BOBBY HACKNEY: The Name Death came from David. The name was to revolve around a concept of albums and rock operas that we were planning. Don Davis brought demos of our sessions from United Sounds to New York and presented the demos to a number of music moguls in New York City, Clive Davis at Columbia being one of them. Clive and Don was already involved with other projects such as Johnnie Taylor’s “Disco Lady” so Don presented the tapes to him and He liked what he heard, but he did not like the name of the band and this is what was told to us by Groovesville’s offices. When our brother David heard this suggestion to change the name he replied “Hell No!”
Last year Death released the album, Spiritual, Mental, Physical. What significance does the title have for you?
BH: Spiritual, Mental, Physical was David’s concept as relating to theme of Death.
There has been a documentary made about Death titled, A Band Called Death. What is your favourite moment in the documentary?
BH: Sitting in the recording studio holding the vinyl version of the album for the first time.
For you personally, what was it like to play the first show as Death reformed?
BH: Kinda surreal, with both Dannis and myself thinking hard about our brother David.
What can you tell us about the new Death record you’ve been working on? You recently released the single, Relief.
BH: We’re very excited. The first Death single since Politicians In My Eyes/Keep On Knocking in 1976.
How does it feel to be continuing on with Death after David’s passing? He seems to have been a huge driving force in the band.
BH: We all had that drive, David was just at the wheel. The sound is incredible, but bitter-sweet playing all of those songs we used to do with David. What we instilled in each other in the 70s just seemed to kick-in as we began to play the music again, and even more amazing is connecting with Bobbie Duncan a guitar player who is of the same age group and musical background era as our brother Dave was.
With all the activity happening in the Death camp of late, where does that leave your reggae band, Lambsbread?
BH: We have plans for Lambsbread; Death is our priority.
In a previous interview with Bobby he mentions that after moving away from Detroit to Vermont he became a disk jockey, and became affiliated with a bunch of local promoters, one that was bringing in Bob Marley and Peter Tosh and that you got to meet all of these people. He said that Peter gave you guys some real good advice. What was that advice?
BH: He just said “You must play Reggae music.”
What’s next to unfold in the story for Death? I keep hearing that there’s a big announcement coming! Can you give us a little insight?
BH: Some great stuff involving the movie, new music, and even Jack White’s Thirdman Records. You’ll know very soon. Just remember, As in Life…Death only happens once. So let’s have fun with it.
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