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Interview:
Death From Above at Saint Andrews, 3 Things To Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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It’s been a big past few years from Death From Above.

In 2014 the Canadian modern rock duo -- formed as Death From Above 1979 -- released its first new album in a decade, after a five-year hiatus. This year the group came out with a follow-up, “Outrage! Is Now,” but dropped the 1979 from its name. Following a limited edition live album recorded at Third Man Records in Nashville, it debuted in the Top 20 of its homeland charts

But while the name has changed, singer-drummer Sebastien Grainger and bassist-keyboardist Jesse F. Keeler are still making the same kind of music, blending a variety of hard rock flavors with dance styles and a bit more polish, but without losing the potent urgency DFA is known for...

• DFA had to add the 1979 to its name for legal reasons back when the group formed during 2004 in Toronto, and the duo was only too happy to be able to drop it. “Jesse and I never referred to the band as 1979,” Grainger, 38, says by phone. “It was fun for awhile to have a really long name, but we only used it on record covers and merch and whatever. But it became exhausting to say it, so we’re like, ‘Let’s just stop using it, just for fun. Let’s see what happens if we stop using it.’ So we stopped using it and no one noticed or said anything, so we just kept doing it -- or not doing it.”

• Becoming Death From Above did have an impact on the way Grainger and Keeler approached the new album. “I think maybe subconsciously it did in the sense that we were just trying to inhabit the initial spirit of the band, the initial excitement of the band that we had when we first started it, when we thought, ‘Oh, this sound is exciting...’,” Grainger notes. “We had played in a bunch of other bands, individually, but this was the first one for me where we went, ‘Oh, people are gonna connect with this. It’s something that’s relatable,’ so that confidence or certainty or whatever it was we had at that time, it was important for us to inhabit that again. There’s a song on the back end of the record called ‘All I See Is You And Me;’ That song could’ve been on our very first EP, so it’s almost like a slight return to form in a way.”

• For “Outrage! Is Now” Grainger and Keeler were eager to experiment with the songs and DFA’s sound. “The pursuit was to find the most interesting things,” Grainger says. “We’d be playing and demoing for each other, and whatever was the weirdest thing, that’s what I would gravitate towards, something new and exciting. If it was too stock or referential or something, if it sounded like something else, I wasn’t interested. That was kind of the guiding principle throughout every song. We tried to extend the palette a little bit.”



If You Go:

• Death From Above and the Beaches

• Friday, Nov. 3. Doors open at 7 p.m.

• Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit.

• Tickets are $19.31

• Call 313-961-8137 or visit saintandrewsdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.saintandrewsdetroit.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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