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"Can we, as a country, all agree

xmag.com : January 2005 : By Viva Las Vegas


People 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.


WEBRETARD: The obvious first question is where did your name come from?


The [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.


The 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 kills.


Coco Cobra & The Killers: Duh. It was obvious. There was never any choice in the matter. God christened us.


WEBRETARD: 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?


The [L.V.]Killers: We listen to Depeche Mode, the Pet Shop Boys, early Bowie, the Beatles, Blur, and Pulp, and the Smiths.


FRENCHWEBRETARD: When one listens to [The Kills] album Keep On Your Mean Side, one feels blues connotations. It is your principal inspiration there?


The 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 with blues.


WEBRETARD: 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?


CCK: Sex, skateboarding, illicit substances and Vox guitars. And beer.


WEBRETARD: How did you all meet?


The [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.


FRENCHWEBRETARD: 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 other?


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 what

it 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.


WEBRETARD: How did Coco Cobra and the Killers meet?


CCK: Fuck off. Why the fuck do you care? It's not important... The Symbionese Liberation Army was a catalyst. And that strip bar...


WEBRETARD: 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?


The [L.V.] Killers: We just recorded it!


FRENCHWEBRETARD: Keep On Your Mean Side is a very instinctive album, how long did you pass in studio?


The 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.

The 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.


WEBRETARD: When and how was The "I Need Sex" Sessions recorded?


CCK: 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.


WEBRETARD: 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 with Island?


The [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.


FRENCHWEBRETARD: And you, which type of contract did you sign with Domino?


The 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 time.

The 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 control.


WEBRETARD: How did you choose your label, We Are Going To Eat You Records?


CCK: 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 III.


So, 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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