Friday, August 14, 2015

Dedicated to Devo: Fans Gather to Honor the Band This Weekend

Courtesy of Mark Kozee
The band Devomatix exists for one reason: to pay tribute to the iconic robotic-punk group from Akron at this weekend's DEVOtional. Since forming the Devo cover band a year ago in Atlanta, Mark Kozee and his group, which includes his older brother, Casey, and son, Brett, have been rehearsing twice a month in preparation for the two-day gathering of hopelessly devoted fans at the Beachland Ballroom & Tavern. "It is a labor of love for us," Mark says. The band also includes Andrew Doss on keyboards and Adam Zisser on drums. Devomatix play the DEVOtional at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 15. The event coincides with the unveiling of a life-size installation of a famous Devo photo in downtown Akron Aug. 15, which Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh spoke to us about for our August issue. Kozee tells just why he loves Devo so much. 

Devo was the first band that I saw live when I was 13 years old in 1980 at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. I always tell people, and tell my wife, that I would be a much different person if the first band I ever saw was Journey. I’d probably be a normal person. But Devo was the first concert I ever saw, and it still is the best concert I’d ever seen. I’ve pretty much been hooked ever since.

Casey, my older brother, was going to Georgia State University in Atlanta. Casey had heard Devo on his local college radio station and said, “We should really check this band out. We should really listen to this.” We sort of were scratching our heads when we first saw them on TV. We were like a lot of people back then. We didn’t know if it was a gag, if they were pulling our legs; we didn’t know if they were serious; we didn’t know if they really thought they were robots. 

In 1980s music was disco and punk and classic rock, arena rock, album-oriented stuff. It was a good time for music, but there was also a lot of bad music. I was a young teenager so I was really interested in fitting in and being cool. When I saw Devo, I realized that being cool was about being yourself. It really gave me a different appreciation for what was really important in my life. I love the music. When you’re 13-years-old and in the South, it’s a little risky to like a band like Devo. After seeing them live, I really felt a connection with them. I felt like, “They understand me.” I didn’t feel different anymore.   — as told to Lauren Swanson

1 comment:

Robin Renee said...

Devomatix were excellent! DEVOtional 2015 was a great time; their performance was a high point.