||This article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2012)
||Gerald Vincent Pizzute
July 28, 1948 |
||New Wave, post-punk, synthpop, alternative rock
||Musician, singer, songwriter, music video director
||Vocals, synthesizer, bass, guitar, keyboards
||Devo, Jihad Jerry & the Evildoers and The Network
Gerald Vincent Casale (born Gerald Vincent Pizzute, July 28, 1948), often known as Jerry Casale, is a vocalist, bass guitar/synthesizer player, and a founding member (with Mark Mothersbaugh and Bob Lewis) of the new wave band Devo. Along with Mothersbaugh, whom he met at Kent State University, Casale co-wrote most of Devo's material (including the hit "Whip It"), designed Devo's distinctive attire (including the Energy Dome, plastic pompadours, and yellow radiation suits) over the years with Mothersbaugh, and directed most of Devo's videos. He has also directed videos for other artists, including The Cars ("Panorama"), Rush ("Superconductor"), A Perfect Circle ("Imagine"), Foo Fighters ("I'll Stick Around"), Soundgarden ("Blow Up the Outside World"), and Silverchair ("Freak" and "Cemetery"), among others.
Casale was raised in Kent, Ohio, United States, North America. He graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School in 1966. After graduation, he attended Kent State University, majoring in Art. In the late 1960s, he was a self-described hippie, until the May 4th, 1970 shootings. Being involved with Freshman orientation at the KSU Honors College, he personally knew two of the victims, Jeffrey Miller and Allison Krause, and was near Krause when she was shot. Casale described that day in multiple interviews as being "the day I stopped being a hippie". Together with Bob Lewis and Mark Mothersbaugh, Casale used the shooting as a catalyst to develop the concept of Devolution, forming the band Devo in 1973.
Before Devo, Gerald played bass, after switching from drums, with Kent, Ohio blues band 15-60-75, also known as "The Numbers Band." Casale caused friction in the group by suggesting they incorporate advertising jingles and other "lowbrow culture" elements into their music. He was forced out of the band, allegedly, after slipping either an ape mask, or a Colonel Sanders mask on during a performance. Casale began to focus primarily on Devo at this point, developing the band's distinct visual style, and working closely with Mothersbaugh and Lewis to create a performance art group.
After the band signed a multi-million dollar multi-album contract with Warner Brothers Records, Lewis asked for credit and compensation for his contributions to the band. The band refused to negotiate, and sued Lewis in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeking a declaratory judgment stating Lewis had no rights to the name or theory of De-evolution. Lewis then filed an action in United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, alleging theft of intellectual property. During discovery, Lewis produced articles, promotional materials, documentary evidence and an interview recorded at the Akron Art Institute following the premiere of In the Beginning was the End in which Mothersbaugh and other band members credited Lewis with developing the theory of de-evolution, and the band quickly settled for an undisclosed sum.
Describing himself as Devo's "chief strategist", Casale is responsible for much of Devo's distinct visual appearance, designing their costumes including the Energy Dome. He also directed most of Devo's music videos, along with Chuck Statler. Casale also directs music videos for other artists, including Rush, The Cars, Soundgarden, Silverchair, and Foo Fighters. In addition to music video, Casale also directed a number of television commercials, including ads for Diet Coke and Honda Scooters featuring Devo, as well as for Coco's restaurants, and Miller Lite. Distinctive elements of Casale's visual style include dutch angles, desaturated color, and color washes on images.
In 2005, Casale created a solo project, Jihad Jerry & the Evildoers. The album, Mine is Not a Holy War was a more blues-oriented album than Devo's output and featured performances of two early Devo songs, along with a B-side from 1982, and a cover of "He's Always There" by The Yardbirds. While Jihad Jerry never toured, the theatrical character appeared with Devo at several shows in 2006, as well as on the Fox News program "Red Eye." Casale abandoned the Jihad Jerry character in 2007; however, he donned the Jihad Jerry turban for a performance with UK-based DJ and producer Adam Freeland at the South by Southwest music festival in 2009. In 2009 he participated in the project Die Alten Maschinen, together with the Czech producer and composer Moimir Papalescu. EP "To Be Or Not", in which Gerald Casale participated as an author, was released on vinyl. At the same time, the song "To Be Or Not" in a different version appeared on the album "Songs About Love And Machines", which was released in 2010.
Casale has played several types of bass guitars, left-handed, mostly heavily customized. Among the most distinctive is a teardrop shaped bass, actually a Gibson Ripper with its horns sawed off and a thick arm padding added to the top side, as seen in videos for "Satisfaction" and "Come Back Jonee". From 1981 on, in performance, Gerald Casale has used a right-handed Steinberger L-Series bass guitar, played upside down. He has also played various keyboard basses, including a MiniMoog, a custom six-oscillator Moog keybass, and a Roland D-50. Currently, Casale uses a Korg synthesizer for bass.
(Items marked with a * were co-directed with Chuck Statler.)
External links