Bran­don flow­ers

Exclaim! - - QUESTIONNAIRE - IAN GORMELY

THE ROAD TO WONDERFULWONDERFUL, the first new al­bum from the Killers in five years, was long and wind­ing. In the years since Bat­tle Born, mem­bers in­dulged in a se­ries of side-projects be­fore set­ting to work with pro­duc­ers Stu­art Price and Jack­nife Lee. Af­ter sev­eral false starts, they found the key to the fu­ture in the past; a tour cel­e­brat­ing the tenth an­niver­sary of Sam’s Town con­vinced front­man Bran­don Flow­ers that the band’s fifth al­bum needed to be built around a com­mon cen­tre.

With bass player Mark Sto­er­mer and gui­tarist Dave Ke­un­ing both bow­ing out of tour­ing du­ties, Flow­ers seized the op­por­tu­nity to make his most per­sonal al­bum to date, ru­mi­nat­ing on mod­ern mas­culin­ity and where he sees him­self in that con­tin­uum as he moves from the swing­ing brag­gado­cio of lead sin­gle “The Man,” to more ten­der fare, like “Some Kind of Love.”

What has been your most mem­o­rable or in­spi­ra­tional gig and why?

If I went to a gig that I was fully in­vested in, that I was go­ing to pay money for — and I was re­ally re­cep­tive to spir­i­tual ex­pe­ri­ences, you know, I wanted it — I had such a rev­er­ence for the singers. I was so ex­cited to see peo­ple like Mor­ris­sey and Robert Smith and be breath­ing the same air and be in the same room as Dave Ga­han, so ev­ery con­cert I went to in my teenage years was special to me. Now, it’s changed so much. I’m the singer of a band and peo­ple aren’t con­tent with just be­ing in a room with you any­more. It’s not just an au­to­graph, it’s a selfie and you can’t take it with the whole group, it’s got to be ev­ery­body on their own. I once went to the Hard Rock be­cause I heard Martin Gore was at the Cir­cle Bar at the Hard Rock, and I went and just watched him. I just wanted to get a glimpse of him and his hair and see what kind

of a jacket he was wear­ing. I guess I had a dif­fer­ent ap­proach to it all.

What have been your ca­reer highs and lows?

We’ve had a lot of boxes checked. In the early days it would have been get­ting a record deal, open­ing for Mor­ris­sey, hav­ing a num­ber one record in Eng­land and things like that — those things were re­ally ex­cit­ing. We played Wem­b­ley Sta­dium on the last tour and that was some­thing that ev­ery band dreams about. See­ing that re­al­ized is pretty in­de­scrib­able.

What’s the mean­est thing ever said to you be­fore, dur­ing or af­ter a gig?

Af­ter we played the Elec­tric Ball­room in Lon­don in 2006, I read the Rolling Stone review of Sam’s Town. [The review reads, in part: “The Killers leave no pompous arena cliché un­tweaked in their quest to re­write ‘Born to Run’ — even though one of the rea­sons Spring­steen’s a genius is that he’s never tried to re­write ‘Born to Run’ him­self… They seem like they’re try­ing to make a big state­ment, ex­cept they have noth­ing to say.”] That’s the mean­est thing I guess.

What ad­vice should you have taken, but did not?

I had a pretty big mouth in the early days. El­ton John ba­si­cally told me to stop it and keep my head down. That’s how he said it. I think I even­tu­ally got there. Don’t be draw­ing so much at­ten­tion to your­self and let the songs do the talk­ing. It took me a long time to do that, I don’t know why, but it was the right ad­vice.

What’s your idea of a per­fect Sun­day?

Some of my favourite days in my life are when I’ve gone on five or six hour hikes and then get back into town and go to Cae­sar’s Palace for din­ner or some­thing like that. I guess I kind of like that con­trast of be­ing able to mix those things.

What was the first LP/cas­sette/ CD/ eight track you ever bought with your own money?

The Cars’ Great­est Hits on cas­sette. Songs like “Just What I Needed” and “Tonight She Comes” — those were the songs that spoke to me at that age. Grunge was in full swing,

“El­ton John told me to keep my head down.”

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