Louis XIV frontman Jason Hill has many talents, including being able to take the stage at various summer festivals decked out in super-hot suits yet never seeming to sweat, and looking incredibly like a young Ozzy.
He’s also quite the networker, as evidenced by his recent friendship with Killers singer Brandon Flowers, which actually began back when Louis were just an unsigned act looking to hit the road for the first time (see “Louis XIV: Killers-Endorsed Quartet With King-Sized Egos”).
“The Killers actually asked us to tour with them when they were just breaking. The first day they got a tour bus was the first day we were on tour with them,” Hill explained. “They just liked our music and we were an unsigned band at the time, and we hit it off because for one, our music isn’t like anyone else’s out there, and we can pretty much play with anybody. And also because the crowds really liked us both, so they asked us to do this run of shows.”
That run of shows came to an end at this past weekend’s Music Midtown Festival in Atlanta, where both Louis XIV and the Killers shared the stage with a host of acts, ranging from Biz Markie and Public Enemy to the White Stripes and the Pixies. But just because the road trip has ended doesn’t mean that the burgeoning friendship between the San Diego rockers and the shimmering Vegas synth-masters is finished; in fact, both acts have been recording songs together, including a couple of tunes that sprouted from some serious late-night tour-bus jam sessions between Hill and Flowers.
“I’ve been recording here in the back of the bus over the last couple of nights with Brandon from the Killers,” Hill said while reclining in his bus this past weekend. “We’ve been sitting back here recording a couple new tracks. One of them is going to be on their new record, and it’s just phenomenal.
“One song — I’m not going to say what it is — is a cover song that I did with all strings, and I brought it on and had Brandon sing the first verse on it. The person who wrote it all those years ago, I want him to sing on it too,” Hill continued. “And the other one was a song that Brandon had started writing. And I’m just helping him record that one, and I play guitar on it.”
And while he might not be totally forthcoming with song titles, Hill did spill the beans on a couple of his collaborative cohorts.
“We had [Killers drummer] Ronnie [Vannucci] set up his drum kit back here, in this 2 foot by 2 foot area, and play drums. It was about 4 in the morning and I just got it in my head that we needed drums on the track,” he said. “And we’ll probably get [Killers guitarist] David [Keuning] and [bassist] Mark [Stoermer] to be on the song too.”
Neither band’s reps seemed to have any idea that the collaboration was happening, but don’t be surprised if you hear more Louis/ Killers tunes in the future. It’s not like Hill needs a whole lot of time or space to get a song down on tape.
“I’ve never recorded in a proper studio, just little rooms here or there, and I love going into a room without any idea of what we’re going to do and just making it up. I love that more than anything,” he laughed.