Ronnie interview at the Auckland BDO-Thanks Staralfur

Far from seeing the tour as a gangland war zone, the Killers' Ronnie Vanucci is out for a spot of socialising.

"I like to get out there and say 'Hi'. When the weather's nice, it's time to meet people," he says.

The drummer's enthusiasm is understandable - the Killers' pre-Chrismas touring involved six weeks in the dead of a European winter.

"That was a real son of a bitch," Vannucci says.

"The shows were good, but the weather sucked - suicide weather. It's cold and the food's f---in' weird and nobody's smiling and post-war, you know what I mean... and I'm talking like 60 years ago!

"But there's also a lot of bulls--- going on with the current war... it's weird vibes."

Down under, the vibe for the Killers is far from weird - their popularity stretches to more corners than probably any other international act on this year's BDO bill.

As they've spruiked their second album, Sam's Town, they've spoken often about wanting to be "the biggest band".

But what is big and how does a band know when they've hit it?

"Big means important, to me," Vannucci says.

"And important, I guess, means a band that has a classic thing going on - mostly, the songs are f---ing good.

"And a band that's gonna have an impact - our impact right now is just having great songs.

"We wanna be a band that's around for a really long time. We just wanna keep the integrity of our band in shape so we can do that. There's a lot of other elements as you keep going down this weird road that can change the integrity of a band. As soon as that gets hold of you, you can really leave yourself open to like, beer commercials, you know what I mean?

No beer commercials in sight here. Just a live show that leaves the Killers' initial Hot Fuss gigs in the dust and, in Brandon Flowers, a frontman who's finally got a grip on his role.

"I've watched him evolve and then scale back, and then evolve and then 'Oh s---!'," Vannucci says with a laugh.

"I don't think he ever wanted to be a frontman, until we made him.

"But he's working out. I think we're gonna keep him."