Dirty Rock and
Rollers The Killers Are Carving Their Niche On the Local Scene
from Billboard Magazine
7th December 2002
by Jaime Buerger.
"I think our music is terribly sexy", says a deadpan Ronnie Vannucci
Jr., the 26-year old drummer of the Killers. "We're not really
trying to sound that way. It just comes out like that."
In a town such as Las Vegas, these homegrown rockers don't seem to
realize the irony in aligning themselves with a culture where sex is
a bloated marketing point driven by the corporate gods. After all,
this is a city where the many varities of nudie bars are as
prevalent as the coffee incarnations offered by the ubiquitous
Starbucks. Yet the Killers brand of entertainment is an anomaly in
Sin City. It isn't forced or packaged in the way that much of Las
Vegas' other extra-curricular activities are. In a city where punk
has always drawn the biggest crowds and Limp Bizkit-flavored rock is
something aspired to by many local bands, the Killers are determined
to carve their own niche into the music scene. And people are taking
notice. The four-piece new wave inspired band - besides Vannucci,
the Killers are comprised of singer Brandon Flowers, guitarist Dave
Keuning and Mark Stoermer on bass - have been playing together less
than a year and have yet to sign a record deal. Still, its three
song demo has been promisingly reviewed by local press, and, though
the bands first gig was just this past Spring (2002), the Killers
are quickly gaining a solid reputation for their live shows.
Sporting glitter and eye shadow that's as much David Bowie as Robert
Smith, Vannucci says of his bandmates, "We're all hams. Its
For those eager to smack a label on the Killers, its easy to throw
them in the same camp with similarly monikered bands playing dirty
rock 'n' roll for the masses (the Strokes, the Vines, the White
Stripes, the Hives). And while the Killers do share the fuzzy guitar
riffs and raw vocal characteristics of the new school of garage
rockers, the band is just as likely to give a nod to glam-rock
stalwart T. Rex as it is to influential garage-revivalist Mick
Collins. "We've been pigeonholed as sounding like '80s rock, and I'm
just going to give you the standard answer: That's when we were
kids. That's what we grew up on," says the 21-year old Flowers. "We
grew up on New Order, the Smiths, the Cure, and Depeche Mode."
Despite the respect and interest received in Vegas, the Killers'
music remains largely unheard by those outside of the local scene.
"We're not afraid to say we're ready to do whatever it takes - well,
within reason - to make people love us," Vannucci says. But the band
is patient, preferring to focus on producing a higher quality demo
than promoting itself as the musical flavor of the month in an
attempt to attract major-label attention. "We know that rock 'n'
roll fashions come and go. The way I look at it, if it's fucking
good, it's gonna stick around," Vannucci reasons. "What we're about
is playing good rock 'n' roll music, and I think it's a matter of
time before people wake up and realize there's something here (in
Las Vegas) and that something needs to be heard."