Bet On These Vegas Players

 The Killers

8.5 Magazine
Issue #6
 2004
by Patty Rodriguez

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, and no one would ever guess that Sin City offered anything good other then over priced hookers and free alcohol in exchange for your soul. But out of the latex and wasted retirement savings, emerge The Killers with a sound that will take you to the days where the hair was big and Miami Vice was the sexiest show on television. It took a grueling month trying to get this interview granted and a showing of my left nipple (ok I didn't have to show him my nipple, but I would have if needed to). Finally, Dave Keuning, the guitarist, was able to take time off from their sold-out tour in the UK to talk to us about Morrissey, rock star life in the UK , and how they don't mind being weighed against all those bands that made us dance if we wanted to.

Let's start off by congratulating you guys on your upcoming debut album release, ‘Hot Fuss'. We understand you guys are in the UK , and when the album becomes available here you will still be in UK . What are you guys planning on doing for the release?
Thank you very much. We will be in the UK for the UK release on June 7th and in the US for the US release June 15th. The US release will coincide with an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel. We'll also be touring the West Coast during this time hitting up the major radio festivals and playing our own headline club dates as well.

How is the UK fan base treating you guys? Tell us a little bit about the difference between fans in the US and the UK .
The fans in the UK are some of the most appreciative music people we know. They've been really receptive to us. As for the US , it's been a gradual climb and we hope that when we're able to spend more time touring here we'll win people over.

Any crazy things happening over there?
People are starting to recognize us on the streets, which is so weird to us. Just 2 months ago nobody recognized us on the streets, but since our video for "Mr. Brightside" started airing on MTV, we're definitely getting noticed.

Recently you guys opened up for Moz. Opening up for such a legend like Morrissey must have been euphoric. Tell us a little about the experience.
It was an amazing honor to be on the same bill as Morrissey, and thankfully the crowd was receptive to us. We got to meet him and the band briefly. It was one of our biggest crowds to play to, and one of the shining moments in our career so far.

Morrissey's fans in Southern California are mostly Hispanic. These fans are die-hard fans. Was it difficult to reach to them?
No, they were quite cool.

Lately the music we hear on the airwaves has been compared to either post-punk or new-wave. Bands like Interpol, The Vines, and The Strokes have gone under the media microscope. You guys have been compared to Duran Duran and Psychedelic Furs, huge 80s staples; is this pressure on the band to try and make a unique sound?
I think we have a unique sound. Any comparison to another band from that era, makes us wonder about the 80's references. We do like some of those bands we're compared to, and we're fine with that because Duran Duran and The Psych Furs have some great songs. I guess it's not surprising.

With bands these days doing a single and easily losing themselves in music history, it is very difficult in today's music for a whole album to leave a mark in years to come. How are The Killers planning to rise to surface and not just be known as a ‘one hit wonder'?
The album is done and we feel that there's definitely more than one "hit" song on the record. Our goals were to try and make and bring back an "album type" listening experience. We went through all of our songs and picked what we thought were the best 11 of the bunch.

Let's talk about the first single, ‘Somebody Told Me'. The lyrics are very promiscuous; tell us about the inspiration to those lyrics?
The lyrics are about the club scene in Vegas and how you can run into ex-girlfriends at the clubs and seeing them with new boyfriends or even girlfriends! The song is about that experience and the emotions associated with it.

Where were The Killers when ‘Somebody Told Me' was first heard on the airwaves?
We were in San Francisco in a van listening to the radio on our way to a photo shoot and it came on Live 105. It was definitely an exciting moment.

Is the rock and roll life how you guys expected it to be? Are the women already lining up hotel rooms to catch a glimpse?
It's never what we expected, but it's definitely getting crazy. Brandon and I were walking away down a stairwell from a sound check in Manchester and we started looking out this window to get a view of the street, and about 6 girls started pointing at us through the window staring. It's pretty interesting, so far.

Can we say that the name of the band is very morbid? How did you guys go about choosing the name for the band?
We don't think of the band name as morbid at all. I link it to T. Rex, Marc Bolan was 5'1" and apparently a really sweet guy. See what I'm getting at? We were watching this video from New Order called "Crystal" and there was a band in the video acting like they were New Order but they were called The Killers. The band name was on the drummer's kick drum head. When we saw that, we thought, that's the one.

When are you guys planning on coming back to the US?
June 10 th in San Diego at SOMA with Yeah Yeah Yeahs. It's going to be a 91X radio show. Then we're all over the West Coast for some shows, then out to New York , and then back to the UK and Europe ."

After the release date of the album, The Killers will be on high demand, tell us about how you guys are preparing for media mayhem.
You can never prepare for it, we're definitely getting used to the press. The media for the most part is kind of uncomfortable because things are happening so fast, but as time passes we're really starting to get used to working with the media.

Last question!!! Rock has always been politically influenced. People always look to music for answers or even a way to cope with present situations. What are your current thoughts on our administration and on the war we are part of?
There are a lot of unfortunate things going on in the world right now and we hope that our music will at the very least take their minds off of the worries that we all are sharing at the moment.

Thank you very much Dave and good luck on tour. And are you sure you don't want to see my nipple. Yeah, I didn't think so… well, I tried.

The Killers' Album 'Hot Fuss' on Island Records will be out June 15th. See them on tour this summer at a venue near you.