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
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
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.