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Ronnie Vannucci


Ronnie Vannucci

Ronnie Vannucci, Jr.
Ronnie Vannucci
Background information
Birth name Ronald Vannucci, Jr.
Born (1976-02-15) February 15, 1976 (age 38)
Origin Las Vegas, Nevada
Genres Indie rock, Alternative rock, Post-punk revival, Alt-country, Country rock
Occupations Musician, songwriter
Instruments Drums, percussion, guitar, vocals, piano, keyboards, bass
Years active 2001–present
Labels Island, Epitaph
Associated acts The Killers, Big Talk, Mt. Desolation
Notable instruments
Craviotto Drums

Ronald "Ronnie" Vannucci, Jr. (born February 15th, 1976) is the drummer for the American rock band The Killers. He is also involved in a side project called Big Talk.

Personal life

Vannucci was born in Las Vegas to an American couple with Italian, French and German ancestry. He began drumming at the age of 6.[1] He was a part of his junior high school's jazz ensemble and later attended both Clark and Western High Schools. Vannucci played in various bands his first band was Purple Dirt, he then went on to drum for Ska-Punk band Attaboy Skip who enjoyed regional success in the mid 1990's, Free Food a cover band who played at Prisons and Homeless shelters in the Las Vegas area and Expert On October a band that also included Ted Sablay and Taylor Milne. [2]

He studied Classical percussion at the UNLV whilst also was working as a photographer at Chapel of the Flowers, a wedding chapel on the Las Vegas Strip. He was performing with Romance Fantasy when he met Dave Keuning and Brandon Flowers who had recently begun performing as The Killers, he joined The Killers in August 2002. The band would practise at Vannucci's garage and Ronnie would also sneak the band into the Alta Ham Fine Arts Building at UNLV at night to practise. He later finalized his B.A. at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas on May 14, 2011 while The Killers were on hiatus.[3]

He is married to Lisa Vannucci with whom he lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Park City, Utah. The Vannuccis were married May 2, 2003, they have one pet dog, a boxer named Archie. Archie gained notoriety during the recording of Big Talk, when Vannucci would frequently tweet pictures of him in the studio. He also enjoys ranching in his free time.[4]

Vannucci has previously and does currently help write The Killers hit songs (including "When You Were Young", "Believe Me Natalie", "Spaceman", "Bones", "Miss Atomic Bomb", "A Dustland Fairytale", "Human", "Somebody Told Me", "On Top", etc.).

Vannucci was featured on the cover of Drummer Magazine in June 2009[5] and on the cover of Rhythm Magazine in October 2006 (where he was dubbed "pop's dymanic showman") and again in November 2008.[6][7] He has also been featured in Modern Drummer Magazine in March 2009,[1] and in Drumhead Magazine in September and again in October 2008.[8][9] He featured on the cover of Rhythm Magazine in October 2012. He was also featured on the cover of Modern Drummer Magazine in February 2013.[10]

Vannucci won in the 2006 and 2007 Modern Drummers Reader Polls.[11][12] He was listed at #49 on NME's Cool List of 2011.

Big Talk

It was announced on February 1, 2011 that Ronnie Vannucci Jr. had recorded a solo album during The Killers' hiatus. Fans were also notified via The Killers' fansite, The Victims, on February 2, 2011. Rumors formed stating that Vannucci was creating a solo album while The Killers went on hiatus well before that.[13]

The album is titled Big Talk aiming with tongue and cheek at the abundance of music being put out by labels before it's being fully prepared. NME named the album #24 on its Best Albums of 2011 list. The album was mixed by Alan Moulder and recorded in London with Joe Chiccarelli as producer. Matt Sharp and long time friend Taylor Milne were enlisted to help record the album.[14] Little Oil / Epitaph Records confirmed on May 5, 2011 the release of Big Talk will be July 12, 2011. The debut solo album by The Killers’ Ronnie Vannucci - and the name of his band as well as the record - Big Talk was preceded by a single, Getaways, on May 10.


Vannucci currently uses Craviotto Drum Company drums, DW 9000 Series pedals and hardware with Zildjian cymbals and Remo drum heads, his cymbals from left to right of his set-up are:

  • 18" K Constantinople Crash/A Breakbeat Ride used as Hi-hats
  • 20" A Custom Ride with rivets
  • 24" K Light Ride
  • 20" Swish Knocker with Rivets
  • 22" K Light Ride

Note: Craviotto, Drum Workshop, Zildjian, Remo, Protection Racket (drum cases), and Latin Percussion are currently some of Vannucci 's sponsors.[15][16][17] Zildjian has also produced the Ronnie Vannucci Artist Series Drumstick in recognition of Vannucci's work as a musician to further drumming play.[18]

Craviotto Set-Up: Identical Maple and Mahogany wood kits.

  • 24x14 bass drum
  • 14x6.5 snare drum
  • 13x9 rack tom
  • 16x16 floor tom
  • 18x16 floor tom

Playing style

Vannucci mainly plays with his kit set up using a jazz technique with a high stool and hitched-up snare stand. He attributes this to his 6'1" frame, a former teacher who whipped him, and the examples of great drummers including Mitch Mitchell and many jazz performers.[5]

He is known for crashing his hi-hats, skillful sixteenth notes, and a fluid playing style. Drummer Magazine labels them a "few distinctive hallmarks [that] help characterize Ronnie's style".[5]

Vannucci and his band mate, bassist Mark Stoermer, have what they consider a rewarding relationship musically. Of Stoermer, Vannucci has said, "He almost intuitively knows what I am going to play and his parts are so rhythmic its a joy to dance around him I really enjoy thinking up parts with him. . . it works very well for us."[5]


Vannucci cites influences such as jazz legend Papa Jo Jones, Mitch Mitchell of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Keith Moon of The Who, and John Bonham of Led Zeppelin.[5] He also lists as influences The Cure, U2, Depeche Mode and more modern drummers including Charley Drayton, Steve Jordan, and Ahmir Thompson.[8][19]



External links

  • Island Records
  • The Killers official site (U.K.), from the Vertigo label
  • Big Talk official site
  • Big Talk Facebook Page
  • Ronnie Vannucci Jr Facebook Fan Group
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