Bands to Watch: The Killers

WRITTEN BY
James Montgomery

WHO:Las Vegas quartet with a penchant for sports coats and tight trousers,founded in 2001 by vocalist/keyboardist Brandon Flowers and guitaristDavid Keuning. "We try hard not to look like the Strokes," Flowerssays, "but still look good."

SOUND LIKE: The Psychedelic Furs on a 72-hour bender at the Bellagio. The Killers' debut album, A Hot Fuss,mates starry synths and dizzy guitars with king-size choruses, toppingit all off with a stylized '80s sheen. The result: feel-good musicabout feel-bad things (murder, stalking, AIDS).

WORKING FOR THE WEEKEND:In the band's early days, Flowers was a hotel bellhop, Keuning hawkedkhakis at Banana Republic, bassist Mark Stoermer transported blood andurine samples, and drummer Ronnie Vannucci snapped photos at Vegas'Little Chapel of the Flowers. "One wedding had this real S-M vibe toit," Vannucci says, laughing. "This couple was handcuffed together andsentenced to life with one another. Their witnesses looked like Pinheadfrom those Hellraiser movies."

SHYNESS ISN'T NICE: The Killers recently opened fortheir hero, Morrissey, in Los Angeles. "He told the crowd, 'We love theKillers and so should you,'" Flowers gushes. "It was insane." But,Vannucci adds, "he didn't say anything to us. We passed him in the halland he gave us a nod. I hear that he's shy, but the guy's like 87 yearsold. He should get over the shyness thing."

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