Death formed in the early 70's by Bobby, David, and Dannis Hackney, three brothers living in Detroit during the height of Motown. Inspired by Alice Cooper and The Who, the Hackneys played punk music in their spare bedroom back when the idea of punk music barely existed. Detroit's United Sound Studios recorded a seven song demo reel for Death during the summer of 1974. However, label after label rejected Death after perceiving their band name to be too aggressive and finding their sound confusing for a band of black teens growing up during the emergence of disco. With no other backers, the band self-released 500 copies of a 7" featuring their songs, "Politicians in My Eye" and "Keep on Knocking." But after years of constant rejection, the band broke up in 1977.
Three decades later in 2009, after finding their original pressing, releasing it digitally, and seeing its popularity spike over the internet, Drag City Records released …For the Whole World to See, an LP featuring all seven of the songs Death recorded back in '74. Later that year, the brothers reformed Death to play three shows with guitarist Bobbie Duncan filling in for the late David Hackney. And this year, filmmakers Jeff Holett and Mark Covino are touring the world with their independent documentary A Band Called Death which chronicles the band's success decades after they'd broken up. Tomorrow, the Brattle is showing the Boston premiere of the film along with a Q&A with its directors. The Media had the opportunity to chat with Bobby and Dannis Hackney about Death, Detroit, and how the Internet helped the resurgence of their music careers . . .