David Keuning, April 11, 2004


Written by: Jason Perlman


MusicOhio: There are a lot of bands out there today with the old rock sound. What makes The Killers stand out from the rest? Personally, I think you have a much different sound.
David Keuning: Yeah, in a totally different way, I feel really dumb right now. We’ve gotten that question a lot recently with all the new bands coming out that are influenced by bands like T Rex, and New Order and how are we different is hard to answer that. We are definitely different than The Strokes and all the others. I don’t think there’s that many bands that sound like us on tour. We’re trying to write really good songs. Apparently one of the differences is we have the 80's style but we’re trying to incorporate a little more depth. U2 and the Beatle’s influence because their the best songwriter’s that ever lived. Obviously, U2 especially, so on that angle too we’re not afraid to be different. The Strokes are one of my favorite bands, but they don’t have hardly any ballads, and that’s something we like to do now and then. We have a couple on the record as well as like a couple of dance ones. We vary it up a little bit.

MO: You just mentioned The Beatles and U2, probably the best songwriters in each generation. Is that how you see your band?
DK: That’s absolutely how I see it. I don’t know how it will evolve, but similar to U2. People want to have different albums where one is more like a U2 pop record with a lot of weird dance stuff like Zoo TV, or a lot of stuff like Where the Streets have No Names. Songs like that, that’s one of the best songs. I think it is top five.


MO: Has traveling and playing out every night, meeting new people had an effect on your music?
DK: Yeah, it’s affecting it one way or another. We’re not gonna have as much time to write except during the sound check. I used to read about other bands and they were like, "Yeah, we just wrote that in sound check." Now I know why, because it’s the only time we have to write. Twenty minutes before another concert, or anytime at night or during the day. I guess we’re going into a little bit of the U2, Cure direction, but we’re still gonna have a couple of dance songs on the next album. I think we got some good songs written already, but it’s really early to talk about what the next song is gonna sound like.


MO: Because there is such variety on the record, is it hard to pick out singles to put out there that represents The Killers sound?
DK: It is actually, I think we’ve already picked the first two singles and the third one is gonna be hard. There’s like three or four that could be the third one and a couple of real good ballads that don’t know if they could be singles, they’re both long but they’re really good songs. Maybe they’re not good for the radio. That’s not our judgement call.


MO: You also have some songs that don’t fit the "radio" friendly formula. Are you doing any radio edits?
DK: We’re already doing that on our next single and I don’t know what it’s gonna sound like but look at the bright side, it will be on the radio. Maybe there will be a radio edit but it sucks not being involved because I don’t know what they could possibly cut out. But they’ll find something.


MO: Picking the songs for the record had to be a chore in itself. You have a loyal fan base, especially in Las Vegas, and have you had people yell out songs to play that threw you for a loop?
DK: Yeah, we’ve already had that a little bit because we had a lot of stuff that didn’t make it to the record. Some songs that I would have liked and locally, we just played Vegas for the first year and then people would be like why did you stop playing that? People would even holler out songs that we don’t play anymore. And you know, I said to Brandon, I said we should play that and Brandon says, "I don’t even remember that!" And then come to think of it I don’t remember all the guitar parts or forgot to learn it or whatever. There’s already a few like that ,but I think all the ones we’re playing live now, we better not forget those because we’re touring so much. There’s about nine off the next record that we’re just playing over and over again. There’s a couple of older ones that are B-Sides that we’ve played every couple of weeks and we keep doing that whole number otherwise, we might forget those too.


MO: It’s weird, because Las Vegas, with all it’s hype, really isn’t known for a music scene. But what scene there was, did The Killers fit into it?
DK: We did not fit into it and I kinda think it’s a good thing because it was really easy to stand out and the people who did like our music in town we’re like, "Oh My God! There’s a band in Vegas that sounds like that?" There aren’t many. I can’t really think of any bands that sound very much like it. There’s a lot of punk and metal bands, a lot of casino bands, of course, Wayne Newton.

MO: The metal scene is big there?
DK: There’s a lot of stuff like that. There’s a lot of aggressive music, but we’re a little nicer and we’re different so, I think it’s a good thing. But it was hard at first cause no one knew who we were. We were playing with other metal bands and they’re audience just didn’t know what to think of us. We have like a good strong, small following in Vegas but it’s loyal. Thankfully we got a record deal to help broaden our horizon a little bit.

MO: When you first came on board with the band, did you know this was the group of guys to get you to the next level?
DK: Now it may sound really bad, but I think I did. I don’t know why. I just, maybe I’m just saying that because I wanted to quit my job. That was always my motivation, so I could keep writing and keep working on this music, I don’t want to sound conceited, but I thought we had a good chance. When I first met Brandon, he just came in and threw out some song ideas that he had and I really knew that they were something special.


MO: Is the music business what you thought it was going to be?
DK: It’s never what you think it’s gonna be but some things are awesome and I love it but other things...


MO: Yea, like talking to me on a sidewalk an hour before show time.
DK: Yeah, like talking to people like you. Stuff like that. You’re busier than you thought it would be even though I knew we were gonna be busy, just like never. Your easy to talk to but it’s hard to get used to interviews. I get asked the same questions a lot and I feel uncomfortable answering them, I don’t know why but, just doesn’t seem natural for the interview.