The Killers‘ pledge to “take care of” their photographers in the wake of the recent face-kicking saga involving Queens Of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme has backfired, with a lot of professional photogs now slamming the band.
It all went down on the night after Homme was caught on video kicking snapper Chelsea Lauren in the face (something which he’s since apologised for in both written and video form) when Killers’ frontman Brandon Flowers took the same stage at KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas in LA and shaded the QOTSA frontman.
Inviting house photographer Rob Loud up to join the band, he joked: “I’m not going to kick you in the face, it’s ok”.
“I just want to tell you to tell all your friends that you’re welcome here, and at Killers concerts you’re safe and respected,” he added, before giving Loud a big hug and telling the crowd: “They make us look good — we need to take care of these people”.
However, the act of solidarity did not go down well with the other pro photogs present. Largely because they’d actually been banned from photographing The Killers’ set at all.
As Billboard reports, The Killers were the only band of the night to institute a ‘no photos’ policy, and have a long tradition of disallowing almost everyone except their own house photographers from shooting their sets. It’s apparently become a bit of a thing with a lot of big-name bands in the industry, who reckon the best live shots aren’t taken from the pit (that ultra-low angle is great for showing off some sexy double-chin though!) but the back and sides of the stage where you can see the crowd, special effects, visuals, etc.
Professional photog Amy Harris was one of the snappers who was forced to put her camera down for The Killers’ set, and she reckons their big song & dance about “respecting” photographers was not received well.
“It didn’t feel supportive coming from someone who prevents us from doing our job as press,” she tells Billboard. “It is extremely frustrating for media professional photographers to travel to and shoot shows and festivals for their respective outlets, and not be able to cover the headlining acts. The artists don’t seem to care about press.”
While longtime LA Photographer Paul Hebert, who was also cock-blocked from shooting The Killers, called Flowers’ comments “comical”.
“If you dissect Brandon’s comments, they are comical. He was the only artist that weekend that doesn’t allow himself to be photographed,” he says.
Needless to say, we here at Music Feeds will be eagerly watching our inboxes for an invitation to shoot The Killers’ forthcoming 2018 Australian tour.