- The Killers (band)
Infobox musical artist
Name = The Killers
Img_capt = The Killers in concert in 2006. From left to right:
Dave Keuning, Ronnie Vannucci Jr.(back), Brandon Flowers, and Mark Stoermer.
Background = group_or_band
Origin = Las Vegas,
Nevada, United States
Alternative rock Post-punk revival Indie rock
Years_active = 2002–present
Label = Island
URL = [http://www.thekillersmusic.com/ TheKillersMusic.com]
Current_members = Brandon Flowers
Dave Keuning Mark Stoermer Ronnie Vannucci Jr.
The Killers are an American rock band from
Las Vegas, Nevada. Formed in 2002, the group consists of Brandon Flowers (vocals, keyboards), Dave Keuning( guitar, vocals), Mark Stoermer( bass guitar, vocals) and Ronnie Vannucci Jr., (percussion, drums) with Ray Suenoften providing support during live performances.
Part of the
post-punk revivalmovement, The Killers draw influence from music styles of the 1980s and 1990s. The group's debut album, " Hot Fuss" (2004) brought the band mainstream success. The Killers' second album, " Sam's Town", was released in 2006, and the compilation album"Sawdust" containing B-sides, rarities, and new material, was released in 2007. The band's first two albums have sold in excess of 12 million copies worldwide combined. The group is currently working on their third album, entitled " Day & Age", which is being produced by Stuart Price.
Formation and early success (2001–2003)
In 2001, Brandon Flowers was abandoned by his first band,fact|date=October 2008 a
synthpopband known as Blush Response, after he declined to move with the rest of them to Los Angeles, California.fact|date=October 2008 He then met David Keuning after responding to an ad that Keuning had placed in "The Sun" newspaper. Ronnie Vannucci Jr. and Mark Stoermer were approached by Flowers and Keuning with an offer to join "The Killers", a name which comes from the bass drum of a fictional band in the music videofor the New Ordersong "Crystal".cite web|accessdate=2008-04-26|url=http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/7394922/hit_men|title=Hit Men |publisher=" Rolling Stone"|date=2005-06-16|author=Binelli, Mark ]
Initially, The Killers played at large clubs in Las Vegas, Nevada. With the band's lineup stable and its repertoire of songs expanding, the band attracted the attention of a British representative for Warner Bros. Though the Warner Bros representative passed on the band, he took the demo back with him, showing it to a friend who worked at UK indie label Lizard King. The Killers signed that summer to the British label. [cite web|accessdate=2008-04-26|url=http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=KC&p_theme=kc&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=105C0D1604FBCFD8&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM|title=And you can dance to it |publisher="
Kansas City Star"|date=2004-09-14|author=Sculley, Alan ]
"Hot Fuss" (2003–2005)
The Killers released their album "
Hot Fuss" in June 2004 in the United Kingdom on London-based indie record label Lizard King Records, and in United States on Island Records. "Hot Fuss" has been classified 4x Platinum by the BPI [cite web|accessdate=2008-05-02|url=http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/features/20070405-9999-lz1w05killers.html|title=Can Killers regain form at UCSD? Stay tuned |publisher=" The San Diego Union-Tribune"|date=2007-04-05|author=Nixon, Chris ] and 3x Platinum by RIAA. [cite web|accessdate=2008-05-02|url=http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2007/10/08/hot-issue-hits-and-misses-the-killers-and-the-cooper-temple-clause/|title=Hot Issue Hits and Misses: The Killers and the Cooper Temple Clause |publisher=" Rolling Stone"|date=2006-10-08 ] The band also had chart success with its singles " Mr. Brightside", which reached the Top 10 in the UK when released, [cite news|title=Rock & Pop: Shooting from the hip|publisher=" The Independent"|date=2004-06-25|author=Loundras, Alexia] and " All These Things That I've Done". [cite news|title= Top rockers add Granite City to UK tour schedule |publisher="Evening Express"|date=2006-10-31|author=Begbie, Scott] However, their main mainstream success came when they scored a number three chart position with their re-release of " Somebody Told Me".cite web|accessdate=2008-04-26|url=http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/entertainment/2002250089_killerstory24.html|title=Let's-start-a-band ad in newspaper created Killers |publisher=" The Seattle Times"|date=2005-04-24 ]
The members of the band appeared as themselves in a 2004 episode of the teen television drama "
The O.C.". [cite web|accessdate=2008-04-26|url=http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ringtone|title='O.C.' Finale to Be a Family Affair |publisher= FOX News|date=2005-05-19 ] In July 2005, The Killers performed on the London stage of the Live 8concert. They performed "All These Things That I've Done". To their surprise, Robbie Williamsincorporated the song's refrain "I've got soul but I'm not a soldier" into his own performance. Coldplayand U2followed suit, and at their separate concerts played in Las Vegas, with The Killers in the crowd, they incorporated that famous line into the songs " God Put a Smile Upon Your Face" and " Beautiful Day", respectively. [cite web|accessdate=2008-04-26|url=http://www.men-arena.com/about/?page_id=1210|title=Event Listings|publisher= Manchester Evening News Arena]
"Sam's Town" (2005–2007)
The Killers' second album, "
Sam's Town", was released in October 2006 under Island Def Jam Music Group. [cite web|accessdate=2008-05-02|url=http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002878745|title=The Killers Debut 'Sam's Town' In New York |publisher="Billboard"|date=2006-07-25|author=Cohen, Jonathan ] Brandon Flowers said that "Sam's Town" will be "one of the best albums of the past twenty years", [cite web|accessdate=2008-04-26|url= http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2006/07/10/monday-news-yeah-yeah-yeahs-killers-paul-mccartney-ben-kweller-sufjan-stevens-elton-john-broken-social-scene/|title=Monday News: Killers, Paul McCartney, Ben Kweller, Sufjan Stevens, Elton John, Broken Social Scene |work= Rolling Stone|date=2006-07-10 ] though the album has received a mixed response from critics and fans. [cite web|accessdate=2008-05-02|url=http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/02/arts/music/02choi.html?_r=1&ref=music&pagewanted=all&oref=slogin|title=New CD’s |publisher=" The New York Times"|date=2006-10-02 ] The album sold over 700,000 copies worldwide in the first week of release, with a number two debut on the Billboard chart. [cite news|title=Killers' second album strikes higher chode|publisher=" Las Vegas Review-Journal"|date=2006-10-12|author=Bracelin, Jason] The record has sold over a million copies as of January 2007. [cite web|accessdate=2008-05-02|url=http://www.theage.com.au/music/news/best-british-band-from-america/2007/01/25/1169594407288.html|title=Best British band from America |publisher=" The Age"|date=2007-01-26 ] The album has produced four singles in the United Kingdom and United States: " When You Were Young" released in September, " Bones" which was released in November, "Read My Mind" which was released in February, and " For Reasons Unknown" which was released in June. [cite web|accessdate=2008-05-02|url=http://media.www.thetigernews.com/media/storage/paper863/news/2006/10/13/Timeout/Killers.Rock.New.town-2348396.shtml|title=Killers rock new "Town" |publisher= Clemson Tigers|date=2006-10-13|author=Barrett, Neil ] The first single from "Sam's Town", " When You Were Young", entered the chart on downloads alone at number five, and the following week on its official release went to number two on the UK Singles Chart.cite web|accessdate=2008-05-02|url=http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003189697|title=Scissor Sisters Not Budging On U.K. Charts |publisher="Billboard"|date=2006-10-02|author=Sexton, Paul ]
The Killers recorded a live session at
Abbey Road Studiosfor " Live from Abbey Road" on November 29, 2006. [cite news|title=EMI cues up feast of fresh albums |publisher=" Music Week"|date=2005-10-01] They performed an almost totally unplugged set, which included a rendition of the Dire Straitshit "Romeo and Juliet". In February 2007, The Killers attended the BRIT Awardsin the United Kingdom, where they performed " When You Were Young". The band won two awards - International Group & International Album. [cite web|accessdate=2008-04-26|url=http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/arctic-monkeys-scoop-two-brits-but-shun-mainstream-show-436419.html|title=Arctic Monkeys scoop two Brits but shun 'mainstream' show |publisher=" The Independent"|date=2007-02-15|author=Akbar, Arifa ]
"Sawdust" and "Day & Age" (2007–present)
The band released a compilation album called "Sawdust", containing B-sides, rarities, and some new material, in November 2007. "Sawdust" has been classified Gold by the BPI.cite web|accessdate=2008-04-26|url=http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2007/09/06/smoking-section-fiona-apple-kanye-west-and-tom-petty/|title=Smoking Section: Fiona Apple, Kanye West, The Killers and Tom Petty |work=
Rolling Stone|date=2007-09-06 ] The album's first single " Tranquilize", a collaboration with Lou Reed, was released in October 2007. The band released a cover versionof Joy Division's "Shadowplay" on the American iTunes Storethat same month. [cite web|accessdate=2008-05-02|url=http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2007/10/04/killers-joy-divison-cover-hits-the-web-mia-helps-jailed-aussie-kids-rhyme-jadakiss-free-from-gun-and-drug-charges/|title=Killers’ Joy Division Cover Hits the Web, M.I.A. Helps Jailed Aussie Kids Rhyme, Jadakiss Free From Gun and Drug Charges |publisher=" Rolling Stone"|date=2007-10-04 ] The album also contains the songs " Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town", (a The First Editioncover), "Romeo and Juliet", (a Dire Straitscover), and a rare demo version of "Move Away" which Brandon Flowers later stated was a mistake on the part of the band's record label; the proper version the group intended to put on the album was previously available on the " Spider-Man 3" soundtrack. [cite web|accessdate=2008-05-02|url=http://www.thestar.com/article/275882|title=Celine takes a chance |publisher=" Toronto Star"|date=2007-11-13 ] The Killers released a Christmas song called " Don't Shoot Me Santa" that December. The song, like " A Great Big Sled", benefits Bono's Product Redcampaign to fight AIDSin Africa. The recording was not included on "Sawdust". [cite web|accessdate=2008-04-26|url=http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/life/20070921/wk_comingattractions21.art.htm|title=The Killers are abuzz with B-sided 'Sawdust' |publisher=" USA Today" ]
The Killers have been finishing work on a third album, which is scheduled to be released on November 24, 2008 in the UK and on November 25 elsewhere. Brandon Flowers confirmed the album's title as "
Day & Age" in an interview with " NME". [cite web|accessdate=2008-08-05|url=http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2008/08/05/news-ticker-the-killers-jonas-brothers-american-idol/|title=News Ticker: The Killers, Jonas Brothers, “American Idol”|publisher=" Rolling Stone"|date=2008-08-05 ] They have been working with Stuart Price who did the 'Thin White Duke' remix of 'Mr Brightside' and produced 'Leave the Bourbon on the Shelf' and 'Sweet Talk'. The first single from the album was nowrap|"Human", released on September 22. The band are reportedly releasing a third Christmas single in 2008, entitled "Joseph, Better You Than Me". The single, due to be released in December, is a duet with Elton Johnand is not featured on "Day & Age". [cite web|accessdate=2008-09-23|url=http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/music/a130905/killers-elton-to-release-christmas-single.html|title=Killers, Elton to release Christmas single|publisher=" Digital Spy"|date=2008-09-23 ] The Killers appeared on Saturday Night Live on October 4th, 2008 where they performed two new songs, "Human" and "Spaceman".
Musical style and influences
Much of The Killers' music is based on British influences and on the music of the 1980s. Use of the
Synthesizeris common in much of The Killers' music. They appreciate post-punkbands that sprang up in the late 70s and early 80s, such as Joy Division(having recorded a cover of their song " Shadowplay"), other main influences include: The Cure, Pet Shop Boys, The Beatles, Oasis, New Order, Boy George, Duran Duran, Dire Straits, David Bowie, The Smiths, Morrissey, Depeche Mode, U2,cite web|accessdate=2008-04-26|url=http://nn.byu.edu/story.cfm/57889|title=Former BYU's student's brother is lead singer of the Killers|publisher= Brigham Young University|date=2006-01-11|author=Monson, Dan] Queen, Electric Light Orchestra, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, Eagles, The Strokes, The Carsand Smashing Pumpkins. [cite web|accessdate=2008-04-26|url=http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/pop/243644_killers07.html|title='Hot Fuss' stirs up good tour vibes |publisher=" Seattle Post-Intelligencer"|date=2005-10-07|author=Hay, Travis ]
Since going platinum, the band (and principally Flowers) has incited a few rivalries—most notably with
The Braveryand Fall Out Boy, who are both labelmates (Island Records). Flowers has said that these bands, especially The Bravery, are riding on the coattails of the success of The Killers.cite web|accessdate=2008-04-26|url=http://www.mtv.com/bands/m/music_geek/indierock_sissyfights_050905/|title=Lean Beef: The Killers Vs. The Bravery|publisher= MTV News] Additionally, in an article of "NME", Flowers claimed Fall Out Boy was hogging the A&Rman both bands share, setting off Fall Out Boy's bassist Pete Wentz. However, after Wentz made a couple of rants on his blog in September 2005, he offered a virtual cease-fire.cite web|accessdate=2008-04-26|url=http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/2312334/1511089/killers_the.jhtml|title=Fall Out Boy/ Killers Beef Gives Birth To A Song|publisher= MTV News|date=2005-10-07|author=Montgomery, James] Flowers has since apologized to The Bravery, Fall Out Boy, and Panic! at the Disco, saying "I'd like to take it all back - these people are just doing what they want to do, just like I am," and said that he was "not proud of" his occasional jealousy. [cite web|accessdate=2008-04-26|url=http://www.aolmusicnewsblog.com/2006/07/25/killers-bury-the-hatchet-with-panic-fall-out-boy?ncid=AOLMUS00050000000034|title=Killers Bury Hatchet With Panic!, Fall Out Boy|publisher=Pop Eater|date=2006-07-25|author=Lash, Jolie]
In February 2006, The Killers' former manager, Braden Merrick, filed a lawsuit alleging breach of contract when he was fired in May 2005. Merrick's contract was to have run through 2007, and the two sides had been negotiating a settlement before the lawsuit was filed.cite web|accessdate=2008-04-26|url=http://www.usatoday.com/ringtone/people/life/2006-02-22-killers-lawsuit_x.htm?POE=LIFISVA|title=Former manager sues The Killers, alleging breach of contract|publisher="
USA Today"|date=2006-02-22] The Killers are currently fighting a lawsuitagainst ex-manager Braden Merrick under the California Labor Commissioner. Merrick is suing The Killers for $3 million for unpaid commissions. The band claims that Merrick booked employment without a license, and thus are seeking to void their management contract. Flowers was seen on camera outside the court with Keuning on TMZ.comon in December 2007 saying, "Well, we like people to be honest." [cite web|accessdate=2008-04-26|url=http://www.eonline.com/news/article/index.jsp?uuid=5215dba8-8597-491d-90c6-ab7c30a6ec93&entry=index|title=The Killers Sued by Ex-Manager |publisher= E!|date=2006-02-23|author=Hall, Sarah ]
Hot Fuss" (2004)
Sam's Town" (2006)
Day & Age" (scheduled for release on November 24, 2008 in the UK and November 25 everywhere else)
The Killers awards and nominations
* [http://www.thekillersmusic.com/ The Killers official band website]
* [http://www6.islandrecords.com/site/artist_home.php?artist_id=547 The Killers official site] , from Island Records
* [http://www.thekillers.co.uk/ The Killers official site (U.K.)] , from the Vertigo label
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