More than 17 years have passed since Iowa transplant Dave Keuning placed an ad in the local Las Vegas Weekly looking to form a band, mentioning Oasis as one of his faves. An eager 20-year-old named Brandon Flowers, who shared Keuning’s love of groups like New Order and the Cure, answered it, only to have Dave promptly hand him a TASCAM-recorded four-track demo of “Mr. Brightside.” The result was the formation of The Killers, who have released five consecutive chart-topping albums and toured the world thanks to a songwriting partnership which molded such hits as “Somebody Told Me,” “When You Were Young,” “Read My Mind,” “A Dustland Fairy Tale,” “The World We Live In” and “Spaceman,” among others.
Burnt out from touring and wanting to spend more time with his 13-year-old son, Dave began taking musical ideas that he gathered over the years and worked on them in his home studio to turn each idea into a complete song. Prismism is the result, a collection of 14 tracks – with all the instruments, save some drum parts, played by Keuning himself – which, like the title says, sees things from all sides, focusing on details without missing the big picture, a Picasso’s-eye view of life’s Faustian bargains, Sophie’s choices and existential conundrums. Prismism examines our basic relationships and interactions, with family, friends and co-workers, how one can feel trapped by their surroundings, as well as those that rely on them, emotionally and/or professionally. The album is inspired by the very thing that brought him here in the first place – the music.
Combining both acoustic and electric guitars, as well as a longtime fascination with keyboards and electronic music – which he wasn’t able to explore as much as he would’ve liked in The Killers – Keuning has created a psychic diary that allows us to connect the dots and learn what brought him to a career crossroads. When he first began writing and recording, Keuning had no plans to sing, but finally decided to take the plunge.
“I never wanted to be the singer in The Killers,” he insists. “And I don’t care if people don’t believe me. I’ve definitely had those thoughts, but I can honestly tell you ever since I picked one up at 14, all I ever wanted to do was play the guitar.”
Dave is still actively sending in song ideas for the next Killers album, but also wonders if perhaps some of his new music will catch their ear. “But there’s no stopping me now. I’m going to pump out new music for the rest of my life, for audiences big or small, Killers or no Killers. Now that I’ve got a taste of how enjoyable this is.”
Prismism: it’s all how you look at it and listen to it, but one thing’s certain: Keuning’s here to stay.
Dave Keuning Tour Dates
DATE VENUE CITY/STATE
November 6 Casbah San Diego, CA
November 7 The Satellite Silverlake, CA
November 12 Mercury Lounge New York, NY
November 14 High Watt Nashville, TN
December 9 Night and Day Manchester, UK
December 10 Dingwalls London, UK