Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dave & Age

The day following their sold out Las Vegas show at the House of Blues, Dave Keuning of The Killers, invited Elle Vie Magazine to his Vegas pad to talk about the band's new album, Day & Age, out Nov. 25th. Following the interview he gave us an exclusive sneak peek to 4 new tracks (The World We Live In, Joyride, Tidal Wave (iTunes bonus track), Forget What I Said (iTunes bonus track). And trust us the wait will be worth it.

ELLE VIE: So how was the show last night?

Dave: It was good, it was fun, and the audience was great! There are a few things about the new songs that we are still getting used to – which is why we play these smaller shows, that are about two thousand people instead of something much bigger. The songs are also new for us so we’re just getting warmed up for January when we’ll start touring all over the U.S. It will be a lot busier and at bigger places.

ELLE VIE: I heard that the show sold out in 7 minutes. Is that true?

Dave: It’s true.

ELLE VIE: Wow impressive!

Dave: I know it’s very very nice.

ELLE VIE: What made you guys perform the Nevada State Song?

Dave: We just wanted to be different and since we’re from Nevada, and we’re playing in Nevada, we thought we’d so something special.

ELLE VIE: How did the audience react?

Dave: Umm…most people didn’t know it but I mean it wasn’t like a dance sensation or anything like that. But I think that they appreciated it at some level.

ELLE VIE: You guys just recently did the Human video, how was that?

Dave: That was fun. It was out in Utah in Goblin Valley, which is one of the coolest deserts probably in the U.S. I mean the scenery is very weird. It has the weird looking rocks on top of other rocks that took millions of years to look that way. I don’t know the exact scientific explanation as to why. So it just looked cool.

I really like how the director Danny Drysdale made it look. He made it look different than some videos, plus its not super action packed which I actually like. Instead of just quick shots like a tenth of a second on this guy, a tenth of a second on the other guy…. Just back and forth, that’s enough to turn you into a schizophrenic by the time you’re done watching (laughs).

ELLE VIE: What is the concept behind the video, “Human”?

Dave: There really is no concept it’s just a video of us performing in a cool looking desert. We got to read through different treatments and pick one but we just couldn’t, so instead of doing something really outlandish we just went for us playing in the desert. We didn’t want to take any risks this time, but maybe for future videos we’ll do something weird. I still would love to do a video that none of us are in…like a cartoon, or actors doing something. Because one; I don’t have to show up. I know it seems like fun, and it is the first 3 or 4 times. Because I mean, it’s such a long day and then you’re only in the video for like 30 seconds.

ELLE VIE: Would you ever want to do acting?

Dave: Umm…. I’m not an actor I don’t think I would be good at it. I wouldn’t mind someday maybe being like an extra in like a star trek movie, but just for fun; maybe I could get killed or something I don’t know but I’m not an actor I’m just a guitar player.

ELLE VIE: The lyrics “are we human or are we dancers,” what does it mean?

Dave: It means whatever you want it to mean.

ELLE VIE: What’s your interpretation of those lyrics?

Dave: I don’t have an interpretation. It happens to be a dancy song with those lyrics, which is nice. So when you are at a dance club and you’re hearing “Human” you can think about whatever you want to think about.

ELLE VIE: Just dance to it.

Dave: Exactly. That is what you’re supposed to do. I’ve always liked the smashing pumpkins and I never understood a lot of what he was saying, but I never cared either or I just heard it a different way than what it was. So I kind of want people to interpret it however they want.

ELLE VIE: What is the concept of the new Album Day and Age?

Dave: Umm…it’s not a big concept on this one, it’s called Day and Age which is kind of a simple album title. It’s kind of generic which is ok; it’s like Leonard Cohen albums. It’s just the Killers right now this is what we sound like in this “day and age.” This is what’s going on in our lives and the world. It’s part fiction and part non-fiction.

Some people think that everything is about our lives. It’s not always the case; Brandon writes a lot of fictional stuff too. And I’m not gonna tell you what’s what. You have to figure it out yourselves (laughs).

ELLE VIE: How was the recording process like?

Dave: It went pretty smoothly because I think we’re getting better at recording and song writing. For this one, we did a lot of work before we went into the studio; we all made demos at home (which we all knew before we went to practice) and then emailed them to each other, so I think technology plays a part this time around. We had about 40 and we kept 20 and ended recording 19 tracks. Ten on the album and then there are already a couple of bonus tracks on iTunes, and B-sides will be floating around eventually.

ELLE VIE: Is there anything that stood out for you in the recording process?

Dave: Umm… No. I mean the whole process went faster than usual. We were really prepared and we knew what to play more. It was just great to work with Stuart Price this time. He is really fast on the computer, and he’s really fast with putting the recording together, he’s helpful, and he’s smart, so it was great to work with him and it was just fun to put some of these songs to life.

ELLE VIE: Tell us more about your recording studio in town?

Dave: It’s called Battle Born studios.

ELLE VIE: Who came up with the name?

Dave: It’s on the Nevada Flag.

ELLE VIE: You’re on the single cover for "Human"; will the four of you be on each cover single?

Dave: Yeah we’re all gonna be on a single cover. This was an easy way to say we’re confident there is going to be four singles in England at least. We all have art work that’s actually going to be available on the inside of the album as well. If you buy the album you get those four pictures of us. The singles are for England and Europe and people who import them. I don’t know why exactly I was on the first one, no certain order.

ELLE VIE: Are you guys releasing vinyl?

Dave: Yeah, usually there are 7”.

ELLE VIE: And the album?

Dave: Oh yeah the album will be too. There will probably be a 7 inch for Human and a regular for the album. I hope vinyl never goes away even if CD’s go away, I hope vinyl’s still around ‘cause I’ve been slowly building my vinyl collection. I’ve got some and I enjoy putting one on every once in a while.

ELLE VIE: What is your next single after Human?

Dave: Well… we haven’t picked one yet, but Spaceman has been kind of a second favorite for a while and we’ve been playing that one live. It will probably be a single if it’s not second it might be third or fourth.

ELLE VIE: What’s your favorite song on the album?

Dave: I think I like “The World We Live In” the best.

ELLE VIE: How would you describe it to someone who hasn’t heard it?

Dave: Umm… I don’t know…. It’s umm… It’s hard, I don’t know…. It’s kind of like a serious rock song. I don’t know how else to describe it.

ELLE VIE: Tell us more about the 7 minute experimental piece you guys did “Goodnight Travel Well”?

Dave: That song I believe is the darkest and kind of saddest song we’ve ever written, but it’s really pretty and beautiful at the same time. That’s probably my second favorite one on the album.

ELLE VIE: Your album comes out on November 25th I don’ know if you are aware that Kanye West's new album is also released on that day, but do you guys care about sales and competition?

Dave: It was brought to our attention Umm. We care a tiny bit but not very much. I just care that the same people that were gonna buy our album, buy our album, regardless of who’s coming out that day; that’s all that matters to me. I think we will believe it when we see it, but supposedly Chinese Democracy is also coming out that same day. That’s three big albums, so it’s just a good day to go to the record store and people should go buy all three albums a dose of Kanye, Gun’s N’ Roses, and us. That’s a nice musical spectrum there.

ELLE VIE: There will now be 6 people performing on stage with you guys, tell us more about that.

Dave: We’ve added a horn player .We knew that was gonna happen when we put saxophone on three songs. Lots of bands have a horn player, like Springsteen has a horn player, Duran Duran has a sax player for "Rio"; so this is our guy for joy ride and joy ride is such a fun song-we played that one last night. That one has a very tropical jam vibe, we’ve never done anything like that; it’s just a total party song, it’s a great song.

ELLE VIE: Have you guys talked about doing a live DVD?

Dave: Yeah we’ve definitely talked about it and we’ve talked about it for two years; it comes up and then we never do it. We’ll get around to it… its coming… I would like to do a whole live DVD and a completely separate DVD of videos and other stuff, and hopefully one of those will come out in the next two years, maybe Christmas of 2009 or 2010.

ELLE VIE: Speaking of Christmas you guys have a song with Elton John coming out tell us more about that?

Dave: It’s in the process of being worked on.

ELLE VIE: So it might not happen?

Dave: No it is gonna happen, but we’ll have to record it on the road. We finished half of it, two days ago. That was Sunday night, the night before house of blues. We were at battle born studios, working hard. I left about 1:30 in the morning putting down some guitar, I just have to finish the rest later. This is cool that Elton actually wrote some of the music already.

ELLE VIE: You guys recently did SNL how was that?

Dave: It was awesome. SNL is always my favorite thing to do cause we do lots of TV shows, but that one is the one that means the most to me, because I watched it pretty religiously when I was in middle school and high school. I didn’t really go out on Saturday nights (laughs) but I did watch SNL, so that just means a lot and you get to play two songs. People probably wouldn’t believe it but it really is funnier if you’re there. Not many people get to be there unless you’re part of the studio audience, but we got to watch it from backstage and we watched some of it in rehearsal too. We get to see skits that get cut, so it’s really a cool day.

ELLE VIE: Did you guys get to see the Sarah Palin skit?

Dave: We weren’t there the day she was there, but we got to see it and that was really funny.

ELLE VIE: What do you think of Sarah Palin?

Dave: I don’t think she is qualified to be president at all, and it’s not ‘cause she’s a woman because I would have voted for Hilary Clinton in a heartbeat. I was tied on her and Barack Obama I liked them both about equally. I just think that she’s (Palin) only been governor for a year and a half and mayor of a town the size of 10 thousand people. It’s a serious job you know? It’s the President of the United States! It should be someone who is well qualified, and John McCain is old. I actually like John McCain, but if he gets elected I would just pray everyday that he doesn’t die. I did vote for Obama already. McCain is a good guy, I don’t hate McCain at all I like him but I was kind of disappointed when he picked Palin. It’s so obvious that it’s just for the womens’ vote and I wish women understood that. because they are just playing right into their hands, because they are like, well she is a woman like me so I’m gonna vote for her. He really should have just picked someone else.

ELLE VIE: Bill Clinton was in town rallying for Obama, how was that?

Dave: I got to meet him! I’ll show you the picture.

ELLE VIE: Did you get to talk to him?

Dave: I did, he was on his way out the door and he was gonna get into his car and he actually stopped and talked for about five, ten minutes I was like wow. He was one of the people I’ve always wanted to meet.

ELLE VIE: Is there anyone else you would like to meet?

Dave: I would love to meet Obama and John McCain. Umm…we’ve met so many musicians, at one point I’ve met Paul McCartney, David Gilmore, Billy Corgan, David Bowie, and some of them were just a handshake and maybe a ten second conversation, but that still means a lot to me. I would have loved to have met Elvis. I got to meet Duran Duran and play with them at The Joint, that was probably one of the highlights of my life. Umm…I’ve never met Robert Smith; Brandon bumped in to him unexpectedly in Mexico. We were both in town that night and I chose not to go out, which was a big regret or I would have met Robert Smith, but Brandon got to meet him. That’s someone I would definitely like to meet someday.

ELLE VIE: When at home what do you do?

Dave: Besides practice my light saber skills…. (Laughs) For fun, my friend Wyatt comes over sometimes and we have light saber battles on the patio. Just to put on a show for the neighbors. I just want one person to come out for a cigarette and go, “there are two Jedi’s fighting, what the hell is going on?” (Laughs)

ELLE VIE: Do you hang out with the rest of the guys?

Dave: I hang out with them on tour more, and sometimes I hang out with Mark; because Ronnie and Brandon are both married. I’m in San Diego quite a bit to see my son, ‘cause I have a place down there too. So I’m kind of dividing my time between San Diego and Las Vegas, so when I’m here I usually like to stay at home because I’m hardly ever here. I’m trying to work my way through all the Alfred Hitchcock movies, which he has over a hundred, and I may never get to watch them in my lifetime at the rate I’m going, I’ve only watched four (laughs). So in my spare time I watch that, Battle Star Galactica or Seinfeld

ELLE VIE: what do you think about the music scene in Vegas?

Dave: It’s gotten better… partly because of Beauty Bar I think, because there is almost no place to play here for bands. It’s was like that when we were on… we’d play someplace and then that place would be closed down six months later. People don’t go see bands, usually you have Beauty Bar and like Cheyenne Saloon and that’s about it, other than that you just got to find a place to play yourself. We would play at weird bars that weren’t ordinarily music; we would play at Tramps that was kind of a Sunday night thing with Ryan DJing. So you gotta be creative almost, or just play at house parties, anybody’s house parties you can get ‘cause it’s really hard to get gigs, and not many people can come to them during the week. Its tough for local bands, but I think that there are good bands, Panic, no one knew about them ‘cause they hadn’t done any shows, but they were here and then they got signed. There are a few other bands just like that, which no one knows about.

ELLE VIE: Advice for up and coming band?

Dave: Take any gigs you can get or make up your own gig if you have to. Make a party or something if you’re desperate because it’s real hard to get shows… and once you get a few shows under your belt then certain bars will be more open to having you. There is a band, Lips Like Morphine in town that our old bass player is in now, Dell, and they’ve gotten a lot better, since when I first saw them. If you keep practicing and working on playing live, and never stop song writing you can actually improve.

ELLE VIE: What bands are you into right now?

Dave: I’ll name the last CD’s I’ve bought, the new Metallica, which is really good. It has guitar solos again which they never should have stopped doing, cause that’s part of metal. Guitar solos fit better with metal. I like Coldplay’s new album, Viva La Vida. I recently picked two Bright Eyes EP’s and it’s good, and as always I like The Cure.

ELLE VIE: What are some songs you’re tired of hearing?

Dave: Oh god, I wish I could remember the name of the song that was on a commercial last night. I was watching TV and they played the same commercial twice in one break, and I just turned the TV off (laughs). Umm… let me think… I’m sick of hearing that Spin Doctors song, what’s that one? It is “Three Princes” or something (humming). It was from the 80’s and it was played to death, and I’m still sick of it. Still sick of the Spin Doctors, I never want to hear them for the rest of my life (laughs).

ELLE VIE: So just the Spin Doctors?

Dave: Just any Spin Doctors’ song I’m sick of. I never want to hear them again. I hate the Spin Doctors (laughs)...please don’t get back together.

ELLE VIE: Any people that are big right now that you really don’t like?

Dave: umm… I don’t want to say it because every time I say I don’t like them I meet them. For some reason, all the bands that I hate their music are usually the nicest people and some of the bands that I love are really hard to approach. So I don’t want to put any of them down….there are a few….

ELLE VIE: What do you think the album of the year is so far, besides Day and Age?

Dave: Well hopefully it’s us, but besides that it’s kind of a tie between Death Magnetic (Metallica) and the Coldplay album. I like both of them.

ELLE VIE: Any personal goals you would still like to accomplish?

Dave: I just want us to last 20 years and make lots of albums. I would like to have an awesome greatest hits someday full of good songs, and then we can do a greatest hits tour, that would be fun.

ELLE VIE: Is there anything that most people would not know about you?

Dave: I was a chess champion my senior year in High School.

ELLE VIE: Do you still play it?

Dave: Rarely, but I play online and I get my ass kicked but when I play in person I usually beat my friends.

ELLE VIE: Do you gamble?

Dave: I do, but I never expect to win and I never lose that much money. If you do lose a lot of money you’re retarded (laughs). If you’ve lost a thousand dollars you should stop, you just suck, you’re not gonna win it back, and I understand that it hurts to lose but house always wins.

ELLE VIE: What do you play?

Dave: I like craps and I don’t fully understand it, but I like to roll the dice, ‘cause I think its fun to roll the dice. The one I hate the most is roulette, for some reason it always lands on the green when I play so I never bet on the green one.

ELLE VIE: So are you a PC?

Dave: When it comes to computers I'm bi, I have a PC and a Mac. (laughs)

ELLE VIE: What are your plans for the next couple of years?

Dave: It’s gonna be really busy in 2009. We’re gonna tour until the middle of 2010 for this album. This is a long tour…we have a lot of countries we’ve never been to, we’re talking about Portugal, Peru, and other countries but these are just ideas, these aren’t even on the calendar.

ELLE VIE: What’s your favorite place to play?

Dave: I love England and Ireland, the fans are great, and it’s just nice. Also, Mexico City was easily a top ten show, Mexican fans are awesome, they are some of the best fans in the world.

ELLE VIE: Any new cover songs?

Dave: We are thinking of doing some more covers within the next couple of years. Maybe it will be on the internet, but we’ve already recorded a couple we just don’t know what to do with them. I’ve always wanted to cover something by the stones.

ELLE VIE: Any crazy fan stories?

Dave: I was in an airport once and a guy wanted a picture and his hand was just trembling. I just can’t believe it sometimes.

Also, one time we had a show in London somewhere, and the windows were down and people were hollering at us “come down here” and I said hey do you want an orange? And I threw an orange down and a boy kept it. I heard about this on the message board, a sixteen year old boy kept this orange and he had it sealed in a bag. That’s pretty weird to me. (Laughs)

ELLE VIE: Thanks for having us Dave!

Dave: I could have been watching Prison Break...(laughs)...no problem! Bye.