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The Killers on Mitt Romney: 'Anyone's Allowed to Like Us'

'We're not really a political band,' says bassist Mark Stoermer

Def Jam; Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
August 30, 2012 8:00 AM ET

Paul Ryan may have been blasted by Tom Morello for his love of Rage Against the Machine, but Mitt Romney's preference for the Killers hasn't seemed quite as controversial so far. When the Republican presidential nominee gave a shout-out to the Las Vegas band last week, at least one member didn't seem upset by it.

"Anyone's allowed to like us," Killers bassist Mark Stoermer tells Rolling Stone. "If it's just about music, I guess it's not a negative thing."

Romney brought up the band – whose lead singer, Brandon Flowers, is Mormon, like the candidate – in an interview with Parade. "The Killers are one group I enjoy," he said, noting that, if elected, he'd also welcome the Beach Boys, Alabama, Aerosmith and country stars Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney and Toby Keith to play at the White House.

Several big-name artists have come out against the Romney-Ryan campaign in recent weeks. Silversun Pickups ordered Romney to stop using their song "Panic Switch" at events. Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider denounced Ryan's use of their 1984 hit "We're Not Gonna Take It." And Rage guitarist Tom Morello blasted Ryan – who is inexplicably both a Republican and a fan of the band – in an op-ed for Rolling Stone.

But it appears that Romney can rock out to the Killers in peace. Stoermer declined to take sides on the candidate's politics.

"He's, I guess, a guy and he listens to music and happens to like us," he said. "That's fine."

Asked if the band would be open to playing at the White House, he said it would depend on the circumstances.

"We'd have to cross that bridge when we come to it," he said. "We're not really a political band. And we don't necessarily have all the same views, but none of us are very politically active anyway. I guess we would be open to it, depending on if and when it happens and what it was about."

Some rockers do support Romney and Ryan. This week, a handful of acts are performing at the Republican National Convention in Florida. The list includes Journey and Kid Rock, whose song "Born Free" has been a staple of Romney's campaign.

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