Exploding out of Las Vegas in 2003 with their mammoth debut single ‘Mr. Brightside’, The Killers have become one of the biggest bands of this century. We’ve taken a look at the rise of the US rockers – in quotes – starting with their chest-beating 2004 declaration, “We’re trying to establish our own thing” following the release of debut album ‘Hot Fuss’. They succeeded too.
In their very first appearance in NME, we accused them of sounding a little bit like Shed Seven. They didn’t take this kindly, later saying, “I have no idea who Shed Seven are. If we sounded like Shed Seven, they would have sold three million records and we probably would have heard of them”.
Credit: Pamela Littky/NME
The Killers continued their climb throughout 2008, picking up Best Band and Best Track at the first NME Awards USA. Their rider grew with their fame: “We’re talking about bringing in chimpanzees as party favours, just like ‘Hey check out my monkey’. There’s been talk of bringing in some helium tanks, vitamin D milk, you know: shit that really puts a party together.”
Beginning in 2008, the band set out on the Day & Age Tour, hitting every continent except Antarctica. “I never understood the cool factor you get for not making people happy. We get to make the songs we want to make, but when you’re onstage you’re a performer, and it feels natural to want to please.”
Credit: Andy Willsher/NME
When it comes down to it, what makes The Killers great is they’re all about the music, man. “We set out to make music that we liked, but also to make music that affects people. Music affects me deeply. There are so many bands who write bullshit, and I don’t know how they can play it every night without being embarrassed.”