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Death From Above 1979 Biography

Last updated: 11/11/2005

Death From Above 1979-photo
“We wanted our band to be like an Elephant in your living room” says Jesse F Keeler one half of Death From Above “That’s why we gave ourselves trunks”

Of course there have been two piece bands before, the two piece is engrained indelibly in the lexicon of rock, Simon And Garfunkel, The Chemical Brothers, The Carpenters, Sonny And Cher, the list goes one. It is fair to say though that none before have managed to make as much noise with as little instrumentation as Death From Above. Death From Above are a two piece, two friends; Jesse F Keeler and Sebastien Grainger that live in a funeral parlour in Toronto. To hear them on record, it is hard to believe that the only instruments being played (with the exception of the odd Flute sample or Moog oscillation) are the bass and drums. It’s a bit like how Queen used to write “No one played synthesisers” in the sleeve notes of their early albums, well with Death From Above no one plays guitars “we don’t need them, and besides why would we want to put anyone else on the payroll?”

So where does this almost militant attitude to the guitar come from? Clearly Death From Above are a band that rock, really, really, really rock, but they also understand dance music. “We have both always listened to dance music, it runs along the same road as rock music. Most Hip Hop and dance music is made just with bass and drums so we wanted to see how far we could go with just those instruments. We wanted the music to be stripped down…and sweaty”. Death From Above are trying to make as much noise as possible without compromising that ideal, or compromising on anything else for that matter “We’re not very good at restraining ourselves, but we have tremendous will power”.

‘Blood On Our Hands’ is the band’s debut single. It’ll be available July 12th as a seriously limited edition of 500 7” picture disc through 679 Recordings, an album ‘You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine’ will follow this autumn. For now ‘Blood On Our Hands’ is a perfect introduction to the band’s music; super fast with maximum heaviness and a dash of funk, made to be played louder than God.

“We have very primal ideas about everything,” explains Sebastien “Our music is an expression of those primal ideas. Ultimately we want our songs to make people completely lose it”


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