40 things you never knew about The Killers

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, there’s no reason you can’t swot up on your knowledge of the Las Vegas band with these nerdy Killers facts.

1
Before forming The Killers, Brandon Flowers worked as a waiter

The Killers' Brandon Flowers

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.

2
Brandon and guitarist Dave Keuning wrote ‘Mr Brightside’ in their very first rehearsal

The Killers

“[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.”

3
Killers drummer Ronnie Vannucci has a degree in classical percussion from the UNLV (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

The Killers' Ronnie Vanucci Jr

His first drumkit was actually a present from his parents who had bought it from a heroin addict.

Advertisement

4
The “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

The Killers

But Brandon has said it refers to his Mormon faith in his everyday life.

5
The lyrics to ‘Human’ were inspired by Hunter S. Thompson

The Killers

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”.

6
Former UK Prime Minister David Cameron was once spotted watching The Killers

The Killers

The Tory politician observed the gig at London’s Royal Albert Hall from a private box, of course.

7
The song ‘Uncle Johnny’ is about Brandon’s uncle

The Killers' Brandon Flowers

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.”

Advertisement

8
Brandon once met Sir Paul McCartney under bizarre circumstances

The Killers' Brandon Flowers

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.

9
The Killers are no strangers to natural disasters

The Killers

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.

10
At one point, Brandon claimed to only have one celebrity name in his phonebook

The Killers' Brandon Flowers

Apart from the other members of The Killers, the only other star to make it in was Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos.

11
The Killers have a lesser-known fifth member

The Killers' Ronnie Vanucci Jr

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).

Advertisement

12
Killers bassist Mark Stoermer is a gifted trumpet player

The Killers' Mark Stoermer

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.

13
Dave used to go by a stage name

The Killers' Dave Keuning

The alias in question? Tavian Go. Very cool.

14
Brandon is the shortest member of the group

The Killers' Brandon Flowers and Ronnie Vanucci Jr

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.

15
Hit single ‘Mr Brightside’ has always charted in the Top 100 every year

The Killers

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.

16
Brandon took part in an ad campaign for Mormonism

The Killers

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.

17
Brandon has a fear of flying and the number 621

The Killers' Brandon Flowers

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.

18
The band’s tour rider varies depending on the day of the week

The Killers

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.

19
The Killers could have been fronted by a man with tattoos listing his dead family members

The Killers

Brandon was chosen because he was the only “normal” person to audition, as the story goes. How different things could have been…

20
The band were asked to headline Glastonbury in 2005, but turned it down

The Killers

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.

21
The video for ‘Mr Brightside’ was inspired by Moulin Rouge

The Killers

The second version of the clip was directed by Sophie Mueller and takes direct inspiration from Baz Luhrmann’s glitzy film.

22
The Killers are the most successful band to ever come out of Nevada

The Killers

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.

23
Every band member played in other groups prior to forming The Killers

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.

24
Brandon started saving his facial hair shavings in 2015

The Killers

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.

25
Brandon had a recurring dream involving Brian Eno

The Killers

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!”

26
The Killers have a pre-show ritual, affectionately called ‘The Cuddle’

The Killers

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.”

27
Before settling on The Killers, the band thought about calling themselves The Genius Sex Poets

The Killers

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’.

28
Brandon was overweight until the age of 15

The Killers' Brandon Flowers

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.”

29
Brandon’s dad was an alcoholic until the frontman was five

The Killers' Brandon Flowers

He then converted to Mormonism overnight after a religious epiphany. Brandon is the youngest of six children.

30
The woman on the ‘Sam’s Town’ artwork is a Las Vegas singer-songwriter

The Killers - 'Sam's Town'

Felice LaZae was shot by Anton Corbijn, who was also responsible for the iconic imagery of U2’s ‘The Joshua Tree’.

31
The band have been releasing Christmas songs for a decade

The Killers

Like clockwork, every festive season since 2016 they’ve returned with a holiday-themed tune to give Christmas a little indie twist.

32
The band also used to sneak into the uni band room at night to practice

The Killers

Something tells us they might struggle to go unnoticed on campus these days…

33
The Killers’ Glastonbury 2007 headline performance was plagued by sound problems, which left the band furious with festival organisers

The Killers' Dave Keuning

“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.”

34
Killers founder members Brandon and Dave bonded over their love of Oasis

The Killers' Brandon Flowers

Dave also said the first thing he noticed about Brandon was his smart footwear.

35
Brandon has said he was “extremely insecure” on the band’s first two records

The Killers' Brandon Flowers

“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.”

36
The name The Killers was inspired by the 2001 New Order video for ‘Crystal’

The Killers' Dave Keuning

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.

37
Amusingly, Brandon Flowers also used to be the name of a California-based flower delivery company

The Killers' Brandon Flowers

The company now seems to have gone out of business, perhaps because of The Killers’ growing fame.

38
Brandon’s first experience with music came when his family inherited an upright piano

The Killers' Brandon Flowers

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.”

39
Dave was once left behind at Stonehenge

The Killers' Dave Keuning

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.”

40
Killers tribute band The Fillers charge a minimum fee of £1,300 per performance

The Killers' Ronnie Vannucci Jr

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’.

Advertisement
Advertisement