A band to die for
Kate Mickan
January 13, 2007

The Sunday Mail

THE name's Stoermer, Mark Stoermer, bass player for the world's most popular non-British Britpop band, the Killers.

No, he says, the band have not been approached to do the theme song for the next James Bond movie.

"We haven't really heard anything about it, to tell you the truth," Stoermer says of the rumour, hot around the traps in the wake of Audioslave's Chris Cornell doing You Know My Name for current Bond blockbuster Casino Royale.

"We've heard more from friends and reporters than we have from anywhere else. If it is true, we would definitely consider it, though."

The Las Vegas band, who formed through an ad in the paper, have taken the world by storm since they hit the charts in 2004 with debut album Hot Fuss.

Key to the worldwide appeal of the Killers is the band members' colourful and varied musical influences.

There's a touch of Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, Oasis, U2, Pink Floyd and, of course, New Order, after whom the band got their name it's the name of a fictional band in one of the cult British act's music videos.

"I love the Beatles, Pink Floyd and the Who but in the last few years, I've also really admired the Strokes, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Interpol and Razorlight," Stoermer says.

Band members Stoermer, Brandon Flowers (vocals/keyboards), David Keuning (guitar) and Ronnie Vannucci (drums) would once again look to their CD collections while writing their second album, also drawing on songwriters Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty for inspiration.

This saw the Killers move away from their trademark British sound and towards a more American feel for Sam's Town, their latest release.

"Brandon does all of the writing and he was listening to a lot of The Boss (Bruce Springsteen) in between records," Stoermer says.

"We don't feel comfortable criticising him about his writing because no one has ever attempted it (writing). It's not that Brandon won't give us a shot, it's just that we love the way he writes."

The band took the name Sam's Town from a casino in Las Vegas and fittingly also recorded the album in a studio in a Vegas casino.

The record is receiving good radio play in Australia with singles When You Were Young and the current chart hit Bones, for which kooky, spooky director Tim Burton directed the music clip.

"We're fans of Tim's," Stoermer says.

"We were mixing the song and listening to it and Brandon said because of the song's direction and the macabre lyrics it reminded us of him and we thought it would be a perfect fit.

"So we approached his people with the idea and Tim said, 'Yes'. It's the first music clip he's ever done, so we feel very privileged."

Another honour for the band, says Stoermer, is playing the Big Day Out music festival in Australia and New Zealand this summer.

"We had a great experience in Australia when we were here in the past," Stoermer says.

"The fans were just great and really got into our music. I think it will certainly be one of the more 'funner' tours we'll do because it is in Australia.

"And we've also got days off in between shows so it won't feel so rushed and hectic."

The singles All These Things That I've Done, Mr Brightside, Somebody Told Me and When You Were Young should generate a big crowd response.

Though the singles might be crowd-pleasers, it's Bling that Stoermer prefers playing.

"Bling, off Sam's Town, is a really great track and right now it's the one that I look forward to performing," Stoermer says. "Sam's Town is just a great album in general.

"Being able to make records that we're proud of, whether people like them or not, is the main thing.

"On the other side of this, though, is when we play a show where we feel we've had a good night, you feel this amazing connection with your fans who are cheering you on."

The Killers play the Big Day Out at Gold Coast Parklands next Sunday.