"Las Vegas is best known as the mecca of rock
excess or a neon graveyard for over-the-hill
But The Killers, born in the heart of Sin City,
have changed all that. Their fizzing
electro-laced guitar pop, presented on last
year’s Hot Fuss debut album and chart-crashing
singles Mr Brightside and Somebody Told Me, has
rocked the globe.
With a No 1 album in the UK, two Brit and three
Grammy nominations, four million sales and the
acclaim and respect of many of their influences
– Bowie, Bono, Morrissey, New Order and Elton
John – they are the hottest band to ever emerge
from Nevada’s most famous city.
''It’s wonderful,” The Killers’ frontman and
major songwriter Brandon Flowers beams. ''To have
people like that liking us is unreal. I idolised
Bowie, Morrissey and Bono while growing up. For
them to have even heard of my band, let alone
say that they like it, solidifies everything for
After playing 260 gigs in the past year, the
band are tired but determined to ride out their
success. Brandon is more than happy to be a
pin-up for both girls and boys across the globe.
''I think it’s good that we're a band for
everybody,''he says. ''We'd never close our doors to anyone. I like
the idea of being a gay icon as much as a straight one. It must mean
we’re doing something right.''
Taking their name from a fictional band featured
in a New Order video, The Killers – Brandon plus
bassist Mark Stoermer, drummer Ronnie Vannucci
and guitarist Dave Keuning -began rehearsing in
a Las Vegas garage in 2001. Right from their
first song, Mr Brightside, Brandon, a former
golfer and a (still) practising Mormon, knew
they had something special.
''We were playing in small bars,''he recalls,
''and although it wasn't apparent we were going
to sell four million records, the song was
getting to people in a way other locals bands
weren't. You're never sure how big you are going
to be, but in our heads we knew.''
Taking the rise out of the cliquey local scene
in Glamorous Indie Rock 'N'Roll, The Killers
''We always wanted the bigness,'' says Brandon.
lot of times people just don’t have the ability
to write songs like we do and they hide behind
the idea that they are underground or Indie. But
if they could write a song like we can, I think they would in a
The band's hectic schedule has put Brandon’s
marriage to fiancee Tama Munbkowsky on hold
until October. A new house in his hometown
Henderson, 10 miles from Vegas, will be ready
for the happy couple in December. Brandon was
recently delighted to come home from tour and
find Tama had become a Mormon.
''I would have married her regardless,'' he says.
''There were no ultimatums, but while I was away
she got involved in it.''
He admits there are conflicts between the rock
lifestyle and his religious beliefs.
''It can be difficult,''Brandon admits.''I'm only
human but I get through it pretty good. If I
drink, it's just beer. I never did much of
''Lately, I've become very sentimental about my
home. The desert is so pretty and Las Vegas is
this beautiful colourful city in the middle of
it. I love going to casinos, shopping and
eating. Growing up, I worked in casinos like a
lot of my family. but none of us are big
''When you are a kid you dream about having
people wanting to touch you, now I want to touch people. I dream of
making another album as good as the first one, but also making it
more important. Music can be such a light for people, because right
now the world is dark a lot of the time. We’re in a good position to
make things brighter.''
Success has brought its pressure, but Brandon
seems equipped to withstand it.
''I've prepared myself,'' he says.''We've never
been a drug band and that helps us to
concentrate and put on great shows. People also
love the wasted bands because you don't know
what will happen onstage. There's a place for
all of us.''
The new single, Smile Like You Mean It, is
released on Monday.''