The Killers

"One of the biggest bands on the planet" Drummer

The Killers

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Few bands in the early 2000s rose so quickly to the forefront of pop music as The Killers. With a mix of ’80s-styled synth pop and fashionista charm, the band’s street-smart debut, Hot Fuss, became one of 2004′s biggest releases, spawning four singles and catapulting the group — particularly their dandyish, 22-year-old frontman, Brandon Flowers — into the international spotlight. Hot Fuss reveled in the garish glitz of the band’s native Las Vegas, spinning tales of androgynous girlfriends and illicit affairs to a public whose taste for revivalist dance-rock would prove to be virtually insatiable. Franz Ferdinand, Interpol, and the Bravery all benefited from such retro-minded interest, but The Killers unapologetically trumped them all — even when their sophomore effort, Sam’s Town, deemphasized the group’s new wave sensibilities in favor of something more akin to the heartland rock of Bruce Springsteen and Rattle and Hum-era U2.

Brandon Flowers (vocals/keyboards), David Keuning (guitar), Mark Stoermer (bass), and Ronnie Vannucci (drums) first came together in 2002, two years before Hot Fuss introduced their band to the public. Flowers had been sacked by his former synth pop band, Blush Response, after refusing to move to Los Angeles with the rest of his bandmates. Instead, he remained in Las Vegas, where he soon met local guitarist and Oasis fanatic Keuning. The two began collaborating on material; within weeks, they’d composed their soon-to-be radio hit “Mr. Brightside.” Stoermer, a former medical courier, and Vannucci, a classical percussion major at UNLV, eventually joined the fray, and the band began playing small clubs in its hometown. A U.K. representative for Warner Bros. caught wind of The Killers’ brewing hype, and although he neglected to bring them aboard the Warner roster, he did pass along their demo to the London-based indie imprint Lizard King. The British label quickly signed The Killers, who temporarily moved to the U.K. and issued a limited-edition single for “Mr. Brightside.” The Killers’ buzz had effectively traveled back across the Atlantic by fall 2003, and the band was offered a prime spot at the annual CMJ Music Marathon in New York City. A worldwide deal with Island followed shortly thereafter, positioning The Killers to join the ranks of Interpol, the Rapture, and the Strokes.

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