Oral History of Mark Mothersbaugh

Interviewed by Chris Garcia on 2017-11-13 in Los Angeles, CA X8389.2018 © Computer History Museum

Mark Mothersbaugh co-founded the pop music combo Devo at Kent State University in 1973. For the 18 years, they would release many seminal albums exploring themes of de-evolution, technology, post-modernist de-humanization, often with a satirical bent. Devo worked heavily with synthesizers and digital-analog hybrid systems to create a signature sound that influenced many bands of the 1980s and 90s.

Following Mothersbaugh’s work with Devo, he would become a regular composer of scores for film and television, including working on programs such as Peewee’s Playhouse, Rugrats, and many of the films of director Wes Anderson. His music makes use of electronic instrumentation and production techniques. He is also credited as one of the first composers to create a score specifically for a video game. Mothersbaugh founded Mutato Musika in 1989 to create music for film, television, and video games.

Mothersbaugh has also been a life-long artist and printmaker. His works, both traditionally and digitally created, have been printed in books and displayed in museums around the world.

  • Note: Transcripts represent what was said in the interview. However, to enhance meaning or add clarification, interviewees h…

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