Why is the band called The Killlers
Interestingly, Las Vegas, the glittering show and gaming city, has not yet produced any relevant pop bands. Until The Killers step on the scene. In 2002 Brandon Flowers (vocals, keyboards) left his old band Blush Response and answered a newspaper advertisement. There's a guy named Dave Keuning (guitar) looking for someone to make music with. Right from the start, the two were united by their love for Oasis. After looking at some bass players and drummers, they choose Mark Stoermer to pluck bass and Ronnie Vannucci to play drums.
The band name comes, curiously, from a New Order video in which a fictional band called The Killers appears. The songs of the killers are mostly created in collaboration between Flowers and Keuning - in one or the other's living room. The rehearsals will initially take place in Vannucci's garage. When he sells his house, they secretly sneak into a rehearsal room at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he was studying.
With a bunch of written songs in their luggage, The Killers set out to conquer the world. The British freshman Käseblatt NME quickly finds favor with the newcomers and Island Records will soon have a contract under their noses.
The rest is regular band history, after a tour with British Sea Power the recordings for their first album follow. Neither bushfires nor earthquakes stop the four of them, and so after three months in the studio they finally have "Hot Fuss" up their sleeves.
They quickly develop into everybody's darling. High positions in the British charts followed, with the re-release of "Somebody Told Me" they landed a top 5 hit. The band also has a sizeable fan base in Germany. And things are slowly starting to roll in their home country, too. Result: multiple and single platinum hail in the USA, England, Australia and Canada.
Her idol Morrissey invites her to open a few shows for him and U2 take the young musicians with them on the European part of their tour. The killers enjoy the fame that suddenly came over them. After that, they retreat to Las Vegas to record a new album.
The first details about the new album announce a change of image, with the help of photo legend Anton Corbijn the artwork changes from previously dazzlingly colorful to black and white. The boys grow their beards and casually emphasize adulthood.
The music of "Sam's Town" (2006) also differs significantly from the debut: The Killers rock more, have brought the guitars to the front with the help of producers Flood and Alan Moulder and turned the keyboards a little quieter.
Before the next regular album, the Killers will release a disc with B-sides, rarities and remixes of older tracks at the end of 2007, including a newly recorded song called "Tranquilize". In the duet, frontman Brandon Flowers shares the microphone with Lou Reed.
On their third studio album, which will be released a year later, they continue on the path they have chosen, away from new wave and towards stadium rock and pop. Stuart Price (Madonna and Gwen Stefani) gives "Day & Age" a sound garment suitable for dance floors and charts. The single "Human" shows that he (and the Killers) did everything right and it will be their biggest chart success to date.
They tour extensively around the globe and are also allowed to play in the venerable Royal Albert Hall in London, which is recorded on a live DVD. The world tour, fame and personal blows of fate (Flowers' mother dies of a brain tumor) demand a lot from the band. At the beginning of 2010 they took a break that lasted a year and a half.
But they are not lazy during this time. The individual band members gradually release solo albums. Flowers started with "Flamingo", drummer Vannucci followed up with "Big Talk" and at the end of 2011, when the band was already working on songs together again, bassist Stoermer presented his solo debut "Another Life".
Only Keuning, who as lead guitarist wrote practically all of the killer hits together with Flowers, remained silent during this time. In mid-2011 the band is hot again for a new Killers album and gets together in the studio to record "Battle Born". On the accompanying tour, the band will also play concerts in Russia and China for the first time.
A good ten years after "Hot Fuss", the Killers release their first best of album. The work on the fifth studio album is dragging on, in 2016 a Christmas album will be released to bridge the gap. In the same year, Mark Stoermer announced that he wanted to cut back on the Killers. He wanted to pursue private goals and release another solo album, but would continue to be part of the band. He is therefore still involved in the album recordings and was also there when the band recorded a song for Robbie Williams' "Heavy Entertainment Show".
Dave Keuning also announces after the recordings of "Wonderful Wonderful" that he will no longer do the subsequent world tour because he would like to spend more time with his family. During his retreat, however, he got inspiration for a solo album with the funny name "Prismism". The word may derive from the style of the painter Lyonel Feininger, who called his art 'prismaism'. The catchy record can almost be described as Americana and shows Keuning with straight classic songwriter rock, sometimes in the genre of Jackson Browne. So it is fitting that Lindsey Buckingham will grab the lead guitar on the next Killers single.
A new longplayer from The Killers is due for spring 2020 with "Imploding The Mirage". The guests next to Buckingham are the front man of War On Drugs, the singer / songwriter K.D. Lang, indie rockers Lucius and folk lady Weyes Blood. Behind the controls are two band members of the power folk popper Foxygen. Despite an extensive tour, apart from Southside / Hurricane, only one concert in the Wiener Stadthalle is on the agenda for German-speaking countries.
Catch-up dates will follow in 2021, the European tour will mainly lead to England and Ireland. Even if the twelve month waiting period might have healed wounds, namely those between Dave Keuning and the rest of the band, the CD follows without a promo tour - and without Keuning. The individual guests have taken his place. Brandon Flowers says nothing on this topic, but about Corona and the temporary travel bans and expresses his frustration in the Berliner Tagesspiegel: "Now it feels like you've prepared a fantastic party that millions would have come to - and then you have to cancel."
A picture by the painter Thomas Blackshear belongs to this festival. It shows a traditionally decorated man from the Absarokee population group, called the 'Crow' or simply 'Indians' by the Americans, of whom around 12,000 still live in nature reserves in the US states of Montana and North Dakota. Not only 'Black Lives Matter', The Killers subliminally say with this artwork for their single "My Own Soul's Warning". Musically, the Killers are at a turning point: Keuning only belongs formally to the group, on paper, so to speak. He wanted to try out a different sound solo, more Americana. And that's exactly what his band is doing now without him.
Interim conclusion of what has happened so far: Americans may have had the steepest music career of their time, and that in the 2000s, plagued by the alleged decline of music. Nevertheless, fame is not the most desirable thing. Flowers sums it up in an interview with Spin magazine: "Maybe the concept of being a mega rock star is really out of date. However, I hope it isn't. People think we just want to be famous for the sake of celebrity, but that's not true. In the end, we just love the music and are grateful that we are where we are."
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