Artist of the Week: Jesse F. Keeler

Get to know the co-mastermind behind Death From Above 1979 & MSTRKRFT

death from above 1Born in Toronto on November 11th, 1976, Jesse F. Keeler grew up wanting to embed himself in the local music scene. He started by playing bass in a handful of different pop punk groups in Toronto, including one called Black Cat #13. After releasing a few 7″ records with Black Cat #13, the group split and Keeler went on to create the 7-piece outfit, Femme Fatale. Three EPs were released under that moniker, all recorded by Keeler himself and produced by his good friend Al Puodziukas (Al-P).

It was in 2001 that Keeler would find out his roommate would be his new bandmate. He had been recording bass and drum instrumentals and his roommate Sebastien Grainger was clamouring to get his vocals on them. The two tried to find a drummer with no luck. Grainger decided to give singing while drumming a try and thus Death From Above 1979 was born. ‘DFA’ toured hard for the better part of four years and released two EPs and one full length. In 2006, DFA announced their break-up on their website, though it happened a year prior to the announcement.

936full-mstrkrftKeeler finished building MSTRKRFT studios in Moss Park in Toronto and he, alongside Al-P, started to created music under that handle. MSTRKRFT took off after releasing their debut LP The Looks and the follow up, more hip-hop focused sophomore album, Fist of God. ‘JFK’ continued to tour for years, playing major festivals all over the world. And eventually, like we were all hoping for, Death From Above 1979 did get back together in 2011 and have a new record on the way.

In the mean time you can get your Jesse F. Keeler fix this Thursday when MSTRKRFT plays Last Gang’s 10th Anniversary Show at Kool Haus.

Did You Know?

  • MSTRKRFT has been commissioned to remix Bloc Party, Katy Perry, Kylie Minogue, Metric and more.
  • MSTRKRFT’s songs have been featured in multiple video games including Saints Row 2, Injustice: Gods Among Us and Need For Speed: Pro Street.
  • The name MSTRKRFT was stylized this way to avoid copyright infringement with Canadian tool company Mastercraft.
  • Jesse F. Keeler and Sebastien Grainger met at a Sonic Youth concert.

Discography
Femme Fatale – As You Sow, So Shall You Reap EP (2002)
Femme Fatale – Fire Baptism EP (2002)
Femme Fatale – From the Abundance of the Heart, the Mouth Speaks (2004)

Death From Above 1979 – Heads Up EP (2002)
Death From Above 1979 – Romantic Rights EP (2004)
Death From Above 1979 – You’re a Women, I’m A Machine (2004)
Death From Above 1979 – Romance Bloody Romance: Remixes and B-Sides EP (2005)

MSTRKRFT – The Looks (2006)
MSTRKRFT – BOUNCE/VUVUVU (2008)
MSTRKRFT – Fist of God (2009)

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