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The Killers
The Killers press release opens by putting the band down as among the few Las Vegas exports worth mentioning. Truth be told, Las Vegas/Sin City hasn't had much mention in terms of the arts save for the regular concerts and stand up comedians that draw in the tourist crowds. To this cause, The Killers redeem their hometown in more ways that one.

Given where the band come from, expectations might draw outlines of a band high on self indulgence and typecast them as free living rock and roll role models. Contrary to this, The Killers are a far cry from the Las Vegas profile. Not that they are good in the virginal sense but at the heart of it, they are musicians. And it's quite obvious that that's what occupies the front seat.

Unfortunately for them, having the article, 'The' in their name only serves to clump The Killers amongst a flurry of revivalist bands (garage bands to some). The same bands that have - not too subtly- invaded the recent musical horizon. The White Stripes, The Strokes, The Hives, The Vines, The Bravery, The Music, The Thrills and even The The to name but a few. If not 'The' point of comparison then it's the fresh success of Franz Ferdinand that makes for much loose conversation. Comparisons therefore are numerous but unfazed by it all and much to their credit, The Killers stick to their guns rather uncompromisingly.

The 80's were a great time for pop and The Killers know this better than anyone. Having acquired their name from a mock band in the New Order video Crystal - The Killers bibliography of influences include The Cure, The Smiths, Duran Duran, U2, New Order and Morrissey. More contemporary influences include the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Departure and The Strokes. But there's a reason why the 80's post punk synth - pop scene is brought up so often around The Killers. It's only because they sound so much like an amalgamation of all that they so love about their 80's favorites.

And for once, that's not a bad thing. The Las Vegas foursome comprising Brandon Flowers (vocals and keyboards), guitarist David Keuing, bassist Mark Stoerner and drummer Ronnie Vannucci play music, as they know it. Their debut, Hot Fuss released June 2004 and propelled the band into the gigantic musical arena, taking them from an independent garage band playing local pubs and clubs to the global mainstream in a matter of a few short steps.

In 2002, 21-year-old Brandon Flowers, a practicing Mormon and bellhop at the Gold Coast Hotel in Las Vegas was suddenly dropped from his band Blush Response. Inspired by an Oasis concert, Flowers replied to an ad put out by guitar player Dave Kuening who was also an Oasis fan. Kuening worked at Banana Republic (clothing and apparel) and when the two met, ambition met ideal and they went straight into writing the song, Mr.Brightside. Today the song is a heap of pulsating beats, mixed with 80's synths. and trademark pounding bass all of which form the backdrop to Flower's who starts of sounding like he's singing over a WW II radio while skillfully balancing his Brit-American identity crisis. Apologies if you are out of breath, but that's what The Killers will do to you. Rather appropriately, Mr.Brightside, was chosen as the first single of the album and has been played at every Killers concert unfailingly.

After their first meeting and expanding vision the duo then went in search of bass players and drummers before stumbling on full-time medical courier part-time bass player Mark Stoermer and part-time photographer and classical percussion student at Las Vegas University, Ronnie Vannucci. The songs on Hot Fuss were written and rehearsed in a garage and sometimes Vannucci would sneak them into the UNLV. 2000 Sq Ft of luxurious practice space complete with drum sets, marimbas, cymbals pianos etc, recounts the frenetic drummer. Battling their promising day jobs while writing and practicing their music, the band set about writing what would become one of the most talked about debuts, of the year. And without doubt the most talked about debut in the 'The' sub genre.


You can read the rest of our feature on The Killers in the April 2005 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:

Bruce Springsteen
Mariah Carey
Ajay Devgan
Juggy D
The Young Ones
Natasha Bedingfield
Il Divo
Super Singer Ravindra
DJ Union
John Lennon
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