Death from Above 1979

Death from Above 1979
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 #13, Sebastien Grainger and the Mountains
Sebastien Grainger
Jesse F. Keeler

Death from Above 1979 are a Toronto[1]-based Canadian dance-punk/noise rock duo. Their 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 played loud, heavy metal influenced, dance-punk on a 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 first released recording, a self titled EP. The duo changed their name after a legal dispute with New York City dance music label DFA Records, with the members of Death from Above 1979 denouncing LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy in messages on their website. Death from Above had been a working name of Murphy's for some time prior.

The reason for the seemingly arbitrary date of 1979 comes from Sebastien Grainger's birth date. Sebastian 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."[2]


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, [3]

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.

2011 reunion

On 4 February 2011, Sebastien Grainger officially announced, on the band's website, that the band was reforming.[4] Along with this blog post, the band's official website was updated.

The band have now confirmed to be playing the following dates:[5]

  • March 19, 2011 - SXSW - Austin, TX, USA
  • April 17, 2011 - Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival – Indio, CA, USA
  • May 4, 2011 - London HMV Forum - London, England
  • May 5, 2011 - London HMV Forum – London, England
  • May 6, 2011 - Donaufestival – Krems, Austria
  • May 27, 2011 - Sasquatch Festival – George, WA, USA
  • July 7, 2011 - Camp Bisco X - Indian Lookout Country Club, Mariaville, NY, USA
  • July 16, 2011 – Ottawa Bluesfest – Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • July 17, 2011 - Festival d'été de Québec - Québec, Québec, Canada
  • July 30, 2011 - Osheaga Festival - Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • August 4, 2011 - Metro - Chicago, IL, USA
  • August 5–7, 2011 - Lollapalooza - Chicago, IL, USA
  • August 13 - Summer Sonic - Tokyo, Japan
  • August 14 - Summer Sonic - Osaka, Japan
  • August 19, 2011 - Pstereo Festival - Trondheim, Norway
  • August 20, 2011 - Festival Paredes de Coura - Paredes de Coura, Minho, Portugal
  • August 26, 2011 - Leeds Festival - Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
  • August 28, 2011 - Reading Festival - Reading, Berkshire, England
  • September 3, 2011 - FYF Fest Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • September 18, 2011 - Austin City Limits - Austin, TX, USA
  • September 24 - October 3, 2011 - Parklife Festival - Australia
  • October 6, 2011 - Academy 1 - Manchester, England
  • October 7, 2011 - O2 Brixton Academy - London, England
  • October 8, 2011 - Nalen - Stockholm, Sweden
  • October 15, 2011 - Treasure Island Music Festival - San Francisco, California, USA
  • October 27, 2011 - Sound Academy - Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • October 28, 2011 - Sound Academy - Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • November 18, 2011 - One Weekend Only - Banff, Alberta, Canada
  • November 19, 2011 - Edmonton Events Centre - Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • November 21, 2011 - The Commodore Ballroom - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Studio album

Remix album

  • 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"
  • "Blood on Our Hands"
  • "Black History Month"
  • "Pull Out"
  • "Sexy Results" (MSTRKRFT Edition)

Related bands and projects


MSTRKRFT is Jesse F. Keeler's electronic band along with producer Al-P. MSTRKRFT is currently signed to Dim Mak Records, and works out of Toronto. Their debut album was released on July 18, 2006. Two of their remixes can be found on Death from Above's 2005 release Romance Bloody Romance.

Bad Tits

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.

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

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, as well. Jesse F. Keeler is planning on releasing a new album in the future, but MSTRKRFT is his top priority.

Black Cat #13

Black Cat #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 DFA1979 fans. Unlike Femme Fatale, Sebastien had no role in Black Cat #13, though Al-P produced many of their releases.

Bloc Party

Death From Above 1979 covered the song "Luno" for the Bloc Party remix album Silent Alarm Remixed.


  • 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).
  • 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.


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  • Death from Above 1979 — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Death from Above 1979 Información personal Origen Toronto, Ontario, Canadá …   Wikipedia Español

  • Death From Above 1979 — Gründung 2002 Auflösung 2006 Genre Indie Rock Website Letzte Besetzung vor der Auflösung Bass, Synthesizer …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Death from above 1979 — Gründung 2002 Auflösung 2006 Genre Indie Rock Website Letzte Besetzung vor der Auflösung Bass, Synthesizer …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Death From Above 1979 — Pays d’origine Toronto, Ontario, Canada Genre musical Punk rock Dance punk Noise rock Années d activité 2001–2006, 2011 Labels Ache, Sound Virus, Last Gang, Vice Recordings, 679 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Death from Above 1979 — était un duo de rock indépendant basé à Toronto, Canada. Les membres étaient Jesse F. Keeler (basse/synthé) et Sebastien Grainger (chant/batterie). Bien qu il fut plus tard rapporté que le groupe se soit en fait rencontré à un concert de Sonic… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Death from above 1979 — était un duo de rock indépendant basé à Toronto, Canada. Les membres étaient Jesse F. Keeler (basse/synthé) et Sebastien Grainger (chant/batterie). Bien qu il fut plus tard rapporté que le groupe se soit en fait rencontré à un concert de Sonic… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Death From Above 1979 — Жанры Альтернативный рок, Дэнс панк, Нойз рок Годы 2001 2006, 2011 Наше время Страна …   Википедия

  • Death from Above 1979 — Allgemeine Informationen Genre(s) Indie Rock Gründung 2002 Auflösung 2006 Neugründung 2011 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Death From Above — may refer to: In music The DJ nickname of musician James Murphy The original name of the New York based recording label co founded by Murphy, DFA Records Death from Above 1979, a Canadian musical duo, originally named Death from Above only Let s… …   Wikipedia

  • Let's Make Love and Listen to Death from Above — Infobox Single Name = Let s Make Love And Listen To Death From Above Cover size = Caption = Cover of 2006 single Artist = CSS Album = Cansei de Ser Sexy A side = B side = Acho Um Pouco Bom Pretend We re Dead (Live) Released = August 13 2006 (12 ) …   Wikipedia

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