Catch them if you can

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Let's say, for some reason, you're looking to get in touch with the Killers.

Maybe you want the fashionable Las Vegas band to be on the cover of your 'zine. Maybe you want them to play at your corporate function. Maybe you just want to say hello.

Whatever the reason, you should know that it will take you a very long time to get in touch with either singer Brandon Flowers, guitarist David Keuning, bassist Mark Stoermer or drummer Ronnie Vannucci.

It makes sense if you think about it. Since releasing its debut album, "Hot Fuss," last summer, people have been going crazy for the Killers' blend of New Wave pop.

Most everyone has to get in line to talk to this band.

After all, the Killers got all that "Best Band Ever!" hype from the British press in 2003. And since then, the Killers has reaped the benefits both overseas and here at home. The band already graced the cover of Spin magazine and is mentioned regularly in Entertainment Weekly, GQ and anything else that deals with music or fashion.

The band appeared on Fox's "The O.C.," performing songs while characters Seth and Summer figured out if they were still in love. The quartet was also recently on "Saturday Night Live."

Turn on the radio right now and you'll probably hear the dance hits "Jealousy" or "Mr. Brightside" or "Somebody Told Me" in the next five minutes.

Of course, it's going to be tough to get in touch with the Killers - especially now that the band kicked off a North American tour that stops at UCSD on Tuesday.

But if, and when, you finally get in touch with this must-see band, you'll be surprised to hear that in the midst of this whirlwind success, the guys are kind of oblivious to the hype.

"For some reason, people treat you differently if you sell a lot of records," said drummer Vannucci from his Las Vegas home a few days before the tour. "If your mom knows who we are, well, people put a value in that. I'm just glad I'm not in a (expletive) band. I'd feel bad about myself if people were putting all this value in something that wasn't worth it."

Though music snobs say the Killers is just a new version of Duran Duran and that the sound is nothing new if you went clubbing in the 1980s, there are those fans who find the Killers very worthwhile.

"Hot Fuss" has sold more than a million copies and is still on Billboard's Top 10. Tuesday night's concert (with openers Tegan & Sara) is sold out and has been for weeks.

Though they've got the New York hipster looks going for them, Vannucci credits the band's success to songwriting.

"I think Brandon (Flowers) is a great songwriter and he's getting even better," Vannucci said. "He's getting faster at it. When we're on tour, he can come up with something great in five or 10 minutes. And then the rest of the band builds on that."

And after playing the same 11 songs from their first album, Vannucci says the guys are eager to record some new material. But like any band with such a popular debut, there's that pressure to create an equally great follow up.

"Well, I don't know if it's pressure or excitement to do something better," he said. "I know the six or so songs we've worked on already blow 'Hot Fuss' out of the water. It's still Killers, but it feels more organic. We've grown up in the last few years. I don't expect us to be 40 years old saying 'You have a boyfriend who looks like a girlfriend I had,' that'd be pretty sad."

Maybe if that happens, though, it will be a whole lot easier to get in touch with them.