The good: So, so detailed and well written.
The not-so-good: Reflecting back on Mark and Dave’s interviews from 2014…sad.
Why I chose it: Because The Killers.
Publisher: Omnibus Press
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
In my recent reading expedition to learn more about my favourite band, I inadvertently saved the best ’til last. The Killers Days & Ages is the most text dense and picture light of the three books on the band, but for me it was ultimately the most rewarding. If you want to have the musical influences of each of the band members in detail, this is your book. If you want a hard copy of the most quotable B.Flow quotes, this is the book. If you just want a detailed journey of the band from Las Vegas to Wembley, this is the read. And finally…if you want to read some detailed interviews with Mark and Dave, they are there. (Warning: reading these in 2018 will make you at least a little sad).
What really makes The Killers Days & Ages stand out from the pack is the quality of Mark Beaumont’s research and his writing skills. He writes a great narrative that’s interesting and flows well. It’s not simply a collection of interviews cobbled together with a few words but a logical story. (Plus the book has footnotes that mention everything from Bill Gates enjoying a show to what the lyrics of Sam’s Town could be referencing – I did not know that Shockwaves was a hair product that sponsored the NME tour the band was on). The book also has a balanced tone – there’s no calling out Brandon for his youthful bald statements on various bands and the band’s hiatus tells us about what each of the guys did individually. Beaumont also describes potential meanings behind many of the lyrics and while I didn’t agree with all of them (I prefer to snigger like a teenager on reading the track listing for Flamingo) it adds another layer to the next time you listen to each album.
At the end of each chapter (named after one of the band’s songs) there is an interview with Dave, or Mark, or both in 2014. (This book had the support of the band). As they are the quieter ones in the group, I found it really refreshing to hear their thoughts on touring, recording and everything that goes with being part of the best band of this century*. Reading this from 2018, post Wonderful Wonderful was kind of sad for me. I don’t know whether I’m putting my own spin on it, but Mark and Dave seemed fatigued. Honest in their answers, but tired. I’d like to hope that time has refreshed them.
There are of course happy moments – Wembley, secret shows and the buzz of growing more popular. For the fans, there are also two colour sections of photos. There are behind the scenes pics of the Read My Mind video, plus the gold suit – in the Sam’s Town era. Most of these I’d seen before, but they are high quality here. There is also a comprehensive list of references so you can seek out the full interviews. I’m not normally a slow reader, but having all these extras and the internet had me wanting to try to find some of the photos described, check discographies and lyrics and generally reminisce about the band. If you’re a Victim of The Killers, you can’t go past this book.