Origin: Las Vegas, Nevada
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You might not expect Las Vegas to give birth to a rock and roll band like The Killers. The group formed in 2001 by Brandon Flowers (lead vocals, keyboards, bass) and Dave Keuning (lead guitar, backing vocals). Mark Stoermer (bass, rhythm guitar, backing vocals) and Ronnie Vannucci, Jr. (drums, percussion) would complete the current lineup of the band 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.”
After lead singer Brandon Flowers attended an Oasis concert, he decided rock and roll was the direction for him. He found a newspaper ad from Dave Keuning, a 25-year-old guitarist who had moved to Vegas from Iowa a year earlier. They bonded over similar musical influences and immediately began writing songs together in Keuning’s apartment.
These core players auditioned bass players and drummers and improved their sound; yet their demo tape was rejected by American labels. The Killers demo tape did catch the ear of an A&R rep from the United Kingdom who worked at the newly formed Independent label Lizard King Records in London. Despite not yet meeting the band in person, Lizard King were quick to offer the band a deal based on the strength of the five song demo. The Killers signed with the British label in July 2003.
Their climb to fame began a month later when the song “Mr. Brightside” was played by DJ Zane Lowe on his BBC Radio 1 show in the UK. The buzz began and soon they signed with an American label, Island Def Jam. The Killers first album, Hot Fuss, was released late in 2003 and their touring and concerts became more successful as time rocked on.
The Killers were named The World’s Best Selling New Group at the 2005 World Music Awards, the same year they won the MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist and were also nominated for three Grammy Awards with Hot Fuss being nominated for Best Rock Album. In the UK they picked up an NME Award for Best International Band. The band was recognized by Rolling Stone as the “best-selling new rock band of the past year” in June 2005. Lead singer Brandon Flowers had also gained media attention, being named both Sexiest and Best Dressed Man at the NME Awards.
Flowers and band recorded four additional albums to cement their status as one of the biggest rock bands of the 21st century and the most successful rock band to ever emerge from the state of Nevada, selling an estimated 22 million records worldwide.
The Killers have been nominated for seven Grammy Awards, seven BRIT Awards, and twenty-four NewMusicExpress Awards. The Killers are the only international act to have a five-album streak of No. 1 albums, from their debut, in the United Kingdom.
K-ZAP 93.3 FM is happily spinning their song, “Run For Cover” from the new album, Wonderful Wonderful, and you can also catch us streaming it at K-ZAP.ORG/LISTEN/ or play the video below. Enjoy!
Hot Fuss (2004)
Sam’s Town (2006)
Day & Age (2008)
Battle Born (2012)
Wonderful Wonderful (2017)