Dave Keuning

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Dave Keuning
Dave Brent Keuning.tif
Portrait of Dave Keuning by photographer Dana Trippe
Background information
Birth nameDavid Brent Keuning
Born (1976-03-28) March 28, 1976 (age 42)
OriginPella, Iowa, U.S.
GenresAlternative rock, post-punk revival
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, singer
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, cello
Years active2001–present
Associated actsThe Killers

David Brent Keuning (born March 28, 1976) is an American guitarist and songwriter. Dave started playing guitar when he was 14 years old. Dave is best known for his role as the lead guitarist of the rock band The Killers, with whom he has recorded five studio albums. Dave and Brandon Flowers started The Killers back in 2001, and together they wrote the hit Mr. Brightside, which kick-started their career and became an instant classic. The Killers are considered one of the biggest rock bands of the 21st century. Dave had previously played every show with The Killers since its inception up until the show at Chicago Lollapalooza in August 2017. He is currently on a hiatus from The Killers. In 2018, Keuning announced that he would release a solo album titled Prismism under his surname Keuning in 2019.[1]

Personal life[edit]

David Brent Keuning was born and brought up in Pella, Iowa by his parents Charles and Sandra. He has one older brother, Kevin Keuning. He started to play guitar just before entering Pella Community High School where he played in the jazz band. His senior year the group won state champions class 3A. In 2000 Keuning moved to Las Vegas, Nevada.[2][3] He found work at the Banana Republic store in The Venetian Hotel and Casino on The Strip.

Dave Keuning now lives in San Diego, California with his Wife, Emilie Keuning. He has a son, Kyler (13 years old) from a previous relationship. He still has a strong connection to his hometown Pella, and he often travels back to visit friends and family who still live there.


The Killers (2001–present)[edit]

More than 17 years have passed[when?] 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 influences.[4] 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".[5] 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” and “Human” among others.

The Killers played shows around Las Vegas in the beginning with 2 other drummers and 3 other bass players before asking Mark Stoermer and Ronnie Vannucci Jr. to join the band. They played their first live show at the Café Espresso Roma in Las Vegas, in January 2002. They played a few songs just on acoustic guitar at an open mic night. After that, they began playing venues around the city as a band. The Killers had a unique sound and style, a mix between rock and new wave which made them different and not like any other local bands. They have now sold more than 25 million records worldwide including five consecutive No. 1 studio albums in the UK.

Keuning announced in August 2017 that he would not be joining the band to tour in supporting their newest album, although he remains a member of the group.[6]

Dave is debuting his own music with the release of his first single “Restless Legs” under the moniker Keuning. The assemblage of new music, created by Dave in his San Diego home studio, was taken from hundreds of voice memos that he stockpiled while on tour with The Killers over the last decade that evolved into songs. Keuning’s debut album Prismism will be released on January 25, 2019 and is a collection of 14 tracks with almost all instruments played by Dave himself.[citation needed]


Guitars [7]

Guitars are tuned down 1/2 step from standard. Drop-Db tuning for both versions of the song Sam's Town and the recorded version of Tranquilize.

Sound Equipment

  • Furman AR15 Voltage Regulator
  • Axess Electronics FX1+ expansion board, midi foot controllers w/ axess CFX4 control function switchers and custom made Axess Electronics Deville footswitch interfaces
  • Lectrosonics Wireless Units
  • Zaolla Artist and Zaolla Silverline series cables as cables and cable snakes
  • (2) duplicate FX racks are wired up w/Mogami Cable
  • Pedals, in Voodoo Lab GCX Audio Switcher Loops: Keeley Mod Ibanez TS9 (phat mod and baked mod)(x2), Boss DD6 Digital Delay, MXR Phase 100 (x2), Electro Harmonix Keeley Mod Big Muff Pi, Ibanez AD99 Keeley Mod Delay, Ibanez AC99 Keeley Mod Chorus, Digitech Whammy, TRex RoommSpate Reverb, and Buff Puff Boost. And for the acoustic: Fishman Aura Classical Pedal, Fishman Aura Dreadnought Pedal

Picks: Dunlop Nylon – 0.60mm, 0.73mm, 1.00mm


NOTE: Hiwatt currently are one of Keuning's sponsors.[8]

Playing style[edit]

Keuning is noted as a guitarist for playing anthemic and soaring solos in addition to sweetened and often percussive style playing frequently. He is also noted for his "unusual voicings" and "digit-distending, string-skipping" finger work on the guitar in similar fashion of Andy Summers of The Police.[3]

Keuning was featured in Guitarist magazine in May 2009[9] and Guitar World in February 2009,[10] Guitar Player in January 2008 and February 2010,[3] and Guitar Aficionado in January 2013.

In 2010, Keuning's guitar riff in "Mr. Brightside" was voted at number 9 in Total Guitar's 50 greatest riffs of the 21st Century so far.[11]


Keuning cites influences such as The Edge of U2, Robert Smith, Bernard Sumner, Billy Corgan, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards, George Harrison, Angus Young, and Mick Mars.


As Keuning

Other appearances

  • "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" - Brandon Flowers (2010)[12]
  • "Wander" - We Are Hyena (2012)[13]
  • "This Is A Joke" (2014) - Bombay Heavy[14]
  • "Clouds Pretend" - The Hunt (2014)[15]
  • TBA - Blackout Balter (TBA 2016)

Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ a b Krol, Charlotte (October 12, 2018). ""I regret not doing it a lot sooner": The Killers' Dave Keuning tells us about his debut solo album 'Prismism'". NME. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  2. ^ [1] Biographicon: Dave Keuning
  3. ^ a b c "The Killers' Dave Keuning" Guitar Player Magazine Feb 2010 Iss.
  4. ^ Longobardy, Joshua. "When he was young" Las Vegas Weekly. Feb 15, 2007.Third Page, First Paragraph.
  5. ^ [2] The Killers Bio VH1.com
  6. ^ "Killers Guitarist Dave Keuning Announces Touring Break". 28 August 2017. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  7. ^ http://www.thekillersfansite.com/article%20pics/guitarist%20magazine%20may2009/ggd3.jpg. Retrieved 2017-11-20. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ "Hiwatt Genuine Amplifiers UK". Archived from the original on 2010-04-25. Retrieved 2010-04-18. Hiwatt Website: Artists
  9. ^ Crompton, Jamie. "Dave Keuning Interview: Serial Killer" Guitarist May 2009 Iss.
  10. ^ Bosso, Joe. "The Killers: All Killer No Filler" Guitar World Magazine. March 26, 2009.
  11. ^ "Muse Dominate Best Guitar Riff Poll". GIGWISE.com.
  12. ^ "Dave Keuning: 'The Killers Started Because I Lost My Job'". Archived from the original on 2014-02-21.
  13. ^ "RHF - Music - We Are Hyena- Wander (Feat. Dave Keuning of The Killers)". Archived from the original on 2014-12-17.
  14. ^ "Bombay Heavy - This Is A Joke, by BOMBAY HEAVY". Bombay Heavy. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  15. ^ "Clouds Pretend (featuring Dave Keuning Of THE KILLERS)". Retrieved 20 November 2017.

External links[edit]