Death from Above 1979
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|Death from Above 1979|
|Origin||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Genres||Punk rock, dance-punk, noise rock|
|Years active||2001–2006, 2011-present|
|Labels||Ache, Sound Virus, Last Gang, Vice Recordings, 679|
|Associated acts||MSTRKRFT, Femme Fatale, Black Cat No. 13, Sebastien Grainger and the Mountains|
Jesse F. Keeler
Death from Above 1979 are a Toronto-based Canadian alternative rock/noise rock duo. Their only full-length album, You're a Woman, I'm a Machine, was released in late 2004. The band broke up in 2006, but announced a reunion in 2011.
Death from Above 1979 members are Jesse F. Keeler on bass, synths, backing vocals and Sebastien Grainger on vocals, drums. Without the help of a lead guitarist they play loud, heavy metal influenced dance-punk, in a unique bass and drums combination. They were signed to Last Gang Records in Canada, Vice Recordings in the U.S. and 679 Recordings in the UK.
Although they reportedly met at a Sonic Youth concert, Keeler and Grainger sometimes jokingly claimed to have met in prison, on a pirate ship, or in a gay bar, leading some journalists and fans to believe these hoaxes. They also claimed to have lived in a funeral home at one time. In 2005, the video for "Blood On Our Hands" won a VideoFACT award at the MuchMusic Video Awards. They played "Romantic Rights" on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, with Grainger drumming for the first half of the performance and Late Night's Max Weinberg on the same drum set for the second.
Name change controversy
The band was originally named "Death from Above," a name which appears on their second recording, Romantic Rights EP. The duo changed their name after a legal dispute with New York City dance music label DFA Records.
The reason for the seemingly arbitrary date of 1979 comes from Sebastien Grainger's birth date. Sebastien responded to being asked why they chose 1979 by saying "1979 is the year of my birth, 1979 is the year of Off the Wall, 1979 is the year of The Pleasure Principle, 1979 is the last year of the last cool decade, 1979 is scratched into my arm, 1979 is scratched into my arm, 1979 is scratched into my fucking arm."
He also stated in an interview given to MTV: "I was born that year, and it's never going to be wrong."
It was speculated that the seemingly random year came from Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 classic Apocalypse Now. The words "Death from Above" can be found on a logo on the Huey Helicopters that carry Martin Sheen and his crew to the infamous beach in Vietnam. However, Grainger claims this is simply a coincidence.
As of August 3, 2006 the band officially disbanded. Jesse F. Keeler posted the following message on the official Death from Above 1979 forum:
|“||I know its been forever since I wrote anything on here. I'm sure by now most of you assume the band isn't happening anymore since there are no shows, no work on a new album, etc. well. I wanted to let you know that your assumptions are correct. We decided to stop doing the band... Actually we decided that almost a year ago. We finished off our scheduled tour dates because there were good people working for us who relied on us to make a living and buy Christmas presents and pay rent etc. We couldn't just cancel everything and leave them out to dry... Plus I think we wanted to see if we would reconsider after being out on the road. Our label was really hoping that we would change our minds, so they asked us to keep quiet about the decision for at first. Well, it's been quite a while now and we are still very sure the band won't happen again, so I guess it's time to say something.(...)||”|
—Jesse F. Keeler, 
On MuchMusic's television program The New Music, Keeler further explained why the band split. He claimed it was due to disagreements with bandmate Grainger on many levels, including creative differences, music style, and more.
On 4 February 2011, Sebastien Grainger officially announced, on the band's website, that the band was reforming. Along with this blog post, the band's official website was updated. The band performed a new song while performing at EdgeFest on July 14, 2012 at Downsview Park in Toronto. On September 18, 2012, a Canadian tour was announced; the band revealed that they had written new songs, but needed to perform them live in order to "make them any good."
On October 28th, 2012 the band's blog was updated in lieu of excitement for their first of twelve shows around Canada. In the post, Sebastien cited that they were "coming to share new material, and to work out the kinks." Nothing else has been posted on any of their official pages about the status of the band or the potential of any future releases. They are, however, slated to be performing at Wakestock Music Festival in Ontario in August 2013.
- Romance Bloody Romance: Remixes & B-Sides (October 18, 2005)
- Heads Up (December 15, 2002)
- Romantic Rights EP (April 13, 2004)
- Live Session (iTunes Exclusive) (July 12, 2005)
- "Romantic Rights" (November 4, 2004) (UK No. 57)
- "Blood on Our Hands" (February 17, 2005) (UK No. 33)
- "Black History Month" (June 13, 2005) (UK No. 48)
- "Romantic Rights"
- "Blood on Our Hands"
- "Black History Month"
- "Black History Month" (Sammy Danger Remix)
- "Pull Out"
- "Sexy Results" (MSTRKRFT Edition)
Related bands and projects
MSTRKRFT is an electronic duo made up by Jesse F. Keeler and Alex Puodziukas, who often refer to by his stage name, Al-P. Two MSTRKRFT remixes can be found on Death from Above 1979's 2005 release Romance Bloody Romance. MSTRKRFT's debut album, The Looks was released on July 18, 2006. Their second LP, Fist of God was released March 17, 2009.
Bad Tits, is Sebastien Grainger's band with Joshua Reichmann, formerly of Jewish Legend and Tangiers. The duo began playing shows in early 2010, with Grainger on drums and samplers, Reichmann on guitar and keyboards, and both singing. They released a debut vinyl 7" and digital EP titled Garbage Night on the label Hand Drawn Dracula. On February 26, 2012, Sebastien Grainger announced on his Twitter account that Bad Tits had changed their name to Deserts. Desert's Twitter account posted about having been recording music shortly after.
Sebastien Grainger & The Mountains
Sebastien Grainger released an EP with The Mountains titled American Names and later a self-titled LP, in 2008. The band toured for a year and a half, opening for such bands as Metric, Albert Hammond Jr & Bloc Party in North America and Europe. They were signed with Saddle Creek Records in the USA, Outside Music in Canada and JVC in Japan.
Femme Fatale was a band that featured Jesse F. Keeler before Death from Above 1979. It is considered to have a more hardcore sound than Death from Above. Sebastien Grainger played drums for Femme Fatale in live shows, however during recordings, Keeler played all the instruments, as well as wrote all the songs and sang all the vocals. Femme Fatale is no longer in the works, due to the live aspect of it being often too difficult, and other top-priority projects such as MSTRKRFT.
Black Cat No. 13
Black Cat No. 13 was a band that also featured Jesse F. Keeler, and was started in 1998, lasting until 2000, when the band split due to musical differences. The band released all vinyl releases which are very hard to find and are considered collector's items by Death from Above 1979 fans. Unlike Femme Fatale, Sebastien had no role in Black Cat No. 13, though Al-P produced many of their releases.
- Brazilian electro-rock band Cansei de Ser Sexy released a single called "Let's Make Love and Listen to Death From Above".
- "Romantic Rights" was used in the opening credits for the CBC show The Hour, the MTV show Human Giant and the video game SSX on Tour.
- "Black History Month" is featured in the video game Project Gotham Racing 3.
- "Little Girl" is featured in the video game Major League Baseball 2K7 and Tony Hawk's American Wasteland.
- "Romantic Rights (Marczech Makuziak Remix)" is featured in the video game Tourist Trophy.
- A remix of "Romantic Rights" is heard in a club on an episode of CSI: NY.
- Their song 'Sexy Results' was featured in the game Saint's Row 2, on K12 FM (in game radio station).
- The MSTRKRFT version of 'Sexy Results' was used in the commercial for the Motorola Q smartphone.
- Various Death from Above 1979 songs were featured in the 2006 run of German television show Die Super Nanny.
- The Bloody Beetroots released a song called "Fucked From Above 1985" on their album Romborama.
- "Turn It Out" is featured in the film "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance".
- Label mates Crystal Castles sampled "Dead Womb" in "Untrust Us," the first track off of their eponymous debut LP.
- Their song 'Romantic Rights' is played in the background in the canadian film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
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- Music of Canada
- Canadian rock
- List of Canadian musicians
- List of bands from Canada
- Category:Canadian musical groups
- "Twitter / SEBASTIEN GRAINGER: any Wikipedia users out there? if you're so inclined can you change the DFA1979 site to state we were Toronto based, not Montreal. true say.". Twitter.com. 2010-08-05. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
- "News - You Hear It First". MTV.com. 2006-03-09. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
- "Death From Above 1979 – Discover music, videos, concerts, stats, & pictures at". Last.fm. 2012-03-22. Retrieved 2012-05-09.
- iB::Topic::memo[dead link]
- "Some Words". DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
- "Ok". DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979. Retrieved 2012-09-21.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 146. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.