"Can we, as a country, all
2005 : By
Viva Las Vegas
are always ripping me off. I know,
that's the name of the game in rock'n'roll,
but it's embarrassing when your
band name is taken by Juliette Lewis
after she sleeps with your roommate
and then her bandmate uses their
instafame to pimp deodorant on TV.
But the Licks were long gone. It
was a lot more fucking irritating
when some Duran Duran cover band
out of goddamn Las Vegas flat-out
stole my current band's name, the
Killers. I'm SO SURE. Coco Cobra
thought of that name long before
those fucking L.V. cheeseballs.
She googled it and looked through
the Phonolog and everything to make
sure the name wasn't taken way back
in 1999. Now these idiot poptarts
who pay homage to Depeche Mode are
storming the nation with OUR NAME.
Several of Coco's Killers are now
no doubt rolling over in their graves,
having been really and truly KILLED.
There is nothing original about
skull/death/murder fads in rock'n'roll,
but put your money where your mouth
is. "The Killers are quite possibly
the first ever quality new wave
guitar band to have been inspired
to form by Oasis... and come from
Las Vegas." [tiscali.com]
Really, I mean, Please Kill Me.
Last month Portland was a killing
fields. The Kills, the Killers
and Coco Cobra and the Killers
all converged on our soggy city
the same weekend. Smelling a story,
I cozied up to the cozy bar at Doug
Fir and plied this old gay guy for
hotel room numbers. The [Las Vegas]
Killers' manager was in #214. I
quickly made my way through the
courtyard and up the stairs to their
room. The door was cracked open
just a bit, so I waltzed right in
to find two coked out men, one with
the sheets pulled up to his chin
and the other in gingerbread man
boxer shorts. I invited the band
and their deadly namesakes down
to the restaurant for a latenite
breakfast and, over EJ's omelets,
tried to discern once and for all
who was the most murderous.
The obvious first question is where
did your name come from?
[Las Vegas] Killers: We were watching
this video "Crystal" by New Order
and the video had this band who
looked all hot in it, pretending
to be New Order but they were known
as The Killers. We saw that name
on the drummer's kick drum head
and lifted it.
Kills: If we thought about what
our name meant, which we don't,
we'd think it meant that WE were
the kills. Not the killers, but
the thing that's being killed. Like
roadkill. We're just two little
Cobra & The Killers: Duh. It
was obvious. There was never any
choice in the matter. God christened
Listening to [The LAS VEGAS Killers']
album, there really seems to be
a lot of 80's synth-pop-rock influence.
Who are your biggest influences?
[L.V.]Killers: We listen to Depeche
Mode, the Pet Shop Boys, early Bowie,
the Beatles, Blur, and Pulp, and
When one listens to [The Kills]
album Keep On Your Mean Side,
one feels blues connotations. It
is your principal inspiration there?
Kills: What interests me more in
the blues, it is what arrived to
him forty years after the beginnings.
What pleases me is what Captain
Beefheart made, Canned Heat, Velvet
Underground, Real Trucks or PJ Harvey.
The principle of taking something
of existing, primitive, and of making
it again vital allures me. When
I listen to pure blues of the Thirties,
I adore the sound and it impresses
me but it is not as vital for me
as to listen to as PJ Harvey made
Listening to [Coco Cobra & the
Killers'] The "I NEED SEX" Sessions
is like listening to an orifice
stuffed with the Sonics, the Ramones,
some Blondie, the Jam and the Donnas,
then sprayed with semen from Fast
Times at Juvie Hall. Could you
describe your influences?
Sex, skateboarding, illicit substances
and Vox guitars. And beer.
How did you all meet?
[L.V.] Killers: Well Dave and Brandon
had been playing for a few months
before Mark & I joined the band.
One day I got an emergency phone
call from my roommate who had a
band, "Ronnie can you fill in tonight
and play the drums?" It was the
last day of school at the University
and I was at the lake when she called
me and I said, "Yeah, I'll be home
in a few hours." She told me that
they were playing with this band
called The [Las Vegas] Killers,
which I thought was funny because
it was a joke between my girlfriend
and I. We used to call each other
killer. So I was excited to see
what was going on with this band
called The [Las Vegas] Killers,
and they turned out to be really,
really good. They were kind of missing
a bass player and a drummer because
the ones they had were not doing
justice to the music. So, we ended
up hooking up and got together in
the garage and then we got Mark.
We had to coerce Mark into joining
the band. We had to twist his arm
because he was in a band with a
lot of his good friends and didn't
want to leave it. But then that
band broke up and we got in the
garage and started writing some
songs, made some cheap garage demos,
and here we are.
Your duet is really intense. You
met after having exchanged cassettes.
It is really the love of the music
which pushed you one towards the
Kills: Yes I think, it was the base
of all our conversations. At the
beginning, very little of them spoke
about current groups. In my opinion
currently, nothing is done exciting
very. Then, our conversations spoke
about old groups, one listened to
did one thought what that would
have been to live at that time,
at this historical period. It
is dreamed that an identical scene
to be recreated nowadays, like
has the time of Velvet Underground
at the end of the 60's. A celebration
of art, a trick very "C it yourself,"
unverifiable. This spirit, it
is really what we wanted to celebrate
in this album.
How did Coco Cobra and the Killers
Fuck off. Why the fuck do you
care? It's not important... The
Symbionese Liberation Army was
a catalyst. And that strip bar...
Let's get into the nitty-gritty
of the album. I know you produced
the album yourselves. How did
you record it and approach it?
[L.V.] Killers: We just recorded
Keep On Your Mean Side
is a very instinctive album, how
long did you pass in studio?
Kills Chick: Approximately a song
per day, it was owl, fast... one
was very enthusiastic. Moreover,
one worked on one 8 tracks then
one saw the album being done gradually.
It was very justifying.
Kills Dude: It is the first time
that I go in studio with all the
finished songs. That gave us the
advisability of being able to
try to record the vibrations.
We did not have to conceptualize
the album. It was a little like
if we had left all our photographs
and that we had chosen that which
one wanted to put in our album.
When and how was The "I Need
Sex" Sessions recorded?
Summer of '99. We knew we had
killer songs and a killer line-up
so we recruited our friends The
Pills to record our album, which
turned out killer.
Since everyone and their brother
thinks you have to move to L.A.
or New York to get a record deal,
how did you guys land your deal
[L.V.] Killers: After we built
up a buzz in the UK, a lot of
major labels in the US and UK
started sniffing around. When
we played CMJ in NYC in October
of 2003, offers started coming
in and we ended up signing with
Island Def Jam.
And you, which type of contract
did you sign with Domino?
Kills Chick: From the very start,
one wanted a label independent,
Domino was thus in top of our
list because they are one of the
last completely independent labels
in England. We appreciate the
way in which they worked with
the groups. The signature was
very fast, Lawrence heard one
of our pieces in the record dealer
where one of these friends works.
It telephoned to us and wholesale
in half an hour, the deal was
signed. Since, we worked with
him, that makes a small end of
Kills Dude: The problem of the
majority of the contracts it is
that they do not serve the groups.
Usually, the musicians sign for
three albums, they do of them
one and then it is the house of
disc which decides if they continue
or not. Blow, the groups always
have the dependent hands because
they want to make a disc which
likes the house of disc so that
the latter do not release them
then. Perhaps that we were naive
or too trustful, but we never
wanted that. Us, one wanted to
sign for an album and one wanted
a true work of co-operation. The
kind of deal which one can have
only with one label like Domino.
And indeed, it is what occurred.
The benefit are shared, and one
signed for only one album. At
the end of this period, one decides
future together but nobody has
How did you choose your label,
We Are Going To Eat You Records?
W.A.G.T.E.Y. came to us begging
to let them put out Sessions.
Plus we liked the name. Rocket
picked up the album right away.
It fuckin' slays. The new one
we finished this summer slays
even more. It's like Blade
in the battle for the dead heart
of rock'n'roll, who wins? The
[Las Vegas] Killers've got four
turkeys who are painfully likable
singing paeans to the motherfucking
Pet Shop Boys. The Kills got a
button-cute junkie-chic chick
who vomits and spits onstage while
rockin' out with a dude and a
beat box. And then you've got
Coco Cobra and the Killers, screaming
through twenty pistol-hot songs
in nineteen minutes, fighting
and fucking their way to the crown.
Who's the most Killer? You decide.
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