Interview Get to know Juanita Stein: the sepia-tinged singer supporting The Killers on their massive arena tour

The former Howling Bells singer is going it alone, and it’s a treat.

This week, The Killers’ mammoth arena show rolls into London for two nights at the none-too-tiny O2 Arena. In support for the whole tour is singer Juanita Stein. Don’t know her yet? Well you should.

Having made her name as the honey-voiced vocalist of ’00s indie types Howling Bells – an Aussie troupe armed with swooning noir hooks and dark romance to spare – Juanita’s now stepped out on her own with this year’s most excellent debut ‘America’ (read our 4* review if you’re not convinced) and a whole new set of spine-tingling treats.

We caught up with the singer to find out about life in the Killers machine, and how her America is definitely not the shit show 2k17 version.

Hi Juanita! How’s tour life treating you?

It’s such a big production on this tour. We joined them on tour on [Howling Bells’] first record, we’re talking 10 years ago, and that’s how the connections were made, but this is a whole other level. They were still big then though; they were always big. They just formed a band and were big, it just happens like that for some people.

How do you remember those shows?

They’d picked us for the tour, and we developed friendships back then. You’re pompous though aren’t you [at that age]? You’re ungrateful and you don’t recognise the good things that happen, and that’s just part of being young and being new. We had no idea, we just hopped on a plane and got here.

Are you appreciating it more second time around?

Oh my god yeah, are you kidding me? The older you get, the more deeply appreciative you become of everything. You have to have a certain level of obnoxiousness to survive [at the start] – you have to be overly confident in what you’re doing, and there has to be a sense of saying ‘I’m worth that’.

Then with us, there was a huge dive [in later records] and it’s humbling. But I feel like the ones who survive are the ones who learn to pick themselves back up again and now I’m here as a solo artist. Essentially, Brandon and Ronnie have watched me grow musically.

Are they fun tourmates?

As a posse, they’re really fun. It’s good to be with cool people, because there are a lot of dickheads in the industry. The coolest people end up being in the biggest bands; that’s been my experience. Then there’s no reason for them to be dicks, because what have you got left to left to prove when you’re in The Killers? You’re there.

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