Atwood Magazine sits down with The Killers drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr. to talk about the Imploding the Mirage Tour, performing on stage with Bruce Springsteen, the legacy of Pressure Machine and the band's hopes for the future.
Transmission: 'Pressure Machine' - The Killers
Beneath all the glitz and glamor you ascribe to us as a Las Vegas rock band, we're hard workers at heart.
TThe Killers have been one of the biggest names in rock 'n' roll for the last twenty years, but they haven't let it get to their heads.
With seven critically acclaimed studio albums and a massive world tour underway, the band has no time to rest or rest on their laurels. There's always more to do: write another song, play another show, climb another metaphorical rung on the ladder.
"We're highly worker bees and I think we're very conscious of this happy place that we're in," said the band's drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr.Atwood-Magazin🇧🇷 "For that we are grateful and we don't take it for granted... I think there is a lot of noise in our profession where people can become obsessed with that noise or whatever that comes with it. I just think we ignored the noise.
"That's probably the secret," he adds. "Stick to what's important."
The Killers have played quite a role in recent years. Their fifth album, 2017wonderful wonderful, saw them topping the Billboard 200 with their first US No. 1 album (across the pond, The Killers have had a streak of UK No. 1 albums since their debut in 2004hot sound🇧🇷 This album generated thewonderful wonderfulThe world tour with The Killers, without lead guitarist Dave Keuning and bassist Mark Stoermer, performed 135 shows in 34 countries on five continents over the next 19 months.
The band released their sixth album.the mirage implode("a passionate and boundless embrace of the sheer tenacity and power of the human spirit," according to our review) during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in August 2020, followed by the hauntingly beautiful, bittersweet and breathtaking 2021printing press.
"Intimate, cinematic and emotional,printing pressaims to capture a slice of "Americana" through an expressive narrative,"Atwood Magazine wrote about The Killers' seventh album🇧🇷 "Tales of loss and tragedy, depression and disappointment, nostalgia and longing make up the band's most haunting and vulnerable exploration of small-town life and poignant pursuit of the American dream."
Is this the life you chose for yourself?
Or how it ended?
Is this the backyard you envisioned back then?
You closed your eyes and dreamed
Of kids on the lawn walking through sprinklers?
be someone's wife?
Or have you lived in another life?
When do I get home?
When I feel like driving
Through these empty streets
This is burning our birthright
– “in another life," The murderers
The hauntingly beautiful, bittersweet, and awe-inspiring The Killers "press".
:: ALBUM REVIEW ::
Vannucci pondersprinting pressthe most selfless album they've ever made.
"It was about telling other people's stories through a personal lens," he explains. "It's a biography about the people of a city, in the form of a song."
printing pressIt also marked a sonic departure for The Killers as they added a folky warmth to their charismatic rock sound (As such, the album was the band's first to topped both the Top Rock Albums and Top Folk Albums charts.🇧🇷 The band has always had a bit of "heart" in their sound, and here it was fully developed, both in Brandon Flowers' narration and songwriting and in the overall sound of the group; nothing was held back, especially on standout tracks like the melancholy groovy "Pressure Machine," the radiant anthem "In the Car Outside," the enchanting "Quiet Town," the haunting "Desperate Things," and the grand, poignant finale, "The Get Through ,"
"It really took an event like this pandemic for us to go to that place," says Vannucci. "The desert is within us, but it took a pandemic to bring it out."
Looking back on 20 years of The Killers, Vannucci feels he still has a lot of work to do.
"We didn't make it," he says. "I think it would be great to be part of that kind of global awareness. I think we're probably still pretty underground... We've done well and people are buying records and coming to gigs and it's going great but hopefully we can find a place to stay here forever and hopefully a viable cog in that music be machines. ."
Still, the entire band managed to tick a dream off their wish list recently when Bruce Springsteen joined them on stage at Madison Square Garden for a three-movement encore. Together, The Killers and The Boss delivered a stunning rendition of 'Badlands', 'Born to Run' and 'dusty' - a remastered version of The Killers' epic anthem 'A Dustland Fairytale' originally taken from their 2008 LP,day and age.
"Every time I think about it, the words 'what a night' come to mind!" exclaims Vannucci. "It was great! The Boss guided me for ten minutes... He means a lot to me, to our band and to a lot of people. I am honored that he shared his time with us in this way.”
And The Killers doesn't stop there. The band is currently in the studio to "finish some stuff" they did earlier in the summer; The first result is "boy", his first single of 2022 (released in August). A high-energy anthem fueled by relentless, throbbing synths and radiant, charged guitars, "Boy" was actually the first song on what became of itprinting press, but the band chose to omit it from the album because they felt it didn't belong with the other songs, a tactic Vannucci says they're using more and more these days.
"We think of the body, the container that these songs are in," he explains.
At the moment, Vannucci can't say exactly what The Killers came up with; Whether "Boy" stands alone or becomes the first look at the band's eighth album remains to be seen.
"We're thinking about doing a little EP," he says. "I think we have enough to do an EP, which is something. I don't think we've ever done an EP before!"
Head down, wrong fit, big problem
this is just growing up
intact, 16, dDon't think about it too much, boy
The white arrows break tthe black night
But don't think too much boy
And when you're at the limit
Please come down boy
There is a place that exists
just give him some time
Arrows drawn invisibly will fly
– “Nino," The murderers
The Killers recently completed their 30-day North American legthe mirage implodeTour returning for a tour of Latin America and Oceania in November and December.Atwood-Magazinspoke to Ronnie Vannucci Jr. on the final day of the North American tour, hours before the band are scheduled to take the stage at the sold-out The Anthem in Washington, DC. Catch up with The Killers for our candid interview about returning to the tour, playing with Bruce Springsteen (and other soulmates), the legacy ofprinting press, and the band's hopes for their own future.
The hard work never stops for Vannucci and co.
"Under the glitz and glamor you might think we own a Las Vegas rock band, we're hard workers ... we stick to what's real," he says, later adding, "There's a lot there crap out there. , and I hope that we can be a part of this little cog of the big bands. I hope we can get to that point one day."
The desert is within us, but it took a pandemic to bring it out.
::stream/buyThe murderers'music here::
A CONVERSATION WITHTHE MURDERERS
Atwood-Magazin:Thanks for today's chat, Ronnie! I had the pleasure of seeing you at Madison Square Garden in early October and you nailed it. Tonight is the final night of the North American season of The Killers if I'm not mistaken. What's it like being on the road again this year?
Ronnie Vanucci jr.: Thank you very much! It feels more like a celebration together than anything else. It's less about us and more about thinking and discovering or rediscovering that everyone can get out and be a little bit free again. It's tangible; I have a feeling you can tell there is a difference. There's something in the air. It's kind of a real guy,"Let's go out tonight honey. We're going to spend the kids' college money on t-shirts and we're going to see a band. let's do things„
In your opinion, how does this compare to previous tours?
vannucci: I think we are a better band now. I hope we are better. It definitely feels better. It took us a while to get back to the proverbial type of bag, as we musicians like to call it. And I think adapting to that unfortunately was one of the greatest races we've ever done which started in the UK with a great stadium race! A hell of a place to rediscover your sea legs.
From my point of view it is the best seat in the house! I tend to get so immersed in the music that every once in a while I can look out of that fishbowl and enjoy it like someone in the audience would, which is a fun thing.
The talk of the town that night, of course, was Bruce Springsteen joining you onstage for a full encore of "Badlands," "Dustland," and "Born to Run." How was this experience for you?
vannucci: Every time I think about it, the words “What a night” come to mind because it was"What do you say?"It was great! For ten minutes he was guided there by The Boss. It was a great experience and there was just a good vibe! I think he enjoyed talking to him afterwards too because aside from the Broadway stuff, he hadn't been with the E Street Band in six years so it was a comeback for him too. All ways of reproducing all of this are returning to normal.
I heard Brandon gasp as he brought Bruce onto the stage. If you were asked the question, "Who would you like to play with?" would you be on this list?
vannucci: I think so. It means a lot to me, our band and many people. But it was really something special. And I'm honored that you share your time with us in this way. It was very cool.
Who else could be on this list for the future? Who do we need next to play The Killers?
vannucci: Oh my goodness. I mean, is that something living or dead, or is that something real? 🇧🇷Rhode Island] We've had the opportunity to play with some heroes before. I think it would be fun to do something with The Who. Something to do with these guys, Zeppelin. I would like to go and see all these guys. I think it would be fun to do something with Jerry Lee Lewis, the original killer. What are you saying! We are music lovers.
One of the great things about this tour is doing something like that with Johnny Marr and he was the guy who was kind of a fictional legendary person in this legendary fictional band. When I was in fifth or sixth grade listening to The Smiths, they were out of reach. They were divine, and that's another huge "What the heck?!" Moments, not only do we share the stage, we play songs with Johnny every night, and backstage we went out to dinner last night and now we have a genuine friendship based on nothing more than mutual respect and closeness. 🇧🇷Risa] Thank God he's with us. But I'm telling you, man, I've met a lot of people, and he's one of the nicest, if not the nicest, most genuine character I've ever met. And I don't mean "character" in a crazy way. He's just a general through and through, and what an honor to be with him too.
That's wonderful to hear! He was by far the best starter I've ever seen; We were surprised...
vannucci: We are not worthy. And Andy Rourke played those shows too, so you have half of that legendary band. It was a really great tour.
I have no doubts. Speaking of which, the time is behindthe mirage implodetour, and you played songs from that album andprinting press🇧🇷 Some of these songs, like "My Own Soul's Warning", "Caution" and "Dying Breed" always felt like they were tailor-made for the live stage. What was it like finally bringing her to life in a show?
vannucci: It was great! You're right, we thought a lot about the live element of these songs. And they sat in different vehicles for a while, until we were like, 'Oh, how is this going to work live?' And even after we've recorded and we're happy with that version, you realize you need to crank it up even more, you know you, inject a little more momentum and keep them alive.
So my hottest song these days is I thinkprinting pressis one of, if not the best album by The Killers.
I found the way Brandon presented it really interesting because I don't really consider it a national record. I'm really excited to talk to someone about this album because it really touched me on so many levels. I personally think it's the band's best composition to date. where are you sittingprinting pressis it in the killers catalogue?
vannucci: I think in every band, the band itself has little seed to do certain kinds of records or songs, whatever, like that. It really took an event like this pandemic for us to go to this place; to evoke these feelings. We try to infuse the records with some of that vibe because it's inherent in us. It's part of that intrinsic thing that's part of our band because we're from that area; The desert is within us, but it took a pandemic to bring it forth. I also think we're a bit more conscious about how we make records now.
Whereas before that I think we would bet and it would start with thatpueblo samthis is his own animal - but withday and age,We had a song like "Goodnight, Travel Well," and then "Joy Ride" and then "Human," and it was everywhere as far as this band was concerned. It was great, it's a good moment. It's like being playful and showing what the band has got.
printing press,I think it's probably the most selfless record we've ever made. It was about telling other people's stories through a personal lens. But it wasn't anything like "I miss that girl or Da-Ba-Da". It was about howHere is a boy or here is a girl or here is a situation and this is a song about it🇧🇷 It's like a biography about the people of a city, in the form of a song.
Two children were hit by a Union Pacific train
Transport of sheet metal and equipment
Through the pouring rain
They wanted to get married after graduation.
I had a girl, problems came and they hung up
This shouldn't happen
In this quiet city, ffamilies are united
Good people, they still don't lock their doors at night.
In this quiet town
When we first heard stories about opioids
They were always in whispers.
Flags of sadness now mark the entrance steps of the children's homes
The parents cried at the praise of dad's daughter
And earns milestones with her daughters and sons.
You lie lifeless in your suits and dresses
someone has secrets
In this quiet city, tHey, you know how to live
Good people leaning on Jesus
You forgive quickly, Iin this quiet town
– “quiet city," The murderers
Thank you very much. For me, "The Getting By" is an incredibly special story and song. It's really... a very powerful ending.
vannucci: Oh thanks, I love that.
Songs like "In the Car Outside", "Another Life", "Pressure Machine" and "Quiet Town" not only get to the heart of small town life, but are among the band's best productions. 🇧🇷 As with "West Hills" you have incredibly intense drumming that sets the tone for what is to come.
vannucci: Yes, I played drums on this song. I think we're going to play it live tonight and we've never played it live before. So yeah, I just had to change my shirt because of it. Just a bunch of 30 second notes in a cylinder. 🇧🇷and]
A year after its release, do you still feel any songs from this album?
vannucci: Right. And they almost will tooit's mehrimportant. You need toreductionon stage. You have to get people to look at you, to pay admission to see your butt, trust me and we're not a bunch of actors. So you have to allow yourself to go into the music if you want to. You have to get high... You have to "become" the music. But it's true, you have to allow yourself to play that role to make the rest believe.
It seems you are changing somethingprinting pressSongs you play per program? Is it to work things out with the audience or is it more like wanting to play those tracks but feeling like you can only pick a few at a time thatthe mirage implodedrive and such?
vannucci: I think it's more the latter. I think it's selling likeimplosive Fata Morganatour, but out of selfishness we want to play a bitprinting pressThings. EITHERprinting pressrecord, I don't know if it's suitable for an arena or a large venue. Certain songs may be reworked; I think we can play them a little differently. We played "Cody" a bit more upbeat than on the album. Let's get used to the space we're playing in and that's just an art form we've learned over the past 20 years. But I thinkprinting pressit's probably more of an intimate experience.
Do you think there is a kindprinting pressConcert or tour?
vannucci: We talk about it all the time. It's all about finding the time. We have to schedule a bathroom break these days, you know what I mean? It's really about finding the time and then picking the locations. There's a lot of logistics involved and we're not trying to stick our heads in places we shouldn't be. So if it occurs naturally... We're definitely looking into it, but we're not going to try too hard.
This year also marks The Killers' 20th anniversary as a band. What do you owe to the band's staying power? What keeps you inspired and energized?
vannucci: Beneath all the glitz and glamor you might think we own a Las Vegas rock band, we're hard workers underneath. There's blue collars underneath, you know what I mean? We are worker bees to a large extent and I think we are aware of what a lucky place we are in. We are grateful for this and do not take it for granted. I also think that we were brought up in a way that was... We cling to what is real. I think there's a lot of noise in our profession where people can become obsessed with that noise or whatever that accompanies being in a rough rock 'n' roll band or any other type of band. I just think we ignored the noise. I think that's probably the secret: stick with what's important.
Earlier you talked about becoming more aware of how to create albums. How do you think the band has evolved musically over the past two decades and seven albums?
vannucci: I think at the beginning we were inspired by a lot of things that we grew up with and played with. And I think we found that people really listen to us and it's up to us to make music that's meaningful enough to be heard. That's just... it's just growth. That just becomes men I suppose, and hopefully better people.
There is a lot of intention and thought behind it. You have already released three albums in five years. From a listener's perspective, it sounds like The Killers are on a roll. What is the temperature in the band?
vannucci: temperature? It's like a good 74 degrees Fahrenheit. Low humidity 🇧🇷Rhode Island] We're working on something. We're going into the studio in early November as we have a small gap between the shows in South America and the run between Australia and New Zealand. So we're getting ready for some studio time and finishing up some stuff that we did before the race. That's where "Boy" came from and we're sort of the continuing seedlings of the "Boy" song.
I understand that it was spelled "child".In frontthe rest of the songsprinting press🇧🇷 Do you feel like this is a relic of an era you are coming out of or is it the beginning of a new chapter?
vannucci: You never know until you dig deep. "Boy" was actually the first song on what becameprinting pressand "Boy" was his own animal. There were many songs that we wroteprinting pressit just wasn't part of itprinting press,that we put it aside and are less keen on showing everyone what you've got and saving songs for work that makes sense for us to be together. Like I said, usually we write something, we would be very lucky if we had a song called "Space Man" or a song called "Neon Tiger".Screw it, let's get them both in there! Let's do this!Now I think we're a little bit more conscious, a little bit sharper and thinking about the body, the container that these songs are in, if that makes sense.
What about EPs?
vannucci: Yes, we are thinking about doing a little EP! I think we have enough to do an EP, which is something. I don't think we've done an EP before!
Maybe this is related to my last question. Where are the killers going next? What haven't you done as a band that you still want to do?
vannucci: I just don't think we're still there. I think it would be great to be part of that kind of global awareness. I think we're probably still pretty underground. I mean we've done well and people are buying records and coming to shows and it's going great but I just hope we can find a place to hang out and hopefully be a viable cog in the music machine. . There's a lot of shit out there and I hope we're one of those little spores of the big bands. I hope we can get to that point one day.
There's a lot of shit out there and I hope we're one of those little spores of the big bands. I hope we can get to that point one day.
Is there an artist you're currently listening to that you would recommend on a pay-as-you-go basis?
vannucci: God. Yes, there are many people doing great things. I think Saint Vincent is doing amazing things. I think the idles are doing great thingsjohnny marrHe writes great stuff, this guy is like a source of great songs. There's something to it. I mean, there's a lot of people out there... We're playing with a guy, his name isJoe Mops, is from DC and is playing with us tonight. There are so many people out there just doing it, really moving it, and making me think. I always get nervous when people ask me this question,who are you listening toOut of my head who the fuck am I? i'm just an artist
In addition to pop and rock music, there are many people who have already achieved great things in jazz. They're like the new school for Josh Redman, Brad Mehldau, Brian Blade, Christian McBride.These four guys just made a record together., and it's amazing, and there's still younger school people taking jazz piano and breakbeat stuff and putting it together.
I love pop and rock 'n' roll, but I think jazz is my real passion. I just met him but I'm very impressed with Mark Guiliana. He's a drummer and played drums on David Bowie's last album, but now he's in his band with St. Vincent, andjust released a solo album, and it's really cool whatever I do... It's jazz, but it's also other shit on another level and I know there are smart listeners out there who would understand that.
::stream/buyThe murderers'music here::
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The hauntingly beautiful, bittersweet, and awe-inspiring The Killers "press".
:: ALBUM REVIEW ::
The Killers Hold the Torch High on "Imploding the Mirage"
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