Why are The Killers called The Killers?

20 June 2021, 12:00

The Killers in 2005: Dave Keuning, Brandon Flowers, Msrk Stoermer and Ronnie Vannucci Jr
The Killers in 2005: Dave Keuning, Brandon Flowers, Msrk Stoermer and Ronnie Vannucci Jr. Picture: Brian Aris/Live 8 via Getty Images

Brandon Flowers and co play some pretty "killer" music but why did they choose such a name? Where did they get the inspiration from?

Brandon Flowers was a huge fan of British music when he was a teenager living in Las Vegas, Nevada. Seeing Oasis play at the Hard Rock Hotel in his hometown in 2001 made him drop the synthpop and take up glamorous indie rock ’n’ roll instead.

Flowers was also a huge fan of Mancunian indie legends New Order, formerly known as post-punk titans Joy Division.

In the video for their 2001 single Crystal, New Order were replaced by a group of attractive teenagers, who were supposed to be members of the fictional band "The Killers”.

New Order Crystal video
New Order Crystal video. Picture: YouTube/Rhino

Their name was emblazoned on the drum kit, which caught the eye of young Brandon Flowers, who needed a name for his new rock band. The (real) Killers also took inspiration from the Crystal video for their own clip for the single Somebody Told Me.

But the story doesn’t end there. Brandon came across his hero Bernard Sumner at the NME Awards not longer after Somebody Told Me had made a splash.

He told Radio X: “It was our first time going to the NME Awards, and we were starstruck. It was an incredible experience for us. We were just happy to be there.

“I’m in the bathroom. I’m at the urinal. And Bernard Sumner, who’s one of my heroes, steps up next to me."

“And he starts singing Somebody Told Me in my ear. It was so surreal, you know? Was it a good rendition? It was decent, yeah! He can carry a tune.

“That is so out of this world to have that happen. It was incredible!”

Flowers has joined New Order onstage to play Crystal, while Sumner has joined The Killers to perform on their cover of Joy Division’s Shadowplay, on which Bernard played guitar. He also appeared at a Killers show in London in 2017 to guest on the New Order classic Bizarre Love Triangle, as you can see here.