Successful musicians are not people I have a great deal of sympathy for. Whilst the majority of us slave away in this Trumpian-Theresarian cult-of-the-self wasteland, just trying to scrape together two bits to pay the rent and a handful of likes on a racy Instagram snap, they tour the world, playing their hits to adoring fans. Cry me a river.
That said, fans are generally understanding when a band takes a break. Often the time apart is the difference between burnout and resurgence. The difference between U2’s Pop and All That You Can’t Leave Behind. So when the Killers announced their hiatus I for one was glad. Battle Born was a campy, hit-and-miss album that suggested the band were in need of focus.
Their comeback album Wonderful Wonderful shows promise; lead singles ‘The Man’ and ‘Run For Cover’ herald a return to the anthemic days of old. An extensive UK tour was announced and has nearly sold out completely.
So when today it was announced that just two of the original band would be performing, it raised a few eyebrows.
The popular view of The Killers is that the band is essentially a vehicle for likeable, wide-eyed heart-throb Brandon Flowers. A successful stint as solo artist hasn’t helped this. However for fans this simply isn’t true. The other members of the band are all loved by the fanbase, as indeed are the members of any band.
Guitarist Dave Kuening and bassist Mark Stoermer will not be touring the new album, despite both being current members, and both having worked on Wonderful Wonderful. Whilst Stoermer had confirmed he wouldn’t be touring last year, Kuening’s announcement came after a world tour had already been announced. So what the hell is going on at Killers HQ?
It’s especially galling when the band haven’t actively toured or recorded anything substantive since October 2013. So it isn’t like the band haven’t had the time to pursue extra-curricular activities.
Taking a break from music can be fantastic for an artist. It can give them a new outlook and sharpen their prose. However, when a fan goes to see a band live they want to hear these songs played by that band; they want to hear the stories, told by the people who wrote them, the people who recreate and re-enact these stories in their music.
The Killers have an elastic view to band uniformity and that is refreshing, but for the fans who have shelled out money for big-ticket seats on the upcoming tour, to see just half of the original line-up, they will surely be left feeling ripped off.