The Killers Bio
Considering that Brandon Flowers is a name-dropping disciple of Bono and Morrissey, it's a wonder the Killers frontman didn't reduce his stage name to a mono-moniker. But he and his Las Vegas-based bandmates have successfully emulated the sort of rising-action anthems that made U2 and the Smiths famous, albeit with more keyboards and fewer literary references.
All the band members—including singer-keyboardist Flowers, guitarist Dave Keuning, bassist Mark Stoermer and drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr.—were working odd jobs and playing in various local bands in Las Vegas when the line-up finalized in 2002; an early track, the jealous-lover lament "Mr. Brightside," helped the Killers land a deal with Island Records.
The resulting debut, Hot Fuss (Number Seven,2004), proved that the Killers were not only first-rate second-wavers — song like "On Top" and "Somebody Told Me" (#51, 2004) were awash in synths — but also that the increasingly ailing major-label environment could still nurture a multi-platinum rock band. Fuss sold three million copies in the United States, and yielded five singles: "Somebody Told Me," "Mr. Brightside," "All These Things I've Done" and "Smile Like You Mean It."
While touring behind the album, the Killers developed a reputation for slightly unearned grandiosity, perhaps best exemplified by the group's decision to hire a gospel choir for its 2004 set at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The band's infamy was increased via a string of mildly controversial interviews, in which Flowers crowed to the lap-it-up rock press — which had been starved for memorable lead singer in the post-grunge era — about the band's superiority, picking fights with acts like Fall Out Boy and the Bravery.
Such bravado didn't take away from the late-night joys of Hot Fuss, but it did set the group up for a backlash, one they egged on even further with the release of its follow-up album, Sam's Town (Number Two, 2006). The lead-off single, "When You Were Young" reached Number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100, though successive releases — "Bones" (Number 21 Modern Rock, 2006), "Read My Mind" (Number 62, 2007), and "For Reasons Unknown" — proved less captivating, and Town sold only one-third the amount of copies as its predecessor in the United States, although it nearly matched Hot Fuss worldwide. A B-sides collection, Sawdust (Number 12) followed in 2007. The band's third album of originals, Day & Age, was set for a late 2008 release.
"My heart swells when I hear the stories of people putting their lives on the line to help each other," Killers singer wrote in poignant note
Thirteen years after 'Hot Fuss,' Brandon Flowers and company rule Billboard 200 with first album in five years