Thunderous Canadian two-piece Death From Above 1979 may currently be confounding audiences as the opening act on the Nine Inch Nails/ Queens of the Stone Age rock and roll spectacular, but they’re not letting all the arena-rock trappings go to their heads. It’s kind of hard to get all rock star in a half-hour.
“We’re only out there for 30 minutes, so it’s difficult to really get anything going,” drummer/vocalist Sebastien Grainger sighed. “Basically, the whole time we’re playing, it feels like there are a million things I forgot to do during the day. So I’m thinking about that the whole time.”
“There are a few words that come to mind when I think about this tour,” bassist Jesse Keeler added. ” ’Comfortable.’ ’Appropriate.’ ’Easy.’ Maybe it’s been too easy. I don’t really know. We sometimes have the most crowd-surfers though.”
If Grainger and Keeler seem a bit road-weary, well, that’s because they’re a bit road-weary. Actually, “a bit” is a bit of an understatement. Ever since their Vice Records debut, You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine, hit stores in October 2004 (see “You Hear It First: Death From Above 1979″), they’ve been a two-man touring machine, launching multiple jaunts across the U.S., Canada, U.K., Japan, Australia and Europe — not to mention their stint opening for NIN and QOTSA. So you’d think that their post-tour plans would involve as little music as humanly possible. And you’d be half right.
“We’re going to fly home to Toronto. I’m going to have breakfast with my girlfriend and then probably dinner with my family after that,” Grainger laughed. “That’s about it.”
“I’m going to go back to work,” Keeler quickly interjected. “That’s the only plan I have.”
But just what will he be working on? According to DFA79, a follow-up to You’re a Woman has already been finished, though it’s not quite clear exactly when or where they recorded it. And aside from Keeler’s insistence that the new album is “four hours long,” the band is being tight-lipped with any additional info.
“I don’t feel comfortable giving you guys the exclusive,” Grainger said. “So all I’m going to say is that it’s all original material. And that we wrote all of it ourselves.”
“I don’t even like making dates with girls, because if I don’t show up, then they can say I let them down. It’s better to be like, ’I’ll be there, you’ll be there, if it works out, cool.’ ” Keeler laughed. “So that’s what I’m going to say about our new record. I don’t want to let her down. I don’t want her to hate me later.”
They’re a little more open with the information about their new remix album, Romance, Bloody Romance, a collection of their tracks reworked by the likes of QOTSA frontman Josh Homme, Arcade Fire associate Owen Pallett and Sam Merrann of current Brit buzz act Test Icicles.
Of course, being more open isn’t always a good thing.
“The remix record is a collection of B-sides and remixes that were put together for releases in the U.K. that were never commercially available in North America,” Grainger said. “So as a service to our fans in America, we’re selling them a product that has been available in the U.K. for quite some time.”
Track list for Death From Above 1979’s Romance, Bloody Romance, according to Vice:
- “Better Off Dead” (with La Peste)
- “Blood On Our Hands (Justice Remix)”
- “Romantic Rights (Erol Alkan’s Love From Below Re-Edit)”
- “Black History Month” (Alan Braxe & Fred Falke remix)
- “Little Girl (MSTRKRFT Edition)”
- “Romantic Rights” (the Phone Lovers remix)
- “Black History Month” (Josh Homme remix)
- “You’re Lovely (But You’ve Got Problems)”
- “Romantic Rights” (Marczech Makuziak remix)
- “Black History Month” (Sammy Danger remix)
- “Romantic Rights” (Dahlback remix)
- “Black History Month (Girl on Girl – Final Fantasy Revision)”
- “Sexy Results (MSTRKRFT Edition)”