The Killers find success in rock is about music, not the lifestyle

When the Killers started out, they wanted to raise a ruckus like their favourite rock stars did on the road: Frontman Brandon Flowers heard of the legendary exploits of Led Zeppelin and David Bowie and wanted to emulate those experiences.

NEW YORK — When the Killers started out, they wanted to raise a ruckus like their favourite rock stars did on the road: Frontman Brandon Flowers heard of the legendary exploits of Led Zeppelin and David Bowie and wanted to emulate those experiences.

But Flowers says the Killers’ indulgence in the stereotypical rock star lifestyle is now in the wind.

“When we got away from cliches, our shows started really getting better,” Flowers points out.

“You become mindful that people are coming to see a band that’s well-rehearsed,” added drummer Ronnie Vannucci. “Burning the candle at both ends could hinder performance.”

By no means, however, are the Mormon-raised Flowers and the rest of the quartet choirboys.

“I think we smartened up and were a little bit more selective of when we were going to go paint the town red,” Flowers says with a smile.

Now on their fourth album, the band’s impressive live show is coming to a screen near you.

The Killers: Live From The Royal Albert Hall was recorded earlier this year in London at the prestigious 138-year old venue. The CD/DVD set, to be released on Tuesday, also features extra footage, including backstage interviews, and excerpts from their performances at the Oxygen and V Festivals as well as a Hyde Park concert, also in London.

Flowers credits London as the place where their success began.

“We wanted to capture that and thank them,” Flowers says. “The energy is different (there). It’s not a part of our culture to celebrate music here the way they do across the Atlantic.”

The soft-spoken Flowers is fearless. He commands the stage like a modern-day crooner, except that he fronts a rock band instead of an orchestra, and wears “guyliner” and feather epaulettes on his blazer (at other times, he opts for a gilded suit).

Despite the boldness of his stage attire, the Killers lead singer doesn’t see himself as a style icon.

“I’m just trying not to look stupid and apparently some people don’t think I’m doing a very good job,” Flowers says, then breaks into a gentle laugh.

They’ve been touring for their latest album, Day&Age, for more than a year, and expect to be on the road for a good part of 2010.

Spreading their flamboyant brand of pop around the world is a highlight for the band, but they’re also cognizant of its drawbacks.

Vanucci reduces the dilemma to a single word: “Airports.” Then Flowers chimes, “To take off in the sky — not natural. I’d rather be on the bus on the ground.”

Immediately, Vannucci interjects, “Somebody’s scared to fly,” before both break out in laughter.

That spirit among Killers translates on stage — and that’s where it really matters.

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