Spin Magazine Band of the Year January 2006
A cold wind is blowing across the Great South by and the kids have added a layer to their late summer outfits.The Tommy Hilfiger at Jones Beach Theater in suburban Wantagh,Long Island,seats about 14,000 of them.It's the kind of outdoor venue your Jimmy Buffetts and James Taylors safely rock during the peak months of July and August Occasionally an alternative band will headline here and then only once they're either legendary (as the Pixies,who performed this past summer,certainly are)or massive (as The Killers,who are headlining this September evening,have become)."Ive got you under my skinnnn/I've got you..deep in the heart of me."singer Brandon Flowers is warming up backstage.While the thick orangey pancake on his handsome face seems more appropriate for a female cabaret star of a certain age-say,Carol Channing-his croon and swagger are Sinatra-esque in their confidence.Those who remember The killers hesitant stage presence at early shows promoting their 2004 debut album,Hot Fuss,would marvel at the transformation.185 shows later.Flowers flirts.he emotes.he fakes it.and he flirts again.All bands play to the crowd:a rock star plays with the crowd.A fashion plate in the new wave dandy mold,Flowers now has haute designers eager to clothe him.(Even the three other members-kinky haired guitarist Dave keuning,gangly basist Mark Stoermer,and wisecracking drummer Ronnie Vannucci-are standing up a little straighter,dressing with some flair.)When Flowers spies a polka-dotted man-frock he likes at a photo shoot,he simply has someone put it in the car."I wonder if we're getting a bad reputation for that,"the 24 -year-old chuckles,but it's clear he's not really too concerned.Those who might normally be concerned are accustomed to such things.they wink,they shrug.they tolerate.this is what rock stars do.
If there's any doubt about such behaviour being deserved,simply look at the stats:more than five million copies of Hot Fuss sold worldwide (the last time a new-wave,dance pop album did that kind of business Molly Ringwald and Dweezil Zappa were hollywood's it couple):three Grammy nominations an MTV video music award for best new artist.They've been on Letterman,Leno Connan,Kimmel,SNL,and of course The OC.They've hung with Bono,Morrissey,Bowie,Noel Gallagher,Elton John and Paul McCartney and hired famed rock photographer/filmaker Anton Corbijin to direct the video for "All these things that iv'e done" because they're fans of his.And becase they could.Perhaps more inportant,even those critics who initially explained away their crossover hits as crafty pastiches of Duran Duran,New Order,and U2 had to acknowledge the song-craft Modern rock radio these days unless the hooks are irresistible.
By the time you read this phase one of the killers campaign for world domination will be complete.The las vegas quartet will be back in Sin City.After a genuine vacation (their first in two full years).They'll begin recording the songs they've come up with "during that hour and half before sound check," as Keuning describes it.Titles like "where the white boys dance'already seen prescient,but even if the follow up to Hot Fuss (tentatively slated for a fall 2006 release is bigger than its predecessor,there's no way 2006 will be any more momentous,both professionally and personally (Flowers wed his longtime in August,and Keuning and his girlfriend had a baby boy in September)so,amid the band's blur of a year,we were curious to learn which pop cultural events managed to penetrate their universe.As we suspected they did'nt miss much.Okay,maybe krumping but that'll have its nostalgia fucked revival in about six months anyway.
Reunited and it feels so...
Spin:were you happy to welcome the Crue back?
Brandon Flowers:we got to see Motley crue firsthand at LA modern rock station KROQ's annual Weenie Roast in May.In the defense nobody gets a fuckin sound check at those things so i'm sure everybody's first three,four songs were horrible but ther'es something about having pyrotechnics and really bad sound.
Ronnie Vannucci:If Motley crue are out there just playing the songs they wrote I think it's fine but then we see the TV show with Vince Neil getting his face pulled off.
Spin:Billy Corgan came back,and when his sols record didn't overwhelm critics,he quickly announced plans to reunite Smashing Pumpkins unbeknownst to half the old band,apparently
Dave Keuning:but that could turn into something i was a huge pumpkins fan.I was also one of the few people who bought Thefutureembrace.
Spin:Did you enjoy it?
Dave keuning:I'd love to say i did but...
Spin:What did you guys think of the Slint reunion?(silence)
Gwen (just Gwen)
Spin:Gwen Stefani also had a huge year.
Vannucci:she's like on her fifth single now
Flowers:"cool" is about the bass player ex boyfriend Tony Kanal again,you can totally tell.
spin:she denied it.I interviewd her,and she said it wasn't
Vannucci:It's totally about him,i'd be pissed if i was Gavin Rossdale.
Eminem Enters Rehab
Mark Stoermer:There's an example of how we're out of the loop,I didn't even hear about that.
Flowers:I didn't figure him for much of a drinker.i figured he's a pothead.
Spin:supposedly he was addicted to Ambien
Spin:It's a sleeping pill.There's a line of thought that sys that entering rehab is skin to declaring professional backruptcy.like,if you're famous.institutionalizeing yourself is a good way to give your carreer a rest and just freeze everything temporarily.Get things off your back and get some rest.
Stoermer: I heard Elvis used to do that.He used to check himself in to the hospital for no reason.because that was the only way he could get away from people.
The Fallout from "dimebag"Darrell's onstage murder
Spin:It;s safe to assume you don't approve of getting shot dead by crazed fans while youre perfroming?
Flowers: I think about it all the time when we're playing.
Keuning:A guy in Portland jumped from the balcony onto the speakers.He knocked them over,and they landed kike two inches from me,It shook the whole stage.
Stoermer:it was like a 20 foot drop
Keuning:i thought his next move was going to be to attack me,but then he just turned and jumped back into the audience.
Vannucci:i had a crazy guy in Enland.he had this look in his eyes like he wanted to kill me,and he was inching his way up.
Flowers: we don't have security yet.but we hear of bands that have sold not even half the records we have that walk around with security.
Keuning I don't understand that shit.
Vannucci:Those bands are pussies-that's why.
Dressing to the nines at Live 8
Flowers:that was a high point for us.we're kind of scared cause we've had so many of those on this album.What are we gonna do for the second record?we have to play on Mars or something to beat Live 8.We got to meet Pink Floyd's Dave Gilmour'
Vannucci David don't call him Dave.
Flowers:and Paul McCartney.talked to sting,and it was all for a good cause.
Vannucci:we might never do something that big again.
Spin:you were all dressed in white that day.
Flowers:yeah,we thought we had this great idea and then like three other people had it too.Madonna did it.
What about Bop?
spin:are any of your songs part of the kidz bop series?
spin:they're compilations of the hits of the day as sung by children.it's hugely popular.
Flowers:they did "take me out"by fraz ferdinand and "float on"by modest mouse my nieces were singing "float on" what they fo is take the easiest part of the song and repeat it a lot
Stoermer:(disgusted)we're not on that no.
Spin:of course,they're careful about what lyrics they include.
Flowers:have you heard the Hilary duff version of 'My generation"she sings "i hope i don't die before i get old."
Like an Equestrian
Spin:So..Madonna was thrown off a horse.
Vannucci:She was really mean to us at Live 8.next.
"Trapped in a closet with R.Kelly"
Flowers:I think he's the most talented person in R&B but the performance at the VMA's was ridiculous.he was trying to make it a gay thing,which it was'nt in the video.in the video he is in some woman's house doing some guys wife and her hlusband comes home and he's trapped ing the closet,singing a good song about how he want's to get his girl or baby or something but in the VMA performance.he's cheating on his wife with a man.that's from left field(editors not r kelly played all the parts at the vma's including the gay man.but his main character sylvester is not gay)
Vannucci:i kind of liked that
Flowers: i heard that Marvin Gayes wife gave him marvin's drivers license,his last drivers license.which is also totally odd.
INXSsively Tacky reality tv talent searches
Flowers:TLC had one too? oh man
Stoermer: to replace left eye?
Vannucci:yeah they should'nt have done that.The Doors should'nt have done what they did(toured with Ian Astbury on vocals)Queen should'nt do what they're doing (touring with Paul Rodgers)
Stoermer:All these band had people who died.they did'nt quit.if they quit you could maybe excuse it a little bit.
Flowers:but if there was a really prominent frontman who died,even more reason not to do it.
spin:just to play devil's advocate.AC/DC put out their best record.black in black after their original singer died and was replaced.
Stoermer:yeah but they thought about it,they found him in a more natural way.they did'nt make him.there's just more integrity to that.whereas doing it in public with Dave Navarro..
Jessica Simpson's rear view
Vannucci:they say she has butt implants
Vannucci:not in her butt,just like inside her panties or whatever
spin:like a wonderbra for the ass?
Flowers:there's not way she could be shaking her ass like that (with a wonderbra for the ass)or watering down a car in the video for these boots are made for walking some of the camera angles were right up on the butt cheeks.that girl is spot on.
spin:did you guys see the dukes of hazzard?
Flowers:i liked burt Reynolds
Vannucci:Boss hogg was burt Reynolds?give me a fuckin break get the fat guy.
spin:he's dead now
vannucci:Get another fat guy there's plenty of them in America
vannucci;it's all we think about.
Flowers:i sympathize with Brad
Stoermer:I sympathize with Jen,but Brad made the right choice.
Flowers:well,Angelina's beautiful.and they say Jen does'nt want to have babies and stuff,so you gotta sympathize with Brad
spin:that was bullshit.angelina just can't be resisted.
Flowers:yeah,i don't think anyone could resist her.she's unbelievable.
vannucci:look,people fo through rough times in their lives,and when it becomes a public display,everyone is going to form their own opinion.we don't know for sure what really went down the only truth to be known is that they're both hot pieces of ass.
Jacko's courtroom thriller
Flowers:Dave loves Michael Jackson.and even Dave thinks he's guilty
spin:but he's innocent in the eyes of the law.he's a free man.
Vannucci:something's wrong with that.
spin:Although,there were two jurors who reportedly later regreted helping to acqit him.
vannucci:they just wanted to go home.
spin:do you suppose his and Renee Zellweger's marriages were rebound relationships?
Flowers:Jack seems like a romantic guy.but they both got married awful quickly and Renee is already divorced.
Stoermer:a bizarre little fact:Kenny Chesney had his song called "you had me from hello" which was the line made famous in Jerry Maguire.
spin:so he saw the movie,wrote the song,and later married her.
Flowers:And it lasted 24 days(weddings editors note;actually it lasted four months)
Kate Moss busted
vannucci:people who act like they're surprised when a fuckin model who is dating a rock star is doing coke should be fuckin shot.
The March of the penguins
Keuning:The continuing theme of the narrator was funny.
vannucci:Every five minutes it'd be like,"it;s a tough winter.and some would not survive."and then he'd say "but look at the younglings play!"and then,"but unfortunately some will die."
Flowers:and a hawk would come down and take one away.
vannucci:every five minutes!you get all feel-goody,and then (narrator)Morgan Freeman brings you down like that.
Stoermer:when they're five years old,they have to mate.
vannucci:it's kind of like being in a band,being a baby penguin,the early years are sweet amd-
Stoermer:After that it's kind of a struggle.
Flowers:oh,we don't know that yet.
vannucci:We hav'nt even gotten to four years.
kanye West's anti-bush outburst
Stoermer:Mike Meyer's shocked look-that was the best part.what gets me about Kanye is he's the type of dude who wears his heart on his sleeve.
Keuning:ah,i don't knwo if that's so good when youre an asshole though.
Stoermer:I also think he got his own MTV special way too early-that's all i have to say. it was like a two -hour movie.it's just his second record.
Vannucci:I'm still waiting for fucking cribs to show up at my house.so i can wet down my driveway and park my '86 Toyota diagonally.it's brown and white.
The Rize of krump
Flowers:i think it's that dance.
Stoermer:yeah,we missed that one.
Flowers:These people do the strangest things with their bodies
spin:while wearing clown face.
keuning:that's kind of evil
Pop culture at the speed of sound
spin:Destiny's child broke up,and they're treating it like they've been together 25 years.it seems that's indicitive of how quickly things move these days.
Flowers:We're trying not to get sucked into it.people want us to have a book out right now.they want us to have a DVD out right now.we're holding off on all of it.
Stoermer:The nostalgia cycles speed up faster and faster to the point where you're being nostalgic for last week.
Vannucci:it needs to stop.