DAILY UNIVERSE EXCLUSIVE
By Erin C. Pierce and Dan Monson
A little more than 10 years ago, the lead singer of the Killers was
hanging out in the Wilk playing pool with his brother. Though he was
never a BYU student like his brother Shane, Brandon Flowers
remembers visiting campus at a young age while growing up in Nephi.
"It was the taste of college that I'd never really get to have,"
said Flowers, lead singer of the chart-topping band. "The first
thing that comes to mind is playing pool and bowling somewhere on
campus. The jukebox was amazing - Boingo, Morrissey, New Order."
Now, that little brother has his own songs in jukeboxes, record
stores and CD collections around the world, and Brandon Flowers is
living his childhood dream, rising as an international music
sensation with his band's double-platinum debut "Hot Fuss," as his
brother cheers him on from his Utah home.
The Killers are currently nominated for three Grammys, and SPIN
magazine named the group band of the year in its January 2006 issue.
"Music makes my blood flow," Flowers said. "I don't know anyone who
doesn't have a favorite song. I just want to be the messenger."
Within a few short years Flowers went from being a Las Vegas club
singer to a major record label artist. His brother Shane said the
transition into stardom was not a natural thing for Brandon, but it
was a challenge he was up to.
"Obviously, it was something that happened so fast for him. He had
to learn how to be a performer, but he was up to it," Shane said.
"His songs were so good. He just needed to put the performance
aspect to it."
Shane said the performance aspect came along fairly quickly, but one
of the biggest shocks was when Brandon was asked by his and Shane's
longtime 80s musical idol Morrissey to open at his show.
"The huge kicker was a year and a half ago. He called me up when I
was living in Texas, and told me he was going to be opening for
Morrissey," Shane said. "I told him, 'You've got to be 100 percent
sure because I'm online. I'm going to buy my plane ticket right now;
my wife and I are coming.' It was midnight when he called me. He
goes, 'Hold on a sec, I'll call you right back.' Even he wanted to
make sure - he had to confirm it. He called me back 10 minutes later
and said excitedly, 'It's on, it's on.'"
Not only did Morrissey ask The Killers to open for him, he reserved
the best slots for them, on both opening and closing nights.
"It only seemed like yesterday we were going to Morrissey concerts
and had his posters on the wall. It was crazy," Shane said.
Posters of Brandon and The Killers now frequent the walls of the
Flowers family home in Santaquin. Brandon's 11-year-old nephew
Taylor said he gets plenty of attention in his 5th grade class.
"When I told some of my friends they didn't believe me," Taylor
said. "I showed my friends pictures [of Brandon] and an autograph at
my house. They think it's cool. One of my friends asked me for a
poster with an autograph, but I said no."
In media interviews, Brandon credits Shane for influencing him in
his music. Growing up, Shane's favorite 80s bands in turn became
Brandon's favorites as well. Even now, Shane is often the first to
hear the latest song Brandon is writing.
"Musically he is huge," Brandon said of his brother. "He started me
on The Cars at 12. I've learned so much from the music he chose to
show me. I would be a different person if I was enamored with
hip-hop. That is where my sense of purpose for The Killers comes
Shane's passions have always been music and golf, two things Brandon
"When it comes to influences, those would be my only ones. What he
does, it's just a gift," Shane said. "Whenever I wasn't home he'd
sneak into my room and listen to my music."
At a young age, Shane took Brandon to his first concert, furthering
Brandon's musical enthrallment.
"I remember taking him to a Morrissey concert when he was 15 or 16
years old. It was Halloween night," Shane said. "Morrissey's always
been my favorite and so there I was, oh man, I'm all excited. But he
was way more enthusiastic than I was. He was way more excited than I
was to be there, and I thought, 'Man, I thought I was a fan.'"
Despite the 12-year age difference, Brandon and Shane have remained
close over the years as the only two boys in a family of six
children. Shane accompanied Brandon on The Killers' European tour
with U2 this past summer. From helping Brandon re-glue rhinestones
on his keyboard backstage before the show, to starting piggyback
races against the other band mates, Shane was able to witness
firsthand and share in the real-life experiences of his brother's
Brandon is enjoying his band's chart-topping accomplishments so far
thanks to singles such as "Mr. Brightside" and "Somebody Told Me."
But Brandon said being on the top of the music scene is only part of
"Now we need to stay up here. That's the true challenge. But you
should see the view," Brandon said.
The Killers are expected to release their second album early this
summer. Kyle Anderson of SPIN magazine said Brandon's flashy
personality has largely contributed to the band's success so far.
"The one thing that I always tell people about Brandon is that he's
sort of made a career of being over the top, for the sake of being
outrageous. But he's really a very well-spoken, well put-together
guy," Anderson said. "He's hyper-aware of what he needs to say and
do in order to get attention, and he's done a tremendous job. I mean
my mom is aware of The Killers, which is always a good barometer if
your mom recognizes a song."
Brandon's personality is one of the band's defining features, but
the flashy personality the media often portray is only one side of
the Brandon his family and close friends know.
"He's a pretty quiet, shy kid, but he's funny as heck," Shane said.
Shane said Brandon also, obviously, is characterized by his deep
love for creating music.
"I hope people appreciate the work we do," Brandon said. "The songs
are so important to us."
From the nine-year-old boy playing pool at the BYU student center to
the now musical powerhouse performing with U2, Brandon has had quite
the journey. He achieved international stardom like the musical
icons he long idolized, but Brandon said he hopes to also acquire
the more subtle qualities of his other major influence, his brother
"My brother is one of those people everyone wants to be around. I
think he's got a great combination of goodness and coolness,"
Brandon said. "When you're the singer of a band, people only want
one of those qualities. So it's been difficult but I hope he rubbed