HOMETOWN: Las Vegas
WHY YOU KNOW THEM: Their infectious pop rock single “Somebody Told Me” from their debut album, Hot Fuss
MAJOR LETDOWN: All have girlfriends
•Killer Confessions: Formed in 2002, the Killers—vocalist Brandon Flowers, guitarist David Keuning, bassist Mark Stoermer and drummer Ronnie Vannucci—may be influenced by Ziggy Stardust and ’80s new wave, but their stage act owes something to the King and Old Blue Eyes. “Growing up in Vegas, I knew about Sinatra and Elvis’s whole legacy,” says Flowers. “These were people [who knew how to] put on a show.”
•Boy band backlash: “Bad music from 1996 to 2001 inspired me,” says Keuning, who cowrote four of Hot Fuss‘s songs with Flowers. “I thought most of the stuff I was coming up with was just as good.” Nominated for three Grammys, including best rock album, the band hopes for the longevity of U2. “They aren’t trying to sound like they’re 25,” says Flowers.
•Odd jobs: While in Vegas, Flowers, 23, worked as a bellhop; Vannucci, 28, as a wedding-chapel photographer; Keuning, 28, clerked at Banana Republic; and Stoermer, 27, was a medical courier, sometimes picking up boxers’ urine for testing. “I once carried [heavyweight champ] Lennox Lewis’s,” says Stoermer.
•On the road again: Touring, which they’ve done nonstop for just over a year (this month they wrap up headlining the NME Tour in the U.K.), “is like being on the hood of a car with no goggles and never slowing down,” says Vannucci. A run of bad luck, including emergency landings, has also curbed their enthusiasm for winging it. “It gets worse every time we fly,” says Flowers. “I’m looking into boats.”