Death From Above

By Ivan Danielewicz

In a concert that was being co-headlined by the media-driven Billy Talent and the underground Alexisonfire, I was given the opportunity to find an incredibly unique and talented band.

Death From Above has only two members, a drummer and a bassist. Now I know the first thing to jump to your minds is, "Oh no, not another White Stripes…" Thankfully, they don’t resemble them in any other way.

Sitting down with Sebastian Grainger (vocals/percussion) and Jesse F. Keeler (bass), I had the opportunity to learn more about their music and band. Sadly, I was forced to miss Billy Talent. Darn.

"The tour so far has been like a travelling summer camp with strippers and drinking," laughs Grainger. "Nothing too weird has gone on yet, except for that fight with the bouncer."

When asked about their small band, Keeler simply answers by saying they found they didn’t need anything more.

"The bass and drums fill out the sound completely," he explains. "I mean, if a guitar was to be added to the band, it would just seem out of place."

With the help of an effects pedal, Keeler was able to create a blasting sound, that when combined with the booming beats from Grainger’s steady drumming drove the audience into a maddened craze of musical adrenaline.

"All music is derived either from vocals or the drum and bass mix, and the latter’s where we get our music from,"says Keeler. "I listen to a lot of rap and house music and the drum and bass is really evident in that stuff."

"But our influences don’t really come from anywhere in particular," adds Grainger. "If anything, our influences are from all the ridiculous shit that goes on around us. Our music is a pure, physical expression."

Their live show is amazing with Keeler rampaging around the stage, thrashing back and forth, creating various sounds on his bass and playing samples. Grainger’s drum kit had been moved right up to the front of the stage so he could take part in the festivities. At one point he even left his drums to go and sing directly to the crowd.

As for the other bands, Alexisonfire was amazing. They were simply the best band there–funny because they were opening for Billy Talent. Billy Talent’s performance was nothing special, basically sounding like their new album.

Death From Above and Alexisonfire made the show. It should have stopped there because Billy Talent brought a different atmosphere to the concert.

"Death From Above is for the people," explained Keeler.

The people liked what they saw, and there was much rejoicing.


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