Death from Above 1979

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Death from Above 1979
Death From Above 1979 @ Wellington Square (25 9 2011) (6202050121).jpg
Jesse F. Keeler performing with Death from Above 1979 in September 2011.
Background information
Origin Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Years active 2001–2006, 2011–present
Labels Last Gang Records, Ache Records, Vice Records, 679 Recordings
Associated acts MSTRKRFT, Femme Fatale, Black Cat No. 13, Sebastien Grainger and the Mountains
Members Sebastien Grainger
Jesse F. Keeler

Death from Above 1979 are a Canadian rock duo from Toronto, Ontario.[1] The duo consists of Sebastien Grainger (vocals, drums, percussion) and Jesse F. Keeler (bass guitar, keyboards, backing vocals). Their first full-length album, You're a Woman, I'm a Machine, was released in late 2004 on Last Gang Records. The band broke up in 2006, but announced a reunion in 2011. Their second album, The Physical World, was released in September 2014.


Early career[edit]

Death from Above 1979 consists of Jesse F. Keeler on bass, synths, and backing vocals, and Sebastien Grainger on vocals and drums. They were signed to Last Gang Records for the world with license arrangements with Vice Recordings in the U.S., 679 Recordings in the UK, and JVC in Japan. Although they reportedly met at a Sonic Youth concert, they 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 stories. They also claimed to have once lived in a funeral home.

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. The band was originally named "Death from Above", a name which appears on their second recording, Romantic Rights. The duo changed their name after a legal dispute with dance music label DFA Records.

Break up[edit]

As of August 3, 2006, the band officially disbanded. Keeler posted the following message on the official Death from Above 1979 forum:

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 and musical style.


On February 4, 2011, Grainger announced on the band's website that they were reforming.[3] Along with this blog post, the band's official website was updated. They 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".[4]

On October 28, 2012, the band's blog was updated in lieu of excitement for their string of shows around Canada. In the post, Grainger cited that they were "coming to share new material, and to work out the kinks". The band was originally scheduled to perform at Governors Ball Music Festival in June 2013, but later announced that they were having unexpected trouble while working on new music and cancelled their appearance. On July 11, 2013, the band confirmed that a new record is in the works on their Facebook page after cancelling European shows due to a "medical emergency". They did, however, perform at Wakestock Music Festival in August and Rifflandia in September.

On July 8, 2014, the band released a new single, "Trainwreck 1979", and announced more details of their upcoming studio album The Physical World. The album will include 11 songs and the band will tour extensively in support of it.[5]

The documentary "Life After Death From Above 1979" was released on October 7, 2014, which chronicled the history of the band and their reunion. It was directed by Grainger's wife, Eva Michon.

On April 14, 2015, the band announced that they would be playing Glastonbury Festival 2015.

On April 22, 2016, the band released their live album "Live At Third Man Records" which was recorded in 2015 at Jack White's Third Man Records headquarters in Nashville. [6]


Studio albums[edit]

Remix album[edit]


  • Heads Up (December 15, 2002)
  • Romantic Rights EP (April 13, 2004)
  • Death From Above 1979 Live at Third Man Records (April 22, 2016)



  • "Romantic Rights"
  • "Blood on Our Hands"
  • "Black History Month"
  • "Pull Out"
  • "Sexy Results" (MSTRKRFT Edition)
  • "Trainwreck 1979"
  • "Virgins"
  • "White is Red"

Related bands and projects[edit]


MSTRKRFT is an electronic duo made up by Jesse F. Keeler and 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 / Deserts[edit]

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, Grainger announced on his Twitter account that Bad Tits had changed their name to Deserts.[8] Desert's Twitter account posted about having been recording music shortly after.[8]

Sebastien Grainger & The Mountains[edit]

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 acts as Metric, Albert Hammond Jr, and Bloc Party in North America and Europe. They were signed with Saddle Creek Records in the U.S., Outside Music in Canada, and JVC in Japan.

Femme Fatale[edit]

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, 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[edit]

Black Cat No. 13 was a band that also featured Jesse F. Keeler, and lasted from 1998 to 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, Grainger had no role in Black Cat No. 13, though Al-P produced many of their releases.



Sample of "Romantic Rights", from You're a Woman, I'm a Machine.

Sample of "Dead Womb", from Heads Up.

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See also[edit]


  1. ^ "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.". 2010-08-05. Retrieved 2011-07-15. 
  2. ^ [1] Archived October 15, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "Some Words". DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979. Archived from the original on 2011-07-09. Retrieved 2011-07-15. 
  4. ^ "Ok". DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979. Archived from the original on 2012-09-21. Retrieved 2012-09-21. 
  5. ^ "Death From Above 1979 detail new album, world tour". Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  6. ^ Geslani, Michelle (April 21, 2016) Retrieved April 23, 2016
  7. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 146. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  8. ^ a b "Welcome to Twitter - Login or Sign up". Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  9. ^ "Listen to the FIFA 15 Soundtrack". Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  10. ^ "NBA 2K15 Full Soundtrack List Revealed". Nba2kOrg. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 

External links[edit]