Interview with Dave Keuning of The Killers

Masquerade Music Park -- Atlanta, GA

September 12, 2004


Leah Weinberg: So, I didn’t realize that people are actually from Las Vegas.
Dave Keuning:
I am actually not from Las Vegas.
L.W.: Where are you from?
I’m from Iowa. I moved there five years ago. All the other guys did grow up in Vegas.
L.W.: Where in Iowa are you from? I was actually born in Des Moines.
I’m so glad I got to...I love it when I meet people from Iowa. I feel like I’m talking to one of my own.

L.W.: What’s the music scene like in Vegas?
It’s not very encouraging for bands starting out. It has a lot of bigger bands come through and play the House of Blues and the MGM Grand. Some people play Caesar’s, whether it’s Celine Dion or Elton John. But for local bands, it’s tough to find a place to play and people are not very supportive at all. It’s tough, but there are a few bands that are decent. It’s hard to get a following to go to your shows, but there’s two or three [good bands].

L.W.: You met Brandon through placing a classified ad, right?
Yeah, because I didn’t know anybody from Vegas. I moved there, I didn’t know anybody for a couple of years. I didn’t know any musicians really. I put out that ad and he was looking for a guitar player, so we found each other and started writing immediately. We did go through a couple other bass players and drummers first but we’ve been with this altogether for about two years and it’s great.

L.W.: Have you found any similarities to being in The Killers and working at Banana Republic?
What a question to ask. None. There are none. Thank god.

L.W.: Are you guys conscious of all of the hype and all of the buzz surrounding the band?
I guess. It’s around us. But I don’t really feel–other people ask certain questions like ‘How does it feel to be this?’ It’s like, I don’t know, it just feels like nothing really. I’m still myself. The album’s doing well. We’re very grateful for that. Hopefully it will keep doing well. Maybe I’ll feel different if I had time off and some money or something. I don’t know. But we’re just constantly touring and we’re in that world.
L.W.: How long have you guys been out on the road now?
On and off since November, with a week off here and there. Pretty hardcore.
L.W.: Any break in sight?
Well, we can’t wait until February. We get a little break then. It’s like it’s around the corner.

L.W.: Do you think the “new wave” label is accurate to describe The Killers?
It’s not 100% accurate but it’s better than the other ones that have been thrown at us, so I’m not gonna reject it or anything. It is part of our sound along with rock and pop and a lot of other kinds of music.

L.W.: How would you describe the band’s style in terms of fashion?
It’s how we want to dress. Some people don’t put anything on, you know, just a T-shirt and jeans. That’s kind of lazy. We just like to look good.
L.W.: Do you guys spend a lot of time getting ready for shows or picking out what you’re going to wear?
You’d think, but not really. This is really dirty, what I’m wearing. I just kind of threw it on.

L.W.: Can you tell me about the murder trilogy of songs you guys have?
Well, I didn’t write the story. I’m actually pretty aloof when it comes to the lyrics. I don’t write them. I just listen to the music. I never pay attention to the lyrics, so your average fan would probably know better than I would. But I can tell you that “Midnight Show,” “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine” and “Leave the Bourbon on the Shelf” are the three songs. And “Leave the Bourbon on the Shelf” is part one. It’s not released yet. We’ve got to try to find time to record it. I don’t know how we’ll put it out, maybe just as a trilogy of songs or maybe on a single as a B-side or maybe on the next album. I don’t know. But hopefully people will hear it some day.

L.W.: Do you prefer playing radio day shows like these or club shows at night?
Club shows a little better, but these are so fun too because there’s more people. At the same time, it’s a little weird playing outdoors. But they’re both fun.

L.W.: Have you seen any other bands play today?
: I just woke up about an hour ago, so no. I watched a little bit of the Scissor Sisters.
L.W.: So what’s your usual wake up time?
Usually about an hour before sound check.

Related Links:
The Killers Photos

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