Big baby, arm wrestlers, models, and built-in commercials. And more.
Devo is widely regarded as one of the most unconventional bands in music history, so it wasn’t much of a surprise when the What We Do track was given a music video that was indeed ahead of its time. Taken off the Something For Everybody the band’s ninth studio album, the What We Do song, in typical Devo style, features bizarre repetitive lines, like:
“Eenie, meanie, meanie, meanie, minie, minie, mo/ The lucky ones are gonna be the first to go/ Eenie, meanie, meanie, meanie, minie, minie, mo/ The lucky ones are gonna be the first to go”, and, “Feeding and breeding and pumping gas/ Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, do it again/ Feeding and breeding and pumping gas/ Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, do it again”.
The video featured the band performing in a circular room, divided into 11 different realms, each showcasing scenes of Devo-inspired characters repeatedly performing the same actions that related back to the lyrics. The concept of the video, directed by Gerald Casale, Kii Arens and Jason Trucco, itself was way different than any other in the sense that it was an interactive piece: it gave viewers the unique ability to drag their mouse through the video and decide which sequences they wanted to watch.
The bizarre video had Mark Motherbaugh and Casale running around throughout the various scenes set up on a 360-degree canvas and users could move between the entire video, with the option of actually clicking links embedded in the video and buying stuff! The entire idea was to drive home the point that the song itself was trying to make – of the concept of unbridled selling and consumption that the modern world was getting used to.
The Shake Weight commercial found a prominent place in this unique video and here’s how Casale explained its inclusion – “I thought the Shake Weight commercial was one of the funniest and obscene things I have seen in a long time.” (Got to confess, didn’t know what that was, looked it up, watched it – the ‘man’s commercial’ version. Hilarious).
The What We Do video turned out to be quite an interesting one, and was certainly ahead of its time in 2011!