Whether you’re a casual Killers fan or a die-hard super supporter, there’s no reason you can’t swot up on your knowledge of the Las Vegas band with these nerdy Killers facts.
1Before forming The Killers, Brandon Flowers worked as a waiter
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.
2Brandon and guitarist Dave Keuning wrote ‘Mr Brightside’ in their very first rehearsal
“[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.”
3Killers drummer Ronnie Vannucci has a degree in classical percussion from the UNLV (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)
His first drumkit was actually a present from his parents who had bought it from a heroin addict.
4The “I got soul, but I’m not a soldier” refrain from ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’ has attracted much mockery over the years
But Brandon has said it refers to his Mormon faith in his everyday life.
5The lyrics to ‘Human’ were inspired by Hunter S. Thompson
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”.
6Former UK Prime Minister David Cameron was once spotted watching The Killers
The Tory politician observed the gig at London’s Royal Albert Hall from a private box, of course.
7The song ‘Uncle Johnny’ is about Brandon’s uncle
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.”
8Brandon once met Sir Paul McCartney under bizarre circumstances
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.
9The Killers are no strangers to natural disasters
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.
10At one point, Brandon claimed to only have one celebrity name in his phonebook
Apart from the other members of The Killers, the only other star to make it in was Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos.
11The Killers have a lesser-known fifth member
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).
12Killers bassist Mark Stoermer is a gifted trumpet player
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.
13Dave used to go by a stage name
The alias in question? Tavian Go. Very cool.
14Brandon is the shortest member of the group
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.
15Hit single ‘Mr Brightside’ has always charted in the Top 100 every year
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.
16Brandon took part in an ad campaign for Mormonism
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.
17Brandon has a fear of flying and the number 621
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.
18The band’s tour rider varies depending on the day of the week
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.
19The Killers could have been fronted by a man with tattoos listing his dead family members
Brandon was chosen because he was the only “normal” person to audition, as the story goes. How different things could have been…
20The band were asked to headline Glastonbury in 2005, but turned it down
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.
21The video for ‘Mr Brightside’ was inspired by Moulin Rouge
The second version of the clip was directed by Sophie Mueller and takes direct inspiration from Baz Luhrmann’s glitzy film.
22The Killers are the most successful band to ever come out of Nevada
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.
23Every band member played in other groups prior to forming The Killers
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.
24Brandon started saving his facial hair shavings in 2015
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.
25Brandon had a recurring dream involving Brian Eno
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!”
26The Killers have a pre-show ritual, affectionately called ‘The Cuddle’
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.”
27Before settling on The Killers, the band thought about calling themselves The Genius Sex Poets
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’.
28Brandon was overweight until the age of 15
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.”
29Brandon’s dad was an alcoholic until the frontman was five
He then converted to Mormonism overnight after a religious epiphany. Brandon is the youngest of six children.
30The woman on the ‘Sam’s Town’ artwork is a Las Vegas singer-songwriter
Felice LaZae was shot by Anton Corbijn, who was also responsible for the iconic imagery of U2’s ‘The Joshua Tree’.
31The band have been releasing Christmas songs for a decade
Like clockwork, every festive season since 2016 they’ve returned with a holiday-themed tune to give Christmas a little indie twist.
32The band also used to sneak into the uni band room at night to practice
Something tells us they might struggle to go unnoticed on campus these days…
33The Killers’ Glastonbury 2007 headline performance was plagued by sound problems, which left the band furious with festival organisers
“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.”
34Killers founder members Brandon and Dave bonded over their love of Oasis
Dave also said the first thing he noticed about Brandon was his smart footwear.
35Brandon has said he was “extremely insecure” on the band’s first two records
“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.”
36The name The Killers was inspired by the 2001 New Order video for ‘Crystal’
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.
37Amusingly, Brandon Flowers also used to be the name of a California-based flower delivery company
The company now seems to have gone out of business, perhaps because of The Killers’ growing fame.
38Brandon’s first experience with music came when his family inherited an upright piano
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.”
39Dave was once left behind at Stonehenge
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.”
40Killers tribute band The Fillers charge a minimum fee of £1,300 per performance
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’.