The Killers and Vevo announces the premiere of Watch This featuring their music video for “The Man”. Watch This brings a camera to the “comments” section of a music video. This episode will act as a forum for inside-scoop commentary from The Killers themselves as they look back at their music video, giving a first-hand interpretation on everything from inspiration to impact.
As they matured from their indie dance-rock roots into torchbearers of new wave and Americana-inspired anthems, Las Vegas rock quartet the Killers earned global success. With a mix of ’80s-styled synth pop and fashionista charm, the band’s multi-platinum 2004 debut, Hot Fuss, became one of the decade’s biggest releases, spawning four hit singles — including their most enduring hit, “Mr. Brightside” — and catapulting the group into the international spotlight. After the abrupt stylistic shift on 2006 sophomore effort Sam’s Town — which de-emphasized the group’s new wave revivalism in favor of the heartland rock of Bruce Springsteen and Rattle and Hum-era U2 — they struck a balance between their two sides on a consistent run of Top Ten releases that peaked with 2017’s chart-topping Wonderful Wonderful.
Founding foursome Brandon Flowers (vocals/keyboards), David Keuning (guitar), Mark Stoermer (bass), and Ronnie Vannucci (drums) first came together in 2002, two years before Hot Fuss introduced their band to the public. Flowers had been sacked by his former synth pop band, Blush Response, after refusing to move to Los Angeles with the rest of his bandmates. Instead, he remained in Las Vegas, where he soon met local guitarist and Oasis fanatic Keuning.
The two began collaborating on material; within weeks, they’d composed their soon-to-be radio hit “Mr. Brightside.” Stoermer, a former medical courier, and Vannucci, a classical percussion major at UNLV, eventually joined the fray, and the band began playing small clubs in its hometown. A U.K. representative for Warner Bros. caught wind of the Killers’ brewing hype, and although he neglected to bring them on board the Warner roster, he did pass along their demo to the London-based indie imprint Lizard King. The British label quickly signed the Killers, who temporarily moved to the U.K. and issued a limited-edition single for “Mr. Brightside.”
The Killers’ buzz had effectively traveled back across the Atlantic by fall 2003, and the band was offered a prime spot at the annual CMJ Music Marathon in New York City. A worldwide deal with Island followed shortly thereafter, positioning the Killers to join the ranks of fellow indie/post-punk revivalists Interpol, the Rapture, and the Strokes.
‘I think we’re exploring falsehoods and old outdated notions of what it means to be a man, and sometimes theveneer that you can put on. I guess it’s about the fragility of the male ego. Everything just gets worse and worse as thevideo goes on’ – Brandon Flowers
When You Were Young
‘Y’know art is not supposed to be competitive I guess but it was kinda fun being in the studio and thinking about what those guys were doing, and how this was gonna hold up next to what The Strokes were gonna put out next, or theWhite Stripes or Franz Ferdinand or whatever it was. We felt like this was gonna hold its own and it was a step away from those bands in a way with the lyrical content I felt like, and we were really excited about it’ – Brandon Flowers
“We were making this song and one of us said, you know what would be cool would be to get Tim Burton to do a video for it. Again, one of those things that you never really think is gonna happen but you say it anyway. We didn’t think he’d say yes, but he did. And he’s just a pleasure to work with. I remember I was in Caesars Palace and my manager called me to tell me Tim said yes. A part of me is frozen in time in Caesars Palace.” Brandon Flowers