Ronnie Vannucci – Does Rock’n’Roll Kill Braincells?
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Features Music Interviews

Ronnie Vannucci – Does Rock’n’Roll Kill Braincells?

By NME Blog

The Killers drummer and now frontman in his own right Ronnie Vannucci takes the infamous test.
Ronnie Vannucci

What was the name of the Vegas wedding chapel in which you were working as a photographer when you first met Brandon and Dave?
“The Chapel of the Flowers. 1717 Las Vegas Boulevard, just north of the Stratsophere Tower.”
Correct. Are you a trained photographer?
“I am trained. I wouldn’t call me a photographer. I worked there for two and a half years. We’d rehearse in the day and I’d go off to work at night time.”

Each member of The Killers star on the covers for the ‘Day And Age’ singles – who got which cover?
Day & Age
“I’m on ‘World We Live In’. Dave is on ‘Human’. Brandon’s on ‘Spaceman’. And Mark is on… What’s Mark on? Man! Did Mark get one?”
Half a point. Mark is on the cover of ‘A Dustland Fairytale’


You grew a big beard to launch your solo project Big Talk – but who had their moustache first, you or Jason Lee from My Name Is Earl?
“Well, how are you going to prove that one?”
This is assuming you didn’t have one on ‘Hot Fuss’ but you did on ‘Sam’s Town’
“I’ve worn moustaches before. But to the public I’d say that Jason Lee had it first.”
Correct. My Name Is Earl started in September 2005. ‘Sam’s Town’ came out in 2006. Do people still get you confused?
“One time I was coming out of an elevator at the MTV Music Awards and I saw Bam Margera and the Jackass crew. Bam comes up to me and goes, ‘Dude! What are you doing here?’ I’m like, ‘Er, what are you doing here? I’m here for the awards. I’m playing.’ He goes, ‘Playing?’ I could see the realisation in his eyes that I wasn’t Jason Lee. Years later we laugh about that!”

What type of hat are you wearing in the video to The Killers’ 2006 Christmas single ‘A Great Big Sled’?
“‘Great Big Sled’? I wore a Santa hat!”
Correct. Will there always be a Killers Christmas single?
“Yeah. Every year. It’s our way of giving.”

You completed your BA at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas on May 14 this year. What bonus item did you receive as well as your diploma?
“The keys to Ham Hall. When The Killers started we used to practise in my garage but everybody’s work schedules screwed up so we could only practise late at night. So we used to break into Ham Hall at the University of Las Vegas to practise there. We’d break into the percussion room, use all the stuff, and carefully put everything back. We practised for hours. I can remember writing ‘Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll’ and ‘Somebody Told Me’ in that room. Now we can go in any time we want! I actually may take them up on that.”

What’s the total diameter of the five cymbals you use on your standard drum kit set up?
“Including bottom high hats?”
Er… yes
(Gets out iPhone calculator) “You’ve got two 18s so that’s 36. You’ve got two 22s so that’s 44. And you’ve got one 24. So that’s (tappidy-tap) 104 inches.”

Which Spice Girl was on Jonathan Ross’ TV show when The Killers first played on the programme, in November 2004?
“Ginger Spice! She’s very nice. And extremely flexible.”

Name the two songs on Brandon’s solo album ‘Flamingo’ that you play the drums on.
“‘Playing with Fire’. And I didn’t actually play on this one but everyone gives me credit for it: ‘Crossfire’.”


Which ex-Man Utd and Everton player do British Killers fans sometimes change the words of ‘Mr Brightside’ to?
“You’ve got me there because I don’t even follow football.”
Wrong. Norman Whiteside
(Sings) “‘I’m Norman Whiteside’. That’s pretty funny!”

The Killers stole their name from a fictitious band in the video to what single from what album?
“The band was New Order. The video was ‘Crystal’. And the album was ‘Get Ready’.”

Total Score: 8.5/10

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