Cash for Questions The Killers
Q Magazine January 2008-Thanks to Caroline http://www.thekillersfrance.fr  for the scans
 

 

The Killers have a rumour theyíd like to clear up. ďIíve never had a threesome with Ronnie and another girlí says cauliflower- haired guitarist Dave Keuning, indignantly. ďIíd like to sort this out right now. People have made a lot of things up. Our girlfriends are reading crazy stories. Iíve been accused of stuff that never happened, all because of rumours on the goddamn internet.Ē
With a second album platinum, Samís Town, to their name, worldwide stadium tours and a headlining slot at Glastonbury, 2007 was a big year for The Killers. Little wonder they have become the preserve of gossip columns.
Itís early afternoon in a salubrious, groupie-free hotel in New Yorkís meatpacking district, and Keuning and his band mates- front man Brandon Flowers, Vannucci and bassist Mark Stoermer, who greet each enquiry with a look best employed for the discovery of a bad odour.
This week, the Vegas four piece are on the East coast to shoot the video for single Tranquilize, the recent collaboration with Lou Reed, from B-sides, covers and rarities compilation Sawdust. As they sit around Qís Dictaphone, an audience with New Yorkís very own Prince of Darkness seems preferable to a Q readership grilling.
ďWe understand there questions are going to be a little weird right? Says Flowers nervously. But of CourseÖ

Freddie Mercury, ZZ Top, the guy from sparksÖ who has the best facial hair in rock?
Ronnie: I never got into Sparks, but I got into ZZ Top. They blow everyone out of the water with their beards.
Mark: Our Facial hair is more about Laziness than style
Dave: Iíve never gone for it. I like to be clean faced. Iím not a follower, Iím my own man. I shave every other day.
Brandon: The beard has gone out of rock recently. Iím going for the guy in (North Carolina psychedelic rock band) Valient Thorr. The singer has great facial hair.

Brandon, Mormons are famous for multiple marriages. Is your wife the first of many? If so, can I be next?
BF: Can I pass on this one? Multiple marriages have been outlawed for over 100 years. The beliefs havenít changed it was a decision based on circumstance. Men were getting killed during the war. They had wives and so a lot of women were being left without husbands. Multiple marriages are an outdated notion.

The Bravery and Fall Out Boy. Why do you only pick on bands that are weedier than you?
BF: What's Weedier? Less tough? Tell him the next band we're going for is Rammstein
DK: Not Queens Of The Stone Age though. Nobody messes with Josh.
BF: Those disputes ended up being in bad taste in so many ways. It wasn't a good look for us. It also associated us with bands we didn't want to be associated with. We've moved on.

Brandon, have you ever worn an outfit and thought ďthatís a bit too muchĒ?
BF: [Laughs] Yeah, I recently wore this gold suit, and the pants took it over the edge. They were gold and they didnít have any pockets in my butt. I looked like a figure skater. I didnít plan it that way. I had the specifically made for last summerís festivals, but Iíve since swapped the pants for a black pair. In fact, the guy who made the suit actually made Elvisís gold suits. We went to Graceland and I saw a picture of Elvis in the entire gold outfit. Then I walked down the hall and saw a picture of Elvis with just the Gold jacked and the black pants. I think he had the same revelation. It was a very expensive suit. Iím not telling you how much.

Were you scared when you met old grumpy bollocks, Lou Reed?
DK: [Laughs] Old grumpy bollocks. Iíll remember that when I see him tomorrow.
BF: You tend to be respectful. Itís a respectful fear. It took a day to break the ice with him. The second day of recording was a lot nicer than the first Ė on the first day we were all really stiff. Itís funny because you refer to him as ďLou ReedĒ and not ďLouĒ. I remember somebody came into the studio. They could only stay in the room with him for two minutes. They Lefts saying ďLou Reedís really freaking me out.Ē
DK: [laughs] Heís got his own vibe. We asked him to work on Tranquilize with us. We sent him the track and he said yes. It was a real honour, but weíve learnt that if you try asking, it works out sometimes.

Tim Burton directed the video for Bones. Whatís your favourite of his films?
MS: Ed Wood is one of my favourites. It was strange working with him. We just asked him to direct the video and he said yes. Heís a really nice guy and I think he likes the band.
RV: Big Fish. It reminds me of my dad.
BF: I canít help it, I love Sleepy Hollow. Itís a great film. We canít wait for the Sweeny Todd film heís making.

Even though it was about America, your second album didnít go down as well as it did in England. Why?
MS: [moodily] well, it went platinum. I donít think many bands do that these days. And if you were at our shows you wouldíve seen that they were all sold out and people were singing along to the songs. You must be misinformed.
RV: People are more excited in England, but thatís just the way it is. People have a different appreciation for music. Our first tours were in England. There are a lot of roots there. Itís worked out well for us over there.

Two female friends of mine met you after a show in England. They claimed you kicked them out if your hotel at 11pm because you wanted to get to sleep. Whatís the story?
DK: Not True! First of all, that scenario is impossible because at 11 oíclock we were probably still playing somewhere. Its not our bedtime at 11 [laughs] either that or they werenít good enough. We probably didnít like what we saw.

Youíve covered Dire StraitsÖ Where do I start?
RV: We covered it because itís a great song Ė Brandon was really into it. The original idea was to do the song with Johnny Borrell though he got really sick and couldnít do it.
BF: He reminds me a lot of Mark Knopfler
RV: I told him to take his medicine and eat right but he didnít. But I think we pulled it off pretty good. Weíre always keeping in touch with other bands that we meet on the today but we usually keep it to a high five or a slap on the add because weíre so busy.
BF: Weíre not overly anxious about Dire Straits though. Weíre not ashamed of covering Romeo and Juliet, either. It ones of the finest songs ever. Brilliant melodies.
DK: I can do the Money for Nothing riff.

If you could go to dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be and why?
RV: Marilyn Monroe, because Iíd want to talk her out of it. Or Jack Nicholson. I think heís one of the best actors in the world. I donít think heíd be as tough in person as out on the screen.
DK: Iím going for Robert Smith Ė I reckon heíd be a good conversationalist.
BF: Elvis. It would be great to sit down and eat some of the amazing meals he liked. I bought an Elvis cookbook recently and my wifeís going to cook it up. For the next record Iím going to be a hunk of burning love.

Which of you looks best in womenís clothing?

BF: We wore geisha clothes in the video for Read My Mind. It was weird, because we had beards. Mark Looked like a samurai, but Dave probably looked the best because he didnít have any facial hair. Weíve never had a proper competition though.

Brandon, is it me, or have you got Earl from My name is earl on drums?
BF: There were points where Jason Leeís friends even talked to Ronnie thinking it was him.
DK: He did look a lot like Jason Lee though. It was noticeable at award shows Ė people thought he was Jason Leed and would call out to him. Then stupid photographer would take his picture and weíd be like, ďyeah, weíre friends with Jason Lee.í

Dave, you recently name-checked Metallica in Q. Whatís the most metal thing about The Killers?
DK: Name-check? God these English terms. Well, our most metal song is ĎAll The Pretty Facesí on Sawdust. Itís pretty metal, I guess, but we can do all sorts of styles. [Q mentions Daveís penchant for leather waistcoat]. Thatís a part of who I am. When youíre in eighth grade youíre into AC/DC and Metallica. And any guitarist who says they werenít is fucking lying. I do have some Judas priest. I used to play Ram It Down in my car.

Youíre a big fan of English music, but where do you stand on the cuisine?

RV: [laughs] Maybe 20 or 30 years ago it was just bread and water. Now youíve got everything Ė there are some great free range meats to rival the USA.
MS: Iíve actually picked up mushrooms, baked beans and tomatoes with my breakfast which was nice. You canít get that In America. And weíre big fans of Pret A Manger.
RV: Weíre hoping to open up our own branch of Pret over here.

Dave, the last time you spoke to Q you said you wanted to clone you cat. Howís that coming along?
DK: Well, I loved my cat. I havenít reincarnated it yet, and Iím not sure Iím going to get round to it. What was her name? Iím not going to answer thatÖ
BF: [laughs] Smokey.
DK: [Sighs] It was a big, grey, friendly cat. I have not met another organism that was friendlier. Period. It died on thanksgiving í95 when some asshole ran it over.

Brandon: the American Morrisey or the American neil Tennant. Which one would you rather be?
DK: Oh come on thatís a no brainer!
BF: Is it? [laughs] I donít know. I think Iím a combination. Iím part of each of them. My torso is probably more Morrisey and my forearm is Neil Tennants. Oh, and my other arm is Robert Smith. Itís a terminator amalgamation of different people.
DK: Iíd love to have the hands of Hedndrix. Iím pretty comfortable with my body.

You were a bit quiet at Glastonbury. What happened to the sound?
MS: That wasnít down to us. Apparently thereís more of a limit for the headlining bands than anyone else. Thereís one guy who lives on a hill and complains about the noise every year. We noticed that the atmosphere was pretty low for a British festival crowd. We didnít find out why until afterwards.
RV: It wasnít the best feeling in the world, when your playing in that atmosphere, itís like playing in mud. Like everybody else was!

Youíve done Christmas singles for the last 2 years. Why?
BF: It all started with a phone call. Bono had his red campaign and he asked us if we would like to do something. We thought that writing songs was our thing, and got into the Christmas spirit of giving. It worked out great last year so maybe it can become a tradition.
DK: We want to try different styles of music, like Elvis. He was making three or four albums a year and using all these different styles.
RV: we like giving presents to people. For a couple of years weíve been asked to give to charity by putting our name on clothing. It didnít feel right to do that, so we thought it would be better to make a single to the cause.
MS: The point is to be a bit cheesy. We donít want to take it too seriously. Itís for fun.

Brandon, what was the best tip you received when you worked as a bellboy back in the day?
BF: We used to get pimps going to the hotels a lot. They would promise a good tip as you loaded the car. They never would. Pimps and gypsies, terrible tippers.

 

 

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