Last month, Death From Above 1979 announced to fans that they were dropping the “1979” from their name, from then on performing and recording simply as Death From Above. For diehard fans, this was a return to their original form.
Death From Above added the 1979 to their name after a legal dispute with James Murphy’s Death From Above Records, though the band never really elaborated on the 1979 aspect of their name. Now, Sebastien Grainger opened up about the name changes in an interview on Matt Pienfield’s podcast 2 Hours with Matt Pinfield.
Grainger states that the band never really cared about 1979, or even used it amongst themselves. “We were having dinner one night and we were probably two bottles of wine deep and I was like, ‘Let’s stop using 1979. It’s too long, it’s a stupid, long name.” After that drunken moment of clarity, the band returned to their respective tours alongside Eagles of Death Metal and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and chose to drop 1979 in all of their promotional materials. “No one said anything,” Grainger said.
The official change (following the release of their latest track “Freeze Me”) came more from circumstance. “When I came to make the single art for ‘Freeze Me’ I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do. The song is ‘Freeze Me’ so I took a literal approach and bought an ice tray that had the alphabet in it. I spelled out Death From Above, ‘Freeze Me’ and there were no numbers in the ice tray. Had there been numbers in the ice tray, maybe ‘Freeze Me’ would’ve been a different thing. It wasn’t laziness, just logistics.”
While some fans might see it as sticking it to the man (DFA Records), it was just simply what the band had always called themselves. “It’s our band name,” Grainger said. “That’s what we called our band. No offense to anybody.”
Photo Credit: Marisa Rose Ficara