- 25 Oct 17
It’s been five years since mega-selling Nevada act THE KILLERS’ last album, but Wonderful Wonderful may be their most vital offering yet. Brandon Flowers and Ronnie Vanucci Jr. talk about growing up in Vegas, chasing the ‘Bono Talk’, Jackknife Lee’s work ethic, playing the White House, the deaths of Bowie, Cohen and Cornell, and the weight of expectation when it comes to making your fifth record. Interview: Olaf Tyaransen
"Ahh man, you didn’t bring one for me? Come on!” As Hot Press enters a sleek, dimly-lit meeting room in the basement of London’s Soho Hotel, Ronnie Vanucci Jr. of The Killers looks enviously at the glass of Asahi lager in my hand. The plan had actually been to have polished off said beverage before the interview began, but the schedule suddenly shifted and their record company publicist summoned me unexpectedly from the bar. “Do you mind going in early? The guys are free to talk to you now.”
The drummer might be disappointed that I haven’t brought him a drink but, as a Mormon teetotaler, singer Brandon Flowers is somewhat less bothered. Three days on from their acclaimed July 8th headline appearance at the British Summer Time festival in Hyde Park (a fortnight before that they rocked Glastonbury with a surprise appearance on the John Peel stage), the weary-looking Nevadans – aged 41 and 36, respectively – are midway through a morning of promo for their as yet unreleased fifth studio album, Wonderful Wonderful. It’s several months before their home town of Las Vegas will be struck with tragedy when a gunman open fire on a crowd at a country rock festival in the heart of the famous strip (see panel).
We’ve all met before so they’re relaxed and friendly, seemingly happy to be talking to a native English speaker after a couple of hours of being interrogated by Japanese journalists. Wearing faded jeans and a white t-shirt, the bearded, straight-talking Ronnie comes across like an American everyman, the kind of guy you’d bump into in the hardware section of a Walmart.