn’t do?

Nathan – “Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA”

QRD – Do you think Devo 2.0 will ever do some of the obscure Devo songs like “I Need a Chick” or “Midget”? 

Nathan – Well, maybe “Midget” because it has “little people” appeal.

QRD – When you play live, how much of the sound is pre-recorded & how much is live? 

Nathan – There are some sequencer lines playing back 16th notes and 32nd notes from pro-tools sessions, but the rest is absolutely live.  In other words no different than U2 or Coldplay or Nine Inch Nails.

QRD – Will Devo 2.0 tour? 

Nathan – Stranger things have happened.

QRD – I know that Gerald said one of the goals was for Devo 2.0 to eventually write & record its own material, has this started yet? 

Nathan – There really hasn’t been any opportunity yet due to everyone’s school schedule and professional commitments.

QRD – Are there current plans for recording a second record? 

Nathan – It’s too soon to know if that is going to happen.

QRD – Would you rather people just hear the music or see the videos along with the music & why?

Nathan – I would rather people listen to the music as well as see the videos, because it really adds to the show.  But I also want people to recognize the talent we have with their own eyes and see that we are not lip-syncing or fake-playing our instruments.  We are the real deal and that’s the message we are trying to put out.

QRD – There’s been a lot of Devo fans calling Devo 2.0 a sell-out despite (or maybe even because of) it being clearly engineered & sanctioned by Devo themselves.  Do you have anything to say to those people? 

Nathan – I think they missed the point.  It wasn’t aimed at them; it was done for 5 to 9 year olds so that a new generation could experience a phenomenon that they would otherwise never hear about.

QRD – One of the controversies is about the changing of lyrics in “Beautiful World” from “It’s a beautiful world for you / But not me” to “It’s a beautiful world for you / And me too.” Do you think this change is significant or important?  Did it improve or diminish the song?

Nathan – It obviously completely changes the song from one of irony and cynicism to optimism.  Disney would never let the original message go to a pre-teen demographic.

QRD – If you could have one piece of Devo merchandise (energy dome, yellow suit, plastic hair, etc.) which would it be & why?

Nathan – I think the energy domes, because they are iconic to Devo.

QRD – What piece of merchandise would you like to see made for Devo 2.0?

Nathan – Well, probably wristbands, because I like wearing them.

QRD – Why did you start playing guitar & who are your guitar heroes?

Nathan – The guitar seemed like the coolest and most interesting instrument to play.  My dad is a musician and plays the guitar and I grew up listening to Carlos Santana, The Beatles, and Jimi Hendrix.  I love playing the guitar and feel like I was born to play it.  It’s one of my greatest passions.

QRD – What’s your guitar rig (guitar, pedals, & amplifier)?

Nathan – Musicvox & Marshal amplifier.

QRD – How did the big live show last week compare to your expectations for it?

Nathan – It was better than I imagined it would be.  We played better than ever before and were glad to be on stage again. It was a lot of fun.

QRD – What age group was most of the audience?

Nathan – We had all ages.  Adults and children.  What's great is that there were a lot of original Devo fans and they created a lot of energy in the crowd.  It was cool to see them jumping up and down right along side of the younger Devo 2.0 fans.

QRD – What would you like to change/improve for your next live show?

Nathan – I would like to play more songs and have a longer concert.  It was so fun that we didn't want it to end.