News / / 05.01.15

DFA1979’s Jesse F. Keeler

From the second we laid eyes on him, we knew Jesse F. Keeler was a cool motherfucker.

Wrangling piercing, turgid, grubby, burrowing, deafening, coital, audacious sounds from something so simple as a Rickenbacker bass and single- handedly reintroducing the handlebar moustache into alternative culture – this guy was a keeper. After Death From Above 1979 self-immolated in a blaze of feedback back in the mid-00s, he continued to show his bold lust for progression, forming MSTRKRFT and releasing trashy, bashy robotic funk back when it was the sole domain of the French and dubstep was some freaky neologism which actually bore some relation to dub. So now that DFA1979 have resumed leaving a trail of unsuspecting venues rubbled in their wake, we’re thrilled to have Jesse back in our lives. With the recent release of Life After Death From Above, a documentary capturing the band’s reformation, we called him up and asked him 20 stupid questions while he cackled wildly between hearty puffs on a cigarette.

What was your favourite cartoon when you were a kid?

Captain Caveman.

Favourite member of Slipknot?

Oh, that’s so tough man. My first instinct is to say Joey. I’ll say Joey. I know he’s left, but he’s a fucking hummingbird.

And your favourite character in The Wire?

I never saw it! I get asked about that show all the time.

Do you support a sports team?

Well, my wife is from Essex and her whole family is West Ham, so I’m stuck with that. It’s kinda funny, I understand their pain cause it’s kinda like supporting any team from Toronto. It’s like, we’re pretty good, but never that good – but we’re big fans! We watch every game! When they got back into the Premiership I had a big party at my house

What’s the most overrated album of all time?

Shit, that’s tough. There are so many but I don’t wanna sound like an asshole. It’s sorta relative, but for me, whatever that Nirvana album with Smells Like Teen Spirit on it. See, I don’t even know the name! [laughs] It wasn’t a big deal for me cause I was already in this punk scene, I was like – what’s the big deal? Haven’t you guys heard Fugazi?!

What’s your favourite sitcom?

Well, I’ve never seen it, but I’ll say Only Fools and Horses, my wife’s family always say I remind them of the old guy from that show.

Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met?

Clint Eastwood. He was cool as shit too!

What’s your signature recipe?

Chicken Tikka Masala. I have a lot of family from India!

Favourite cereal?

Honey Bunches of Oats.

Wayne’s World or Bill & Ted?

Oh Wayne’s World, of course.

If you were trying to seduce a potential lover, what music would you play?

The Flamingos.

Ever taken acid?


Have you ever worn a cowboy hat and boots?

Yes, absolutely!

If you could pick a surrogate grandparent, who would it be?

Also Clint Eastwood.

When is the last time you sprinted as fast as you can?

Like, a week ago. I have a farm, everything’s really far away. If you wanna get to anything you run as fast as you can but it doesn’t feel like you’re getting anywhere.

Have you ever been arrested?

Err… I’ve never been charged. Definitely spent some time in the back of a cop car though.

What’s your worst habit?

Saying ‘like’.

Would you go for a pint with Kanye West?

Yeah, I’d be curious.

Rate these in order of how much you like them: Danny DeVito, Danny Glover, Daniel Day-Lewis?

[laughs maniacally] Danny DeVito would go last. I don’t think he’s funny. Day-Lewis would be number ONE, mainly for his moustache in There Will Be Blood.

What would you want written on your tombstone?

I come from a long line of undertakers, so we own a lot of burial plots that keep getting passed down for the last couple hundred years. And all they have on them are names and dates. That’s all I want.