Lead singer, The Killers
How do you think the success of Las Vegas bands, including The Killers and Imagine Dragons, has changed the world’s perception of Las Vegas as an entertainment capital? Or do you even think that the world connects the fact that you are from Vegas? (Myron Martin, president and CEO, The Smith Center)
I think before The Killers, Las Vegas was widely seen as a place for older “entertainers” with antiquated charm to semi-gracefully watch their curtains close. Nobody thought of it as any kind of creative breeding ground. It’s nice to be a part of the change. And I think people do connect us with Las Vegas. We’ve made damn sure of it! This is our town. This is why we walk the way we walk, talk the way we talk, and play the way we play, and we’re not ashamed of it.
What’s one local band when you were coming up that you were 100 percent positive was going to make it big? And what local bands influenced you? (Steven Matview, punksinvegas.com)
Ronnie (Vannucci, Killers drummer) used to be in a band called Expert on October. I can remember being in high school and hearing buzz about how they were destined for a big record contract. It always made me jealous. Thank Elvis they didn’t.
As for local bands that influenced me, there weren’t really any. We were coming at it from a whole other universe than the other bands that were around in the early 2000s. But I will say knowing that Slaughter had done it gave me some sort of inspiration. Me and Mark (Stoermer, The Killers’ bassist) both graduated from the same high school (Chaparral) as Mark Slaughter. And having that close proximity made the dream seem more attainable.
How does your LDS faith exist in relation to your music? Is it in a separate box, or does it find expression somehow in your music or perhaps in your career as a musician? (Andrew Kiraly)
I don’t think my LDS faith can exist in a separate box. Not if I’m following it faithfully, anyway. In the early days of the band, there was a real internal struggle and a lot of identity-searching. I wanted to be authentic; and being a good Mormon boy had never been affiliated with rock ‘n’ roll on that large of a scale before. It took some trial and error, but I’m starting to inhabit a place that feels like mine.
Is it hard to juggle family and your music career? Anything unusual you do to make it work? For example, does the family ever tour with you? (Andrew Kiraly)
It is hard to have a successful family and a successful music career at the same time. But I’m one of the extremely lucky ones. The success of the band has allowed me to bring the family out as much as we can. Or for me to be able to fly to them more often than I would have been able to otherwise. My boys are 10, 8, and 6 now, and it’s a lot easier on my wife to travel with them.
What kinds of things inspire your songwriting when you’re out on the road touring? Is it places or people, or feelings that you get from being in new places or places you’ve been before? (Angela Chan-Stopa, associate conductor/keyboardist, Le Rêve)
I love seeing new places, and I’ve been to more countries than the son of a produce man has any business going to. But I find that the same things still inspire me: songs I grew up loving, the desert and openness of the West, the surges of optimism in Las Vegas, and the corner of Boulder Highway and Lake Mead in Henderson at any sundown.