Powerhouse Canadian bassist Jesse F. Keeler is OK promoting “The Physical World” – the surprising new comeback disc from his long-dormant duo Death from Above 1979 (with drummer-vocalist Sebastien Grainger). It follows their 2004 debut “You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine” and an official breakup in 2006. The pair just played celebratory hometown shows in Toronto, with guest lists so loaded with friends and family, he says, “It wasn’t plus-ones anymore – it was plus-parties.”
So you have a rooftop garden in Toronto?
Yeah. I’ve got habaneros, corn, two different types of tomatoes. It gives me some peace of mind. But I also have a 200-acre farm, away from the city. So it started with me growing vegetables, and it evolved into getting my own solar power supply. But I just like the idea of it – a more traditional way of living.
So you’ll be ready when the grid goes down?
Yeah. But I’ll give you a less extreme example. We had a big four-day power failure here last Christmas, and only us and the old lady across the street – she’s hard as nails – had firewood. And fireplaces. So we were OK. But I went to a big Home Depot-type store to get flashlight batteries, and just watching the panic in that store was really something else.
You’ll be glad you have that farm one day.
After I bought it, a lot of friends were like, “Hey, so how do you get there, exactly?” And I said “I’ll tell you. But you’re going to have to go to work!”
It’s like “The Liitle Red Hen.” Nobody wanted to help you build the farm. But they’ll want to live there, post-apocalypse.
Want to hear something crazy? I have two daughters, and I wanted to get them that book. But I learned that a lot of schools don’t really teach that story anymore. They don’t want kids to think that way, apparently.
The “too much positive reinforcement” movement?
Yes. And it leads to this bruised narcissism. You get out into the world and find out that actually no one cares about you, and you’re going to have to do a lot of these things yourself.
And you’re trying to stay offline, too?
Yeah. And as I’ve gotten away from the Internet, the quality of my friendships has increased, because the interaction is more sincere. I called a friend to say happy birthday, and he said, “Wow, this really means something. No one reminded you online!”
IF YOU GO
Death From Above 1979
Where: Independent, 628 Divisadero St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Nov. 17
Tickets: $27.50 (sold out)
Contact: (415) 771-1421, www.ticketfly.com