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).
Part of the post-punk revival movement, The Killers draw influence from music styles of the 1980s and 1990s, ripping off the sound of bands that had previous ripped off from Roxy Music. 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 band's most recent work is their third album, Day & Age, which has been produced by Stuart Price and is due to be released in late November 2008.
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In 2001, Flowers was abandoned by his first band, a synthpop band known as Blush Response. 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 video for the New Order song "Crystal.
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.
The Killers released their album Hot Fuss in June 2004. The band also had chart success with its singles "Mr. Brightside", which reached the Top 10 in the UK when released, and "All These Things That I've Done". However, their main mainstream success came when they scored a number three chart position with their re-release of "Somebody Told Me".
The Killers - Read My Mind
The members of the band appeared as themselves in the episode "The New Era" of the teen television drama The O.C., which aired in December 2004. In January 2005, the band was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live. They performed "Somebody Told Me" and "Mr. Brightside". In July 2005, The Killers performed on the London stage of the Live 8 concert. They performed "All These Things That I've Done". To their surprise, Robbie Williams incorporated the song's refrain "I've got soul but I'm not a soldier" into his own performance.
The Killers' second album, Sam's Town, was released in October 2006. The album sold over 700,000 copies worldwide in the first week of release, with a number two debut on the Billboard chart. The record sold over a million copies by January 2007. The album produced four singles in the United Kingdom and United States: "When You Were Young" released in September 2006, "Bones" which was released in November 2006, "Read My Mind" which was released in February 2007, and "For Reasons Unknown" which was released in June 2007. 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.
The band released a compilation album called Sawdust, containing B-sides, rarities, and some new material, in November 2007. The album's first single "Tranquilize", a collaboration with Lou Reed, was released in October 2007. The band released a cover version of Joy Division's "Shadowplay" on the American iTunes Store that same month. The album also contains the songs "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town", (a The First Edition cover), "Romeo and Juliet", (a Dire Straits cover), 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. 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 Red campaign to fight AIDS in Africa. The recording was not included on Sawdust.
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. The first single from the album was "Human", released on September 22, with the music video released on iTunes on October 16. The band is 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 John and is not featured on Day & Age.
The Killers - Mr. Brightside