Brandon Flowers discussed the Killers‘ early days on Late Night With Seth Meyers. The singer said he used to peruse classified ads, which is how he found guitarist Dave Keuning (who is slated to appear at Smashing Pumpkins upcoming 30th anniversary tour stop). He also remembered that their first show at an open mic did not go over so well.
“I was looking for a spot on the floor to throw up,” he said. “And I just didn’t think I was gonna make it through.” It was there that they performed “Mr. Brightside” live for the first time. “I had never heard it with a beat at that point,” Flowers said. “We didn’t have a drummer yet.”
“I didn’t know it would grow into what it’s become since,” he said of their mega-hit. “But I knew that it was good.”
Flowers added that he thinks the band’s Las Vegas roots inspire the music. “We take all these influences that you’ve had in your life and you can’t help but take it in,” he said. “And then we funnel it through the Strip, I think. And I think that’s what we sound like, especially on the first record.”
Another early influence was the New York Dolls, which Flowers credits as the inspiration behind wearing makeup in the band’s early days. “I did not look good in it,” he laughed. “I wasn’t good at it.”
The group released The Killers Career Vinyl Box last month, which includes all five of its studio albums alongside rarities and B sides record Sawdust and the first vinyl pressing of the 2009 double album, Live From the Royal Albert Hall.
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Flowers also performed an acoustic version of Sam’s Town single “When You Were Young”: