About The Killers
The Killers are an American rock band formed in Las Vegas in 2001 by Brandon Flowers and Dave Keuning . The official lineup of the band was completed when Mark Stoermer and Ronnie Vannucci Jr. joined in 2002. The band's name is derived from a logo on the bass drum of a fictitious band portrayed in the music video for the New Order song "Crystal".
The band has released five consecutive chart-topping studio albums: Hot Fuss , Sam's Town , Day & Age , Battle Born and Wonderful Wonderful . They have also released a B-sides and rarities compilation, Sawdust ; a live album, Live from the Royal Albert Hall ; a greatest-hits album, Direct Hits ; and a Christmas compilation, Don't Waste Your Wishes .
The Killers are considered one of the biggest rock bands of the 21st century, and the most successful act to ever emerge from Nevada, selling more than 28 million albums. They have performed in over 50 countries and on six continents, headlining venues such as Madison Square Garden, Wembley Stadium and Glastonbury Festival .
In 2001, Brandon Flowers was fired by his first band, a Utah synth-pop trio known as Blush Response. After attending an Oasis concert at the Hard Rock Hotel during The Tour of Brotherly Love, Flowers realized his calling was to be in a rock band and began searching for like-minded musicians. He eventually came across an ad posted in a Las Vegas newspaper by Dave Keuning, a 25-year-old guitarist who had moved to Vegas from Iowa a year earlier. When the pair met, they bonded over similar musical influences and immediately began writing songs together in Keuning's apartment. In November 2001, they headed to Kill The Messenger Studio in Henderson, Nevada, along with recently recruited drummer Matt Norcross to begin recording a demo; they recorded two tracks: "Mr. Brightside", which was the first song Flowers and Keuning wrote together, and "Desperate". A month later, they recorded two more, "Under the Gun" and "Replaceable", with Keuning's roommate Dell Neal on bass.
Keuning and Flowers played their first live show together at an open mic night at the Cafe Espresso Roma in Las Vegas in January 2002; the pair, joined by Neal and Norcross, began playing venues around the city where they would also hand out free copies of their demo. The Killers brought a unique style to the small Vegas music scene which was predominately filled with punk, nu metal, and rap bands; one local reviewer stated, "The Killers, thankfully, don't come across like any other band in town", and described their sound as a mix between the "pop styles of British music and the lo-fi fuzz of modern indie rock". However, The Killers, whose early live sound was also described as erratic, had, by the summer of 2002, fired drummer Matt Norcross and replaced him briefly with Brian Havens, who was also eventually fired. Bassist Dell Neal later left the band due to personal reasons.
Ronnie Vannucci Jr. joined The Killers shortly before Neal's departure. Vannucci was well-known on the Las Vegas music scene, having played in numerous bands since he was young. It was while he was drumming for other bands including Daphne Major and Romance Fantasy in 2002 that he had met The Killers. Ronnie's first show with the band was on August 30, 2002, at a club called The Junkyard. Playing bass for The Killers that night was Mark Stoermer, who was at this point the lead guitarist for local progressive rock band The Negative Ponies. The band were keen on Stoermer joining them on a permanent basis, but he was initially reluctant to commit. They had first approached him to be the second guitarist when they were considering turning the band into a five-piece, "possibly more like the Strokes, with a keyboard". Stoermer mentioned later on that he could also play bass. The band had continued as a three-piece trying out other bassists until November 2002, when Stoermer eventually accepted the invitation to join. According to Ryan Pardey, who booked many of the band's early shows, "They became a great band when Ronnie and Mark joined. That’s when they finally became a cohesive unit. What Ronnie did — he was the discipline — and Mark was just a solid musician."
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