The band from Sin City are an unusual bunch, as these truly nerdy facts about them show
Whether you’re a casual Killers fan or a die-hard super supporter, you should be very excited about the band preparing to release their fifth studio album ‘Wonderful Wonderful’ later this year. While we’ve still got a few months to wait until its in our ears (rumours are it’ll be out in September), there’s no reason you can’t start swotting up on your knowledge of the Las Vegas band in the meantime with these Killers nerdy facts.
He once found himself serving a mushroom pizza to his hero Morrissey, and took the opportunity to express his adoration for the former Smiths man. Cruelly, Morrissey ignored him.
“[Brandon] came over with his keyboard and we started going through song ideas straight away,” recalled Dave. “I had the verse to ‘Mr Brightside’ and he went away and wrote the chorus. That was the first song we wrote together and remains the only song that we’ve played at every single Killers show.”
His first drumkit was actually a present from his parents who had bought it from a heroin addict.
But Brandon has said it refers to his Mormon faith in his everyday life.
According to Brandon, the line “Are we human or are we dancer?” was inspired by the Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas author, who once voiced a fear that America was “raising a generation of dancers”.
The Tory politician observed the gig at London’s Royal Albert Hall from a private box, of course.
The uncle in question was a drug addict. “He’s the black sheep of the family,” Brandon said. “Every couple of years something would happen. He’s done everything from shoot himself to drug addictions yet somehow he’s ended up alright. He’s really a nice guy.”
The Killers frontman was stunned into silence upon finding the former Beatle wearing an unusual disguise: “We were waylaid in the corridor by someone on the way back to the dressing room [at London’s Royal Albert Hall] – it was Paul McCartney and he was wearing an Alice Cooper mask. He was dancing around and then he took it off and introduced himself,” he said.
While recording ‘Believe Me Natalie’, Ronnie was knocked off his drum stool by an earthquake. When recording ‘Change Your Mind’, they were nearly engulfed in brush fires.
Apart from the other members of The Killers, the only other star to make it in was Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos.
Ted Sabley, guitarist for Attaboy Skip and bassist for Expert For October (two of Ronnie’s previous bands), was the bassist Ronnie wanted to recruit for the group before Mark turned up. However, he now still tours with The Killers playing backup instruments (primarily synthesizer).
He played in his school jazz ensemble, and later in the University Of Nevada marching band. Interestingly, another famous musician who played in a marching band as a teenager is Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor.
The alias in question? Tavian Go. Very cool.
At 5’11, he’s dwarved by the other members of the band. Dave and Ronnie are both 6’2, while Mark is a lofty 6’5.
In an incredible feat, the track has been practically ever present in the upper echelons of the Official UK Singles Chart ever since its release in 2004. Its even more impressive when you consider it spent 35 consecutive weeks in the charts from July 2016 to March 2017.
In 2011, the devout Mormon frontman took part in a video campaign to change people’s perception of the religion. In it, he discussed his values and how they linked to his faith. “I’m a father and I’m a husband, and I’m a mormon,” he said.
Apparently a ouija board told him as a child that he would die on June 21 – or 6/21 in US date format – which, sadly, also happens to be his birthday. Unfortunate.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday they drink Maker’s Mark whiskey and Absolut Vodka. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays are for Jack Daniel’s and gin, while the holiest combination is saved for Sundays – tequila and Jameson’s. Delicious.
Brandon was chosen because he was the only “normal” person to audition, as the story goes. How different things could have been…
They were asked to top the bill at Worthy Farm when Kylie had to pull out following being diagnosed with breast cancer. The reason they said no? They didn’t have enough songs.
The second version of the clip was directed by Sophie Mueller and takes direct inspiration from Baz Luhrmann’s glitzy film.
They might have some competition when it comes to biggest band in the world, but they’ve definitely got their home state all sewn up. They’ve sold over 22 million records worldwide, leaving them way in front of any rivals.
Brandon was in a synth-pop act called Blush Response, but left when the rest of the band moved to LA. Dave used to be in Christian band, Pickle, when living in Iowa. Ronnie was in various bands, including Romance Fantasy, which also featured Michael Valentine, later immortalised in the ‘Sawdust’ track, ‘The Ballad of Michael Valentine’. Mark was in a band called The Negative Ponies.
In an interview with The Independent, he revealed he had a “Ziploc bag full of hair”. “I’ll grow five or six days growth, make sure that the sink is dry, use an electric razor, catch it in the sink, and then I’m able to just scoop it into the bag,” he said.
Brian Eno was in the running to proceed the second album, but the band were told he said no. It turns out that wasn’t true – he wasn’t even asked. “The only recurring dream I’ve had in my life is I’m on one said of the street and Brian Eno’s on the other side of the street, and I can’t cross the street,” Brandon explained. “It sort of haunts me and I’ve always thought I’m not good enough for Brian Eno. So thank you Island or whoever it was!”
Brandon explains: “We all join together in a circle before we go onstage. Even our feet touch. It’s kind of like a soccer coach talking to the kids.”
Eagle-eyed fans (or should that be eager-eyed…) will have noticed that this name is scrawled on the drum kit in the American video for ‘Mr Brightside’.
Even today has to be careful what he eats. “I still love food,” he explained. “I have an addictive personality. You grow up looking at Iggy Pop and Morrissey, so I guess it gives me a complex.”
He then converted to Mormonism overnight after a religious epiphany. Brandon is the youngest of six children.
Felice LaZae was shot by Anton Corbijn, who was also responsible for the iconic imagery of U2’s ‘The Joshua Tree’.
Like clockwork, every festive season since 2016 they’ve returned with a holiday-themed tune to give Christmas a little indie twist.
Something tells us they might struggle to go unnoticed on campus these days…
“We could tell it was vastly underpowered,” explains Dave Keuning. “It could have been better in that respect. We were a little bit gutted. You have so many thousand people, you should be able to send them home after hearing a pulverizing sound, and that wasn’t the case. It was disappointing.”
Dave also said the first thing he noticed about Brandon was his smart footwear.
“I was really self-aware and self-conscious,” he said. “My dad worked at a grocery store and my mum babysat kids at home. This was unfamiliar territory and it’s taken a while to get used to and balance all of it.”
In the video, a band pretending to be New Order had the name The Killers emblazoned on their drumkit. Brandon, a huge New Order fan, decided to use it himself. He later joined New Order as guest vocalist on the song at T In The Park 2005.
The company now seems to have gone out of business, perhaps because of The Killers’ growing fame.
It used to belong to his great-grandma Dixie. “Dixie was her stage name,” he said. “Her real name was Melinda. She wrote country songs and actually received royalty checks from one that ended up being recorded by Mel Tillis. No none else in my family was creative.”
In a moment that’s like a cross between something from Almost Famous and Spinal Tap, the guitarist was left behind by the band on their way to Glastonbury. “It set us back three hours,” Brandon said later. “I was watching Caddyshack so I didn’t notice he wasn’t there.”
At one of their recent gigs, at Jagz nightclub in Ascot, Killers drummer Ronnie Vannucci turned up unannounced – and proceeded to jump on stage to play drums on ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’.