A Conversation with Mark Mothersbaugh
Join influential award-winning composer and vocalist for the progressive new wave/rock band DEVO, Mark Mothersbaugh in a conversation on his storied career as musician and artist. Mark's credits as composer are varied throughout television, commercials, film and interactive media while his record producing credits run the gamut between genres. Outside of music he also plays the art teacher on the popular television series Yo Gabba Gabba.
Mark has scored feature films such as Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, Thirteen, The Lords of Dogtown, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and 2012's 21 Jump Street. His television credits include Pee Wee's Playhouse, Rugrats, House of Lies and HBO's Enlightened, and Big Love. He has worked as a producer with the likes of Vampire Weekend, David Bowie, Beck, Iggy Pop and A Tribe Called Quest. All the while continuing to perform concerts with DEVO, including the Winter Olympics, Coachella and Lollapalooza.
As Vice President, Film/TV Relations for BMI, Doreen Ringer Ross oversees all activity from the Los Angeles based department serving film and television composers. Prior to BMI, Ringer Ross held artist development positions at A&M Records, ABC Records and MCA Records, and also worked in television production as a producer for a wide array of television programs.
During her tenure at BMI, she has established many programs for composers, including the Sundance Institute’s Composer’s Lab, the BMI Film/TV Composers Conducting Workshop, and the Earle Hagen Film Scoring Workshop which ran for 10 years. She also oversees BMI’s film scoring scholarships at USC, UCLA, NYU, Columbia College, and Berklee College of Music, and sponsorship involvement with the Sundance Film Festival, the IFP Rough Cut Lab and the IFP Film Conference, the Los Angeles Film Festival, the SXSW Film Festival, the Don't Knock The Rock Film and Music Festival, and the Woodstock Film Festival.
Emmy award-winning composer MARK MOTHERSBAUGH has written the music for more than 70 film and television projects. He first came to prominence in the music world in the 1970s as lead singer and keyboard player of the progressive new wave/rock band DEVO, who released a series of highly eclectic and satirical albums including “Are We Not Men?” and “Freedom of Choice.”
In the mid-1980’s, Mothersbaugh began to write music for commercials where he received a Clio award for his work. He then went on to composing music for numerous television projects including the memorable theme song and underscore for “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse.” He then scored the popular children’s series “Rugrats.”
In 1996, Mothersbaugh met Wes Anderson and scored the filmmaker’s critically acclaimed “Bottle Rocket.” He wrote the music for Anderson’s “Rushmore” starring Bill Murray and “The Royal Tenenbaums” starring Gene Hackman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Anjelica Huston and Owen Wilson. “The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou” marks Mothersbaugh’s fourth collaboration with Anderson.
Mothersbaugh’s other feature film credits include “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” Catherine Hardwicke’s “Lords of Dogtown” and “Thirteen,” Joe and Anthony Russo’s “Welcome to Collinwood” starring George Clooney, “Happy Gilmore” starring Adam Sandler, “200 Cigarettes” and “The New Age” from director Michael Tolkin and producer Oliver Stone, among others.
Mark’s record and song production credits include work with artists like Vampire Weekend, David Bowie, Cypress Hill, David Byrne, Beck, Iggy Pop, B'52's, Jacob Dylan, Cindy Lauper and A Tribe Called Quest.
Mark was the recipient of BMI’s distinguished Richard Kirk Lifetime Achievement Award. Recent television credits include HBO’s “Enlightened” and “Big Love.”
Further extending his musical palate, Mothersbaugh has scored numerous video games including “The Sims” and “Boom Blox.”
Mothersbaugh is a world-renowned artist who cites Andy Warhol as inspiration. His paintings and drawings have been shown in galleries around the world.
He continues to perform with DEVO, which has had resurgence in recent years. The group has played concerts across the country including Central Park in New York and the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Mothersbaugh was born in Ohio and studied at Kent State University.