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Death from Above 1979


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Toronto, Canada (2001 – 2006, 2011 – present)

Death from Above 1979 (nee Death from Above) are the Toronto-based duo of Jesse F. Keeler (bass, synths) and Sebastien Grainger (vocals, drums), which formed in 2001. Refusing to employ a lead guitarist, they played loud synth infused on the drum and bass combination alone.

They added the 1979 suffix to the name following a legal dispute with New York City label Death from Above (known as Dfa Records since the September 11, 2001 attacks). “Death from above” was written on a helicopter in the movie Apocalypse Now, which was copyrighted in 1979. However, Grainger says this is simply a coincidence; 1979 was chosen as it was, amongst other reasons, “the year I was born.”

Death from Above 1979 had planned on recording the follow up to its debut full-length You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine. There were plans to release it in three versions: the traditional bass/drums lineup, a full-band lineup with musicians assembled by Grainger, and a remix album. The albums featuring a full band and remixes were supposedly to be released on the band’s official website.

In 2005 the video for “Romantic Rights” won a VideoFACT award at the MuchMusic Video Music Awards.

On August 4, 2006, the band announced they had decided to split “almost a year ago” due to the strained relationship between the two - claiming they only talked during interviews and just before shows - not to mention the fact that they had achieved all their aims after the record went gold in their native Canada.


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