The Killers to do list:Lawsut,Long form video,beef with the
One year ago, Brandon Flowers was busting his
tail as a bellhop at Las Vegas' Gold Coast Hotel and Casino.
He's since traded in the brass buttons and goofy cap for a
synthesizer and a mic as the glittery frontman for the
Killers, the shimmering
the new new wave.But it's not like his job stress has
See, less than five minutes ago, Flowers turned on his
laptop to discover "a really terrible e-mail" from the
band's former drummer, claiming that he wrote their current
hit single, "Mr. Brightside." Flowers who genuinely
sounded pained by the whole thing — tried to explain what
happened in slow, careful tones.
"This guy who was in my band a long time ago is trying to
sue us," he sighed. "We wrote 'Mr. Brightside' a long, long
time ago, when we had a different drummer. He had nothing to
do with it, but his wife is a lawyer, so she just sent a
letter to our lawyer. Wow. You always hear about people
coming out of the woodwork once you get big, but this is ...
That's what happens when you go from being a
fashionable-yet-unknown act from Las Vegas to a platinum
synth-rock machine within one calendar year, with only one
album under your belt.
That album, Hot Fuss, has steadily climbed up the
Billboard albums chart based on the strength of the
singles "Somebody Told Me" and "Mr. Brightside." And because
of the Killers' success, they've not only become popular
lawsuit targets, but they've also kicked off an
industry-wide signing binge not seen since the glory days of
grunge. Basically, each and every act with some makeup and
some synthesizers is getting boatloads of cash from major
labels. And that, too, makes Flowers' head hurt.
"Look at a band like the Bravery. They're signed because
we're a band," Flowers said. "I've heard rumors about
[members of] that band being in a different kind of band,
and how do you defend that? If you say, 'My heart really
belongs to what I'm doing now,' but you used to be in a ska
band. I can see the Strokes play or Franz Ferdinand play and
it's real, and I haven't gotten that from the Bravery. I
think people will see through them."
And it doesn't stop with the lawsuits or the imitators.
There's also the issue of the video for "Smile Like You Mean
It," the third single from Hot Fuss. The band shot
the clip in England, and, well, Flowers isn't too happy with
it. To say the least.
"It's very English-looking. It goes through the story of a
house over a 20-year period of time. It's got a sentimental
feel about it, but I don't really love the video, I'm really
not too happy with it," he said. "But what can you do? I
mean, they're releasing the song as a rock single, and it's
the least-rocking song we have. It's a mid-tempo song."
With or without Flowers' stamp of approval, the video for
"Smile" will begin making the rounds soon. In the meantime,
the Killers are planning a much different form of video
a long-form one, to be exact. Production on the clip
which will expand on the love,and,murder mini-story
contained in two of Fuss' tracks ("Jenny Was a Friend
of Mine" and "Midnight Show"), plus one unreleased song
("Leave the Bourbon on the Shelf"), has been given the green
light by Island Records, and Flowers hopes shooting will get
under way later this year. And he's also got his eye on a
leading man for the whole thing.
"I'd love to get James Spader to be in it, and we're trying
to pin him down now. Basically, it's the tale of a girl
leaving her boyfriend and him killing her and then getting
caught," he explained. "To film it, we need a body of water,
maybe [Las Vegas'] Lake Mead. We'd like to take the thing to
Sundance or put it on a DVD or something. It's all a matter
of time before we shoot it."
Until then, the Killers are hitting the road for a
headlining tour, which starts April 11 in Phoenix.
Flowers said that fans can
look forward to hearing a couple of new songs that'll be
worked into the set, which the band will be previewing
before it hits the studio in September.
"One new song is called 'Where Is She,' it's got a great
feel, some great harmonies on it. We didn't do enough
harmonies on our first album, so you're gonna hear more of
that on the second album — those Police-esque harmonies,"
Flowers explained. "And we're playing other new songs —
'Higher and Higher,' 'Daddy's Eyes,' 'It's Only Natural' —
that will make it onto the second album. You can't drift too
far off the first record, but these songs are what the new
album will sound like. A bit more organic, with organs and
pianos. We don't want to be 'that [synth] band' forever.
We'll let someone else be that."