A key member of cult favorites Devo, multi-instrumentalist Bob Casale helped to shape the band's weird and wonderful synth-pop sound before turning his considerable talents to the field of sound engineering. Born in ... Read more »
A key member of cult favorites Devo, multi-instrumentalist Bob Casale helped to shape the band's weird and wonderful synth-pop sound before turning his considerable talents to the field of sound engineering. Born in Kent, OH in 1952, Casale initially trained as a medical radiation technologist before he was invited by brother Gerald to join new wave pioneers Devo in 1973. Regularly credited as Bob 2 to avoid any mix-up with bandmate Bob Mothersbaugh, guitarist, keyboardist and backing vocalist Casale often faded into the background on stage but was undoubtedly an integral part of the group who briefly penetrated the mainstream with 1980's Freedom Of Choice and its U.S. Top 20 hit single, "Whip It." After playing a nuclear garbage man in the bizarre Neil Young comedy "Human Highway" (1982), Casale's role in the band became even more significant when he took up sound engineering duties on their 1984 LP, Shout, a position he also fulfilled on 1988 follow-up Total Devo, 1990 swansong Smooth Noodle Maps and 2010 comeback album, Something For Everybody. In 1986, he showcased his behind-the-scenes skills for the first time outside the group when he engineered XYZ, the debut solo record from The Police guitarist Andy Summers. Casale continued to establish himself as a talented engineer by working with comic parodists Barnes & Barnes, avant-garde pop project Martini Ranch and Californian punksters The Vandals as well as taking up mixing duties on bandmate Mark Mothersbaugh's brace of solo instrumental albums. Following Devo's split in 1991, Casale joined the latter's Mutato Muzika production company where he made his first major foray into film/TV work by engineering the soundtrack to the critically-panned comedy anthology "Four Rooms" (1995). Preferring to be credited under the name Robert Casale, he then became a permanent fixture of Hollywood scores and soundtracks, contributing to Adam Sandler's golfing comedy "Happy Gilmore" (1996), several episodes of hit children's animation "Rugrats" (Nickelodeon 1991-2004) and Wes Anderson's first three films: "Bottle Rocket" (1996), "Rushmore" (1998) and "The Royal Tenenbaums" (2001). He also later cropped up as a performer on the soundtracks to black comedy "The Big White" (2005) and the big-screen adaptation of beloved children's book "How To Eat Fried Worms" (2006). Following his last major film credit on slacker comedy "Mama's Boy" (2007), Casale returned to the Devo fold for the band's first new studio effort in twenty years and teamed up with brother Gerard to set up an online school which taught participants how to write using music digital tools. Sadly in 2014, just nine months after Devo drummer Alan Myers died of stomach cancer, Casale passed away suddenly from a health complication that led to heart failure at the age of 61.