Drummer chats to Gigwise about his new project...
Lawrence Poole

11:12 23rd June 2011

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He's been known to sport one of the coolest moustaches in rock and supplies the drumming ammunition which powers The Killers' arena smashing sound.

As the group play two super intimate dates at The Scala and a weekend kick-starting headlining set at Hyde Park Hard Rock Calling, Gigwise caught up Ronnie Vannucci at a swish Soho hotel to talk about their future and his new solo project, Big Talk.
So Ronnie, rumour is you've been back in the studio with the guys...

Yeah, we've been back in the studio working on a few things, it's going well - we're not sure where it's going yet but it's good to be working with them again.

During your time out you've also recorded an album with your side project, Big Talk, how did that come about?

The Killers decided to take a break for a little bit and I got restless and an old buddy (Tyler Milne) asked if I fancied playing a guitar solo on two or some songs and it went from there - now we have an album coming out on July 19 and we're doing some shows.
What can we expect?

It's pretty guitar based, which may sound weird a drummer doing that, but I've always loved playing guitar and making rock and roll.
You will obviously play a more central role than in The Killers – nervous?

I'm a little bit nervous about playing dates, but also pretty excited - I'm enjoying the change of scenery.
You're playing two Scala shows this week - it must be exciting to be going back to basics...

It's really nice to play shows of this size again, when we first played here we could barely all fit on stage and Brandon (Flowers, singer) actually fell off I think, we did some shows like this in Santiago in Chile and we hadn't done anything that small for a long time, it was really fun so we decided to warm up for Hyde Park by playing here.
Do you like hanging out in London?

I love it - it's like a second home, it's like a conversation you have with a friend, which is really nice then you move on to your real buddies and everyone's happy and feels great - it's feel comfortable like that and it's great to be here.
Where do you tend to go when your here?

I like to get out and about, theres a couple of rock places I like to go to, one in Soho I think - we've just got lots of happy memories from playing here.
And next up is Hard Rock Calling in Hyde Park on Friday (June 24)...

When we did Hard Rock Calling last time it was great - the sun was out and we had this really lovely sunset - there's always such a good vibe there - I'm really looking forward to going back.
When you met the rest of the band you were working as a wedding photographer back home in Las Vegas weren't you?

Yeah, it was a cool, interesting job - you got to see a lot of scenerios that's for sure! I enjoyed it and made a lot of good friends.
How did you come to join the band?

We were going into the summer break and I got a call from my cute Korean roommate who said their drummer couldn't make it and asked if I could step in - that was one of the first Killers gigs. I got talking to them and we struck up a little connection and it went from there - I actually tried to find them a drummer but as time went on it ended up being me!
And how does it feel still doing it all these years later?

It's nuts, nuts. I'm living a dream life and I'd never take it for granted, if I do I hope someone gives me a kick up the ass! It's a blessing, we're blessed the band's still together because it can be hard being in a band.
During your time off you got to play for President Obama at the White House - how was that?

That was a lot of fun, we got an official letter on headed note paper to our agency and we didn't know if it was real - we read it and we were like 'what the hell?', I heard Foo Fighters had played the July 4 show the year before so I rang Dave Grohl up and asked him what it was like. He was like 'dude, that's like the coolest BBQ ever, you've got to do it!'. There's pretty tight security there, lots of restrictions - one of the funniest things was this very prim and proper female security guard who talked us through all the rules and then when we walked in it was totally relaxed and all the formalities dropped and Obama was great - we saw her later in plain clothes and she was totally different.
Did you get to speak to him?

I spoke to Obama a little bit, just small talk really - it's organised by USO for people who have served in the forces or for those families who officers didn't come home - it was one of those moments where you feel very proud and honoured.
What music have you been listening to lately?

I've been listen a lot to the new Fleet Foxes record Helplessness Blues, which is fantastic, I've been buying a lot of older music too.
The Killers headline Hard Rock Calling in Hyde Park on Friday June 24. Big Talk's self-titled debut album is released on July 11.

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