thumbThe Killers are an alternative rock band from Las Vegas, Nevada, who formed in 2002. Brandon Flowers was inspired to start the band in part after seeing Oasis perform at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel in April 2002.
The band took their name from a New Order video titled "Crystal". It was featured on the bass drum of a fictional band in the video.
Brandon Flowers – vocals and keyboards
David Keuning – guitar
Mark Stoermer – bass
Ronnie Vannucci (Jr.) – drums
In 2001, Brandon Flowers was abandoned by the first band that he was in, a synth pop band known as Blush Response, after he declined to move with the rest of them to Los Angeles, California. After he quit, Flowers responded to an ad in the Las Vegas Weekly by future guitarist David Keuning, about forming a band which was inspired by bands such as Oasis, The Cure, New Order, and The Smiths. They met and immediately clicked, and set out to find a drummer and a bassist. Many auditions later, they found Mark Stoermer and Ronnie Vannucci to fill the posts.
Before they had become a band, all four of them had various jobs: Flowers was a bellhop, for a while, at the Gold Coast Hotel, even though he had dropped out of college; David Keuning, who was originally from Pella, Iowa but moved to Las Vegas in January of 2000, worked at a Banana Republic store—even though he dropped out of Kirkwood Community College and then the University of Iowa; Mark Stoermer worked as a medical courier delivering various medical supplies; Ronnie Vannucci was a student of classical percussion at UNLV and worked as a photographer at the Little Chapel of Flowers. Their band had a gig at a gay Las Vegas drag queen club.
Writing in 120 degree temperatures in the garage that became their rehearsal room provided a suitably intense hot-housing effect. And when they couldn't get into the garage they'd use Ronnie's spymaster knowledge to gain mid-night access to the facilities available at his University's music school. "There was about 2000 sq ft of luxurious practice space complete with drum sets, marimbas, cymbals, pianos etc. So, for about a month or two we lugged a Marshall to sing out of, a Deville to play the axe through, a Bassman for the keyboard, a bass cabinet for Mark and I used the UNLV pep drum band set," reminisces Ronnie. "Though I'd like to make clear that no instruments were mistreated during this time as we are, and continue to be, respectful, professional and, last but not least, resourceful musicians."
So far so romantic, then. The early core of the band was cemented and their amazingly-previously-unused moniker appropriated from a New Order video. The premise of said promo was - since New Order themselves were looking rather on the chubby side - to represent in the promo the perfect band - with the greatest song as well as model good-looks and youth on their side - to represent Barney & Co. That band was called The Killers. "It gave me the ambition that our actual band should be as perfect as their fictional band," says Flowers. And so began our heroes' journey...
UK magazine NME was an early champion of the band - reviewing early UK shows. The band became more well-known when they released their album Hot Fuss on June 7, 2004 in the United Kingdom (on London-based indie record label Lizard King Records) and June 15 in the United States on Island Records. They released their Japanese and French versions of the same album in late 2004. Their first single, "Somebody Told Me," was released on that same year. The band also had chart success with their singles "Mr. Brightside", which reached the Top 10 in the UK when released, and "All These Things That I've Done".
It was during these pressurised sessions that The Killers began to live up to the expectations commanded by the roots of their name and wrote the bulk of the songs that were to comprise their debut album, the fittingly-titled Hot Fuss. Prolific writers, they were unearthing songs of jealousy and paranoia; tales about murderers, stalkers and Studio 54 AIDS victims; androgynous girlfriends and cuckolded boyfriends; and songs of ambition and the desire to rise above the everyday.
Hot Fuss features eleven nuggets of reel-you-in storytelling genius and musical nectar that belie the incredible truth that, when it's released on June15th, chief songwriter and lyricist Brandon Flowers will still only be 22 years old. These eleven tracks span from the "very Vegas - like Ziggy came to town" first proper single release "Somebody Told Me" (which glided into the Top 30 in March 04); the aforementioned "Mr Brightside" - a tale of jealousy that depicts that moment in a relationship when you realise that your other half might be playing away and this thought takes up residence in your psyche feeding the worst fears and visualisations your imagination can then throw at you. You'll find two-thirds of a murder trilogy (oh yes - don't rule out the possibility of a future concept album) in "Midnight Show", which starts off harking back to "Lipgloss" before veering into far darker territory than old Jarvis would ever have flirted with, in Pulp days at least, and "Jenny". These two are connected by the story of a murder of a girl by her jealous boyfriend ("There was water involved," says Brandon, cryptically, "although he didn't drown her"). The first part of the trilogy, "Leave The Bourbon On The Shelf", will, you can be sure, make an appearance at some point in the future. It's a deliciously ambitious series that belies the band's tender years, and they've already decided they'll be calling on our favourite dark lord actor James Spader for the video.. Elsewhere, meanwhile: "On Top" celebrates where Brandon feels the band is at, while stalker's tale "Andy You're A Star" and "All These Things That I've Done," a future smash hit if ever we heard one, saw Flowers realise his dream of using a gospel choir in their recordings. This choir - "Sweet Inspirations" - are best known for their work with Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, and Aretha Franklin. "It was such an amazing experience working with the choir in the studio that we decided to incorporate one into special live shows, including the the Spin Magazine show [at SXSW 04]," says Brandon
Much of The Killers' music is based on British influences and on the music of the 1980s, particularly the New Wave genre. Brandon Flowers occasionally sings with a faux British accent.
On December 1 2004 they appeared as guests on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and on December 2 2004, they made a guest appearance on the FOX television series The O.C.. On January 5 2005 they were the musical guest on Saturday Night Live. In the past, they have appeared as musical guests on: Jimmy Kimmel Live, Pepsi Smash, The Late Show with David Letterman, and in Britain they have appeared on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross and Later with Jools Holland. Most recently, on April 14, 2005, they appeared on the The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. On May 12, 2005, they performed throughout MTV Presents: The Next Generation Xbox Revealed.
They will be performing at the 2005 Glastonbury festival. Following Kylie Minogue cancelling, The Killers were offered her headlining spot on the Sunday night of the festival. They turned down the offer, stating that they didn't think they were popular enough.
"Somebody Told Me" is a perfectly stylish song that pulls from the band's influences -- the Smiths, New Order, Oasis, and the Cure -- and it was just enough to get them on MTV. Part new wave and part new-millennium post-punk, this Las Vegas foursome originally got together in 2002.
A worldwide deal with Island followed shortly thereafter, positioning the Killers to join the ranks of Interpol, the Rapture, and the Strokes. Shared U.K. dates with British Sea Power and stellastarr* in summer 2004 also gave the band the opportunity to showcase material from its debut album. Hot Fuss appeared in June. Two months later, it was announced that the Killers were among the ten finalists up for the 2004 Shortlist Music Prize
Brandon's family moved to a little town known as Nephi, Utah, when he was eight because his parents were tired of living in Las Vegas after forty years, Brandon stated in the October 2004 issue of Spin magazine . When he was sixteen, he had the chance to return to Las Vegas which he did and attended Chaparral High School.
Brandon Flowers used to be chubby, but he lost some weight over the years.
Dave Keuning's old stage name, which he no longer uses, was "Tavian Go".
The Killers seem to have a penchant for attracting natural disasters. The band was shaken by an earthquake during the recording of their song “Believe Me Natalie” at Lizard King, which caused Vannucci to fall from his stool. They encountered fires in Simi Valley, California when they recorded their song “Change Your Mind” for the American version of their album Hot Fuss. And finally, the band thought they were going to die when their private jet hit an downdraft in December 2003 when flying from Texas to the U.K..
In the new Mr. Brightside video, the bass drum gives the made-up band's name as "The Genius Sex Poets." This is rumored to be a name they were thinking of using before they settled on The Killers.
"Somebody Told Me" is a popular choice for the music in anime music videos.
Brandon Flowers has some grudges against The Bravery's musical success. He claims the band only got signed because of the success of The Killers.
Liam Gallagher encourages competition between The Killers and The Bravery, as Oasis's own rivalry with Blur in 1995 sent both bands to the peaks of their careers.
Brandon Flowers disagrees with the look of the "Smile Like You Mean It" video, calling it too English-looking for American audiences.
The Killers played to their largest audience to date in Toronto on May 31, 2005 at the Molson Amphitheatre.">,