The band formed in 2001 as Death From Above but have released music as Death From Above 1979 after receiving a cease-and-desist complaint from James Murphy’s label Death From Above Records.
Having the duo premiered their new single ‘Freeze Me’ earlier today (June 6), a representative for the band has now confirmed that they will be billed as Death From Above again from now on, although their social media accounts will keep the 1979 suffix.
Responding to the original cease-and-desist letter, Death From Above wrote on their website: “FUCK DFA RECORDS FUCK JAMES MURPHY WE DECLARE JIHAD ON THEM HOLY WAR ENDING IN THIER DEATH AND DISMEMBERMENT… james murphy is a selfish piece of fuck that will burn in the flames of a specially dedicated rock and roll jihad. if i had the resources i would fly a plane into his skull.”
Murphy then told Pitchfork in 2005: “We just tried to make it work as well as possible. I think they seem to understand it now. If they wanna be aggro in the press, I don’t care. If that works for you, that’s funny. It’s all very Andy Kaufman to me.”
Speaking to The Guardian in 2014, vocalist/drummer Sebastian Grainger said of their initial reaction: “That was our attitude then and we now know that James Murphy wasn’t involved in the cease-and-desist. He was on honeymoon.”
The Toronto duo – made up of Grainger and bassist Jesse F. Keeler – are returning with their first new material since 2014’s ‘The Physical World’. That album had ended a 10-year period of silence in terms of recording from the band, who initially split in 2006 before reforming in 2011.
Anticipation for Death From Above 1979’s third album was ramped up this evening (June 6) by the official debut of ‘Freeze Me’, which premiered as Mistajam’s Hottest Record In The World during his show on BBC Radio 1. The band told Mistajam that “it will not be 10 years” before fans can hear their new record.