What was going through your head as you watched the documentary the first time?
Dannis Hackney: We always get emotional with the documentary. There’s a lot of personal stuff in there, and we can hardly watch it without crying.
Bobby Hackney: It brings us back down memory lane. They really got into the heart, soul and mind of our brother David, and that was what opened the gateway to our whole family.
What’s it been like experiencing this Death renaissance without David?
Dannis Hackney: I have been able to take it in because of the conversations me and David had before he left. He used to tell us things like, “This music is not going to make it ’til I’m gone,” and, “You guys are going to realize this dream, but I won’t be there because I don’t really want to go through the money trip,” which is what he used to call it. I remember [talking to] David [at my wedding] in [September] 2000 and ... he looked at me and said, “Man, I’m going to make sure Bob has the [Death] master tapes and everything, because after this you won’t see me anymore.” Then one month after I got married, David died.
Why do you think the music has endured?
Dannis Hackney: People are saying it was ahead of its time, and we always knew David was ahead of his time. David was always telling us we were doing something no one else was doing. On the east side of Detroit in the black community no one tuned into rock ‘n’ roll, so we just thought we were an abnormal thing in our own neighborhood. We never thought we were an abnormal thing in all of music.
Bobby Hackney: We used to be the activity in the neighborhood, like, “Let’s go check out those crazy Hackneys!”
Death, 8:30 p.m. Dec. 31 at Reggie’s Rock Club. $20-$25.