Mark Stoermer (The Killers): “People aren’t built to go on tour for a long time”

Thank you to **miss_brightside**  for the translation


The week of …. The Killers

Backstage there were rumours that The Killers are not very talkative, but bass-player Mark Stoermer kills that rumour. Even though the band enjoyed a little vacation the past week and therefore had a rather uneventful week, we can always talk about a good book. “I wouldn’t call myself a fanatical reader yet, but I would like to be.”

“The past week we had no shows. We enjoyed a little vacation and spent almost the entire week in Las Vegas. So you do what other people do: just relax, with a movie or a good book. I go through different phases as a book-reader: sometimes I read a lot and I want to read one after another, but just as often I don’t feel like reading at all. I wouldn’t call myself a fanatical reader yet, but I would like to be.”

Almost without really being noticed The Killers have become one of the greatest bands of the moment. One wonders if a band who’s constantly on tour and hard at work even notices this fact. “You have very little time to reflect, that’s true. After the first album and tour we had a two week holiday, very short really. That’s when you start to think: we started in a garage and we are now playing in reasonably large establishments. The second album then mainly became a continuation of the first, but it still got bigger and bigger. For all that, that doesn’t mean that much, because we still play the way we always did.”

A lot of bands say that backstage at festivals is always crazy and fun and that everybody is always friends. According to Mark that is a little exaggerated: “That doesn’t happen as often as people think. Bands tend to lock themselves in their own world, to prepare themselves. It’s hard to make a connection, those people are also only doing their job.”

“We will do the V Festival in England tomorrow and then we’re finished with Europe, for now. We will probably not be back until autumn of 2008.” The intention is that The Killers will have finished and released their third album by then. For the first time the band has to deal really high expectations, but Stoermer stays optimistic. “With the first album there was no pressure at all from the label or anything, it’s still the first time. And with the second album it was mainly us who put a deadline on it, because we didn’t want there to be too much time between the two albums. I feel that we still have a lot to say about the direction we want to go in and the time we want to spend on the album. The label doesn’t give us a hard time about it at all.”

“We have arrived in The Netherlands yesterday. Going on tour is a really weird thing. You can compare it to a submarine: you are stuck with about twenty people in a very small space for a pretty long time. Every now and then you are very happy to get out to go and do a show. That’s what keeps it bearable. There is nothing better: people see you, freak out and listen to what you have created.”

But that the bass-player would prefer to do it another way is clear. “I think people really aren’t built to spend so much time on the road in such conditions. But I have adjusted myself to it. The beginning was a sort of trial period, that was very difficult. By now I’m used to spending long periods away from home.”

The band has developed sort of a ritual for the last five minutes before every performance. “We always huddle together in a circle to give each other a pep talk. A sort of melting of the minds. A lot of bands do something like that, but for us it’s a real obligation. There was one time that we didn’t do it and we had a pretty bad show. That’s how the superstition got started.”