13 Incredible Bands Similar To The Killers

Written by Dan Farrant

Born in the neon glow of Las Vegas, The Killers have been a powerhouse in the alternative rock scene since their breakthrough in 2004. Known for their new wave, alternative rock, and post-punk sounds with a dash of Americana, they’ve crafted anthems like “Mr. Brightside” that resonate across the globe.

But what happens when you have exhausted their discography and yearn for something similar yet fresh? We’ve got you covered.

In this post, we’ve put together a list of 13 incredible bands like The Killers that you’re sure to love. Let’s get started.

The Killers by Schröder+Schömbs (CC BY-ND 2.0)

1. The Strokes

First off is the New York City-based band The Strokes. Formed in 1998, they are often considered one of the pioneers of the 2000s indie rock and garage rock scenes. Their music has been a major influence on a multitude of other bands, including The Killers themselves.

The band’s rise to fame was meteoric. Their debut album, Is This It, in 2001 was an immense success, landing in the top five of music charts across the globe and #33 on Billboard 200.

Is This It not only established The Strokes as one of the most exciting new bands but also signified a shift in mainstream tastes toward more guitar-based sounds.

2. Franz Ferdinand

Hailing from Glasgow, Scotland, Franz Ferdinand emerged as one of the most notable indie rock bands in the early 2000s. Their distinctive post-punk revival sound and 1980s-inspired musical style quickly gained them a devoted following worldwide.

The formation of Franz Ferdinand is an intriguing story: guitarist Nick McCarthy stumbled upon singer Alex Kapranos while working at a party. Soon after their encounter, they formed the band that would later take its name from Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria.

Since the band’s formation in 2002, they have released five studio albums, and all of them are either #1, #2, or #3 on the Scottish Albums Chart. Notable among these is You Could Have It So Much Better, which also landed at #8 on Billboard 200.

3. Kings Of Leon

Emerging from the Nashville music scene, Kings of Leon is an American rock band that has captured the hearts of many since their formation in 1999.

Composed of brothers Caleb, Nathan, and Jared Followill, this talented trio shares similarities with The Killers in terms of their alternative rock and indie influences.

Their album Only by the Night was a turning point for both their sound and success. This powerful record showcased a fusion between southern rock music with modern alternative elements.

However, despite all the accolades and acclaim received over the years, Kings of Leon has not been without controversy surrounding lead singer Caleb Followill’s struggles with alcohol addiction. However, it also provided material for some truly emotional performances on stage and in their songs.

4. Arctic Monkeys

With their post-punk and indie rock sound akin to The Killers, the British rock band Arctic Monkeys rose to prominence. The band’s success began in 2006 with their debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, which was the fastest-selling debut album in UK history at the time.

Since then, Arctic Monkeys has consistently released several acclaimed (read: UK chart-topping) albums, earning them multiple awards and global recognition. Favourite Worst Nightmare and AM are just a few examples.

Despite their success, the band members remain true to their roots. They continue to create compelling music, reinforcing their status as one of the most influential rock bands of their generation.

5. Keane

Formed in the small town of Battle, East Sussex, in 1995, the English alternative rock band Keane started their journey when the members met at Tonbridge School.

Overcoming a series of challenges and setbacks, they rose to international fame with their unique piano-driven rock sound, a stark contrast to the guitar-heavy music that dominated the scene at the time.

Their breakthrough came in 2004 with the release of their debut album, Hopes and Fears. The album was an instant success, topping the UK Albums Chart upon release and spawning the hit singles “Somewhere Only We Know” and “Everybody’s Changing.”

Despite facing a tumultuous period marked by internal struggles and a brief hiatus, their popularity never wavered. They returned to the music scene with renewed vigor, releasing more albums and embarking on successful tours.

6. Bloc Party

Next up is the English rock band Bloc Party. This group emerged in 1999 and consisted of Kele Okereke, Russell Lissack, Justin Harris, and Louise Bartle. With their art-punk style, they are known for blending angular percussive tracks with edgy pop and atmospheric ballads.

The band’s breakthrough album Silent Alarm, released in 2005, earned critical acclaim and an NME Award for Best Album, and established them as one of the most exciting British bands around at that time.

Bloc Party has undergone several lineup changes throughout its existence, but Okereke remains the lead vocalist and lyricist, providing a distinct voice to accompany their innovative instrumentation.

7. The Bravery

Formed in New York City in 2003, The Bravery is an American rock band that was often compared to The Killers during the mid-2000s. Along with other bands like Franz Ferdinand and Interpol, they were part of a movement that combined synth riffs and fashion.

One of their most notable releases is the single “An Honest Mistake.” This track, from their eponymous debut album, quickly became a fan favorite and solidified their place in the alternative rock scene.

Today, The Bravery remains a beloved part of the music world. Their commitment to their craft, combined with their ability to evolve and adapt their sound, ensures that they will continue to be remembered as one of the most influential bands of their era.

8. Muse

Another band that shares a lot of similarities with The Killers is Muse. They are an alternative rock band from England consisting of Matt Bellamy on lead vocals, guitar, and keyboards, Chris Wolstenholme on bass, and Dominic Howard on drums. and have been making music since 1994.

Over the years, Muse has consistently pushed the boundaries of rock music, incorporating elements of electronica, classical music, and even dubstep into their sound.

Notable works by the band include Absolution, The Resistance, and Drones—all UK chart-topping releases, with the last two receiving a Grammy for Best Rock Album. Additionally, Muse has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide, a testament to their enduring popularity and influence.

9. Snow Patrol

Formed in 1994 in Dundee, Scotland, the alternative rock band Snow Patrol, led by Gary Lightbody, has made a significant impact on the global music scene.

Not only does Snow Patrol’s music bears some similarities to that of The Killers, but both bands emerged around the same time and have been key players in the post-Britpop alternative rock scene.

The band’s biggest hits include “Open Your Eyes,” “Signal Fire,” “Chasing Cars,” and “Run.” These last two songs won Snow Patrol BMI Pop Awards each, while “Chasing Cars” also received a Grammy nod for Best Rock Song.

With over 25 years of musical experience under its belt, Snow Patrol remains one of the top bands in contemporary rock today.

10. Kaiser Chiefs

Born in the vibrant music scene of Leeds, England, this indie rock band initially formed in 1997 under the name Runston Parva and later renamed Parva. However, it wasn’t until they rebranded as Kaiser Chiefs that they started to make waves in the music industry.

The success of their debut single, “Oh My God,” opened doors for the band and led to the release of their debut album, Employment,” in 2005. The album was a critical success, gaining 7x Platinum status and several awards.

Another notable release from the band is Yours Truly, Angry Mob. This chart-topping album features the hit song “Ruby,” which took the #1 spot on charts across Europe, including the UK, Scotland, and Czech Republic.

11. Coldplay

Coldplay is a beloved British rock band that has been making music for over 20 years. Their sound incorporates elements of alternative rock, Britpop, indie rock, and pop rock, much like The Killers.

The band’s rise to fame began with their debut album, Parachutes, in 2000. Following this, Coldplay continued to release multi-chart-topping albums even until their latest work, Music of the Spheres, in 2021.

Songs like “Viva la Vida,” “Paradise,” and “Something Just Like This,” among many others, keep the band on the global stage and have earned them several awards over the years.

Today, Coldplay continues to create new material and tours. Their legacy, much like their music, is sure to endure for generations to come.

12. Interpol

Up next is Interpol, a post-punk and gloom-rock band that originated in New York City. The band has been around since 1997 and first gained widespread recognition with their debut album, Turn on the Bright Lights, in 2002. This album was actually a major inspiration for The Killers, who have cited Interpol as one of their biggest musical influences.

One notable song by Interpol is “Evil,” which is said to be about Fred and Rosemary West, two infamous serial killers from England. The song’s eerie melody perfectly fits the dark subject matter, making it one of Interpol’s most popular tracks ever released.

If you enjoy listening to The Killers, then there’s a good chance you’ll also like Interpol’s post-punk sound combined with goth influences. Both bands are known for exploring darker themes through their music while still maintaining an upbeat tempo that keeps listeners engaged from start to finish.

13. Arcade Fire

From the vibrant music scene of Montreal, Canada, the indie rock band Arcade Fire was founded by Win Butler and Josh Deu in 2001. Like The Killers, Arcade Fire is known for their anthemic, emotional songwriting.

The band’s rise to fame was ignited by the release of their debut album, Funeral, in 2004. Garnering widespread critical acclaim, this melancholic yet hopeful collection of songs introduced the world to their unique sound.

Their career reached a high point when their 2010 album The Suburbs won the esteemed Grammy Award for Album of the Year, as well as the Juno Award for Album of the Year and Brit Award for Best International Album, marking a significant milestone in their journey.

Summing Up Our List Of Bands Like The Killers

That’s a wrap! As you have read, there are plenty of rock bands out there to explore that have a similar sound and vibe to The Killers. We hope that this list has provided you with some additional inspiration for your musical journey!

Remember, music is about experimentation. Don’t be afraid to try something different and discover new sounds—sometimes, it’s in these moments of exploration that you stumble upon your new favorite artist.

Who did we miss? Let us know so we can add them to this list!

Photo of author

Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.