It's Killer Time
Find out what the Hot Fuss is about.

By Tom Lanham

The Wave Magazine

Talk about things coming full circle. Just a few years ago, a bright young Las Vegas bellhop named Brandon Flowers was toting hotel-guest bags and dreaming of the rock 'n' roll good life. Then a friend slipped him a ticket to an Oasis show at the local Hard Rock venue, and the kid was off and running. ''That show changed my life,'' he recalls. ''I wasn't even a fan of Oasis, but I walked in for the last three songs, heard 'Don't Look Back In Anger' with people screaming along to it, and that was it.''He formed a band the same week, dubbed it The Killers, and started penning his own crowd-wowing anthems like ''Mr. Brightside'' and ''Somebody Told Me.''And the rest, as they say, is history – the band's debut, Hot Fuss, went on to become a surprise chart-topping hit. And Flowers went on to eventually hobnob with his idol, Oasis Svengali Noel Gallagher. Backstage at the recent Download Festival, the singer paused to assess his run of good fortune.

The Wave: So you've become pals with Noel, eh? And you're one of the few contemporary bands he claims to like.
Brandon Flowers: Yeah, I know! And the highlight of my life is Noel saying to me that he'd learned all these things that I'd done on guitar. Because a year-and-a-half before I met him, I was sitting on my bed at home, learning ''Don’t Look Back In Anger.'' So to come all the way around to where he's on his bed, learning one of our songs – I mean, I'm done. I could be done right now. I could tell my kids that story and I'd be happy.

TW: Your songs are not only pop hits, they're played on dance radio stations, too. Even Bernard Sumner from New Order is singing your praises.
BF: I know. I got to go sing ''Crystal'' with New Order in Scotland. It was wonderful. And they knew that we took our name from that video, the ''Crystal'' video. And there's been a lot of weird stuff like that happening. But being next to New Order onstage and things like that are what we're here for. As classic rock moves into its new phase, you're starting to hear Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots on classic rock stations, and Metallica, even. But in 20 years, I want it to be us – you'll start to hear The Killers on classic rock.

TW: And to think, you started out at a seedy Vegas hotel, voicemailing song ideas to your bandmates via the hotel bellphone.
BF: And well, you don't know if the world’s gonna receive you or not. And all of these strange things I'd done? I remember I sang song choruses from that phone into Dave our guitarist’s cellphone, and that's literally how we would write songs.

TW: ''Mr. Brightside'' kinda gives a lost-in-love impression. You settled down with anybody yet?
BF: I'm married, yeah. Since August 2.

TW: When getting hitched, everybody else runs away to Vegas. So where does a guy who lives in Vegas go?
BF: We went to Hawaii. But we had a show there, and I just did it while we were there. And in a couple of years, I think we'll have a kid. But right now, I'm gonna wait.

TW: What other stars have you met who surprised you by turning out to be Killers fans?
BF: Elton John. And he's the best. You know, he does this show in Vegas now, so whenever we're home and he's doing his show, he gets bored because he's cooped up in a hotel and he wants to go do something. So we'll go off to his show – we've done it a few times – and we'll eat dinner with him afterwards. And it's a nice change of pace for him. And he's the coolest fan – he knows everything about every new band, he's totally on top of it, and he knows what he likes, what he doesn't like, and why he likes us. It's really cool. He said he likes that we have soul – it's in our rhythm section and our songs.

TW: Well, you can't get much bigger than Bernard Sumner, either. He cites The Killers in almost every interview as one of the few bands carrying on the elite, New Order tradition.
BF: I'll tell you something. A story I've never told before. We were at the NME Awards, the awards show in Britain, and we were all wasted. And I'm at the urinal, because, well, men go to the urinal, we have to do it. But Bernard creeps up and starts singing ''Somebody Told Me'' in my ear, and that was so surreal – I look around and it's Bernard Sumner going, ''Brandon, I just love that single!'' And I don't know what else I can do now. We've reached a point where it’s like, we don't know where we can go from here. But we’re definitely gonna try and go there.