As the manager of The Killers, Robert Reynolds is one of the best-known behind-the-scenes players on the Vegas music scene. We caught up with him during the band’s current tour to get his thoughts on continued success and future change.
How do you think the perception of Las Vegas as a music city has changed since The Killers first broke? I think Las Vegas has always been a music city, with residencies from Sinatra to Wayne Newton to Elton John. And great bands have toured here ever since I was a kid. If there’s been a change, I think it’s the idea that Las Vegas has a local music scene and is capable of breaking new artists. Since The Killers, our city has done this a couple of times.
You’re part of the Emerge Impact + Music Conference, set for April in Las Vegas. Why did you want to get involved? It’s harder now for bands to break than ever. My heart goes out to those who are struggling to cut through the noise, talented artists fighting impossible odds to make a living doing what they love. Above all, Emerge is designed for them. I love the mission. I also love our partners.
The Killers’ first album in five years is also their first No. 1 in America and worldwide. Wonderful Wonderful was also our fifth consecutive No. 1 in the U.K. and received our highest Metacritic score ever. ... This is all great, but you have to take industry stats with a grain of salt. Hot Fuss and Sam’s Town ought to have been No. 1 albums and received similar acclaim. The Killers consistently make the best albums they can and are proud of the results. All we can do is hope that our fans agree. Thankfully, this time around it seems like they do.
The Killers have two shows coming up in Las Vegas. After all these years and so much success, what does it mean for the band to come back and play for the hometown crowd? I remember some of the earliest shows at Cafe Roma, Tramps and the Huntridge [Theatre]. At first, breaking in Vegas seemed almost insurmountable. Now, it’s become a celebration. Everyone’s family and friends come out. Our guest list is through the roof. The band was thrilled to open the T-Mobile Arena, and it’s been a collective dream to play the MGM Grand. For me, being part of all this, particularly in your own hometown, is exciting, emotional and humbling.