Death From Above 1979’s Sebastien Grainger on New Album, Audience Reactions + More
Death From Above 1979 have made a triumphant return this past year with their new album, 'The Physical World.' After splitting in 2006, the duo got back together and have been hitting the road in support of the new disc. Singer-drummer Sebastien Grainger recently spoke with 'Loudwire Nights' host Full Metal Jackie about their return and you can check out the interview below.
We've got Sebastien from Death From Above 1979 with us on the show. Sebastien, musically what's been the most noticeable difference in how you and Jesse collaborate compared to 10 years ago when you recorded the last album?
I'd say we're more critical of one another in a constructive way. I think that in the old days we just went with whatever, you know? Which was cool. I like this process a little better. Maybe question each other's hearts a little more, going oh well -- maybe we can try something different? Pushing things forward a little harder.
After splitting up in 2006, Death From Above 1979 got back together and started touring again in 2011. You're back on the road now. What did you miss most about performing these songs together?
I don't know if I did miss it, actually. At this point, now that we're kind of going it just feels like a continuation of before. Certainly when we weren't doing it, I don't think either one of us was longing for it. But the reaction from the audiences has been pretty amazing. So that's something that motivates us. Yeah, I think that's probably the biggest thing. We've had crazy audiences before, but it seems like they're a little bit more lustful somehow.
What surprised you most about the band still having album sales while it was defunct? How much did that continued interest affect the decision to get back together?
It's not something we thought about too much in the hiatus. It wasn't a big motivator. You have to understand, it's not like we have a great perspective on it. It's like, the thing that we did so its difficult to have an objective perspective on it. I don't think album sales is what motivated us to do it again. I think it was more the curiosity that we both had to see if we could still do it and enjoy it primarily. And secondly if people would be interested in it. I think that as super unsexy pragmatists, I think that Jesse and I were both curious to see if it's even an audience for this music still, that was active. We knew that there was this vague abstract idea of what the band was and a lore that surrounded the band, but none of that is tangible and we don't really get a sense of what the band is until we start playing in front of people. That's the real nature of the band.
Records are records and all that but what we do together live is really -- it's what the truth is about the band. So to be able to do that in front of an audience and have an audience appreciate it, and experience it with us, really that's what it is. It's about sharing an experience with the inclination for audiences to snap photos and take videos, and take that away. It's kind of a compulsion that people have but it doesn't yield the results. I don't think there's one piece of good video of any band that's been taken on a cellphone ever. Maybe the rare hokey thing but usually it's terrible looking and sounding. Really, the only thing that we can ask is that people come and share the experience of the show with us, in the moment. That's what the band is all about.
Your wife, Eva, tells the story of the band with 'Life After Death From Above 1979,' a documentary about you and Jesse reuniting. Did anything about the movie surprise you, seeing your story told through someone else's eyes?
Yeah. She's telling a specific story with her voice. It's interesting to see, the first time Jesse and I fought was with an audience. We'd see versions of it, but we had never seen the final cut. So to watch it with other people was interesting because you somehow get an objective perspective on the band and what's surprised me the most was that people that were watching it, they felt those feelings I was feeling. There are parts of the movie where we're preparing to play Coachella and I know when I see the videos, I've been watching cuts of this film for the past few years, and I always find it so nerve wracking to watch because I was so nervous. But I didn't know that would come across through my body language because I'm not saying anything crazy. It's just my body language essentially. To watch people and see them after the screening, I said, 'Oh my God, I was so nervous and I'm so excited for this part, blah.' To have people maybe even vaguely step in my shoes for a moment was an interesting experience.
Thanks to Death From Above 1979's Sebastien Grainger for the interview. The band's new album, 'The Physical World,' is currently available at Amazon and iTunes. You can also look for the band on tour at these stops. Tune in to Loudwire Nights With Full Metal Jackie and Tony LaBrie’ Monday through Friday 7PM through midnight online or on the radio. To see which stations and websites air ‘Loudwire Nights,’ click here.
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