Death from Above 1979 were a Toronto based Canadian dance-punk duo. The members were Jesse F. Keeler on bass, synths, backing vocals and Sebastien Grainger on vocals, drums. Without the help of a lead guitarist they played loud synth-infused dance-punk on the drum and bass combination. They were signed to Last Gang Records in Canada, Vice Records 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 standing on his chair singing and drumming for the first half of the performance and Conan's Max Weinberg on drums for the second.
The reason for the seemingly arbitrary date of 1979 comes from Sebastien Grainger's birth date. From Sebastien's perspective, this is what it stood for:
1979 is the year of my birth, 1979 is the year of Off the Wall,
1979 is the year of 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.
Despite the controversy, the band were credited as Death from Above on Tony Hawk's American Wasteland; however, this could be due to the fact that the Tony Hawk games shorten song titles and artists on their soundtracks.
It should also be noted however that in the 1979 film Apocalypse Now, there are helicopters entitled "Death From Above".
Before adding the 1979 to the end of their name, the announced new name of the band was First to Fight.
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.(...)|4=Jesse F. Keeler|5=
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, etc.
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