This infographic shows The Killers’ musical influences, including examples of who inspired them and also artists they have inspired themselves.
In August 21, 2020 The Killers’ album, Imploding by Mirage finally came out. How can we describe de sound of frontman’s Brandon Flowers band, in terms of their musical influences? Let´s find out.
Which artists influenced The Killers?
For starters, we will begin by stating that Oasis is a huge inspiration for The Killers. Brandon Flowers has explained that an Oasis concert he assisted in 2002 had a lot to do which him starting The Killers. In addition to this, The Killers have repeatedly covered live several songs of this Manchester band.
There are two bands that are key to understanding The Killers sound: one of them is Duran Duran and the other is New Order. The emphasis on the second option is due to the fact that the album Get Ready (2001) inspired the image and even the name of The Killers. Just watch The Killers’ video for their track Crystal. Apart from this, the band has covered the song Shadowplay from New Order’s previous incarnation, Joy Division. On the other hand, bassist Peter Hook is an influence on The Killers’ Mark Stoermer.
When conceptualizing their second album, Sam’s Town (2006), The Killers were inspired by the chronicles of American life characteristic of Bruce Springsteen. The influence specifically comes from the 1975 album Born to Run. Springsteen continued to be a usual inspiration in The Killers subsequent output, in albums such as Battle Born in 2012 and Wonderful Wonderful in 2017.
The singular guitar sound of The Killers has a clear reference in U2. This irish band is in fact one of guitarist Dave Keuning’s favorite bands. To name a clear example, the sound of U2 in their song I will follow has been compared to that of The Killers’ Midnight Show.
Jimi Hendrix´s dummer, Mit Mitchell
This one is an additional note, which I did not include in the infographic because of space constraints. The Killers’ drummer, Ronnie Vannucci, based his playing style and stage antics on one of his heroes, Mit Mitchell, part of the mythical outfit the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Vannucci’s technique, and ability to use the snare drum and fills are directly inspired by Mitchell.
As another honorable mention, The Killers have a three-song murder trilogy inspired by The Smiths. The three tracks are Leave The Bourbon On The Shelf, Midnight Show and Jenny was a friend of mine.
Which artists were inspired by The Killers?
Metric and The Killers are contemporary bands. With a sort of punk and garage beginnings, Metric had a minor hit with Combat Baby in 2003. Especially since their album Fantasies (2009), the band took a similar path to the one that The Killers took a year earlier with their album Day & Age. We can describe it as a more electronic sound, with a pop-rock vibe. Their song Breathing Under Water from the Synthetica album (2012) is a very good example. For those who enjoy The Killers music, they can find Metric style quite nice to listen to.
In second place we will mention the not so well-known band The Noisettes, who are not so famous but quite good actually. Their sound has a lot in common with their contemporaries, The Killers. Definitely a recommended band, you can turn to their rendition of The Killer’s hit single, When You Were Young, to learn more about them. The vocal performance of bassist and singer Shingai Shoniwa is truly remarkable, and the rest of her band’s original catalog is worth listening to.
The most notorious, loved and criticized band influenced by The Killers is perhaps Imagine Dragons, who are also from Las Vegas. Their singer Dan Reynolds has described The Killers as a wonderful band, with whom they have shared the stage on more than one occasion.
Panic! At The Disco
To end this post, I will mention Brendon Urie, singer and only permanent member of the band Panic! At The Disco, who has expressed his admiration for The Killers. He has compared the band to (oh, surprise!) Bruce Springsteen. Panic! At The Disco’s sound and style is inspired by Brandon Flowers’ band.