The Killers and Glastonbury
NME Magazine May 26,2007
The Las Vegans are headlining-count 'em-four festivals this summer but their hearts will always be in a muddy somerset field
If next month's Glastonbury is to be your inauguration to the festival then it's likely that you'll be experiencing a number of firsts.Your first ostrich burger,for example.The first time you've staggered into a campsite full of strangers who ae naked but for patches of mud.or, if you're really unlucky-and ill-prepared to boot the first time you've ever been forced to fork out 150 for a pair of wellingtons.
All valid pops of the great Glasto cherry of course,but for Brandon Flowers,his fondest Glastonbury first proved more memorable than,say,the first time he had to clamber out of a K-hole to a soundtrack of bad trance.Much,much more,"The moment I remember clearly is just walking out on that stage."he says of The Killers first Glastonbury experience in 2004."I don't even remember that much of the performance.we'd been touring in America and hadnt really been in England much,but we came over in the summer to play some festivals.Something had happened while we were gone-the love of the killers had seriously elevated or something because the place was going crazy.And when we walked out onstage,I don't remember ever having felt like that before.We were totally embraced by everyone there-it sort of caught us off guard And I felt like a rock star for the first time."
If you ever needed proof that genuinly magical-as opposed to just illegal,immoral and downright ill-advised-things can happen when festival fever takes hold.there it is.The Killers are playing four of the buggers this year(T in the park,Oxygen,and V complete the set).but for Brandon,Glastonbury will have special significance.Two years ago the band passed on the headline slot vacated by Kylie.citing the fact that they "hadnt earned it yet" this year they return to fill it.How does that feel?
"Well,we're looking foward to it." laughs Brandon."we always talk about our last Glastonbury appearance being one of those few monumental gigs that you'll ever play.so we're hoping to be able to keep the ball rollling with this one.we felt confident about ourselves last time because we were'nt headlining,but this time we're on our second album,we've got more tunes to play-we feel like we can handle it this time around.it feels strange,though,when you think that someone like Paul McCartney did it a few years ago.or even The Who doing it this year.it's unreal.
"I havent been around for that long so I havent seen that many amazing festival performances,but I'll always remember Paul McCartney at Glastonbury in 2004,it was a great big deal for me-it was a huge thing to see one of the fab four live.Because i'm from America,I didnt realise at first how the beatles,are percieved in England.I guess a lot of people are bored of them .but to us,they're a massive deal.so that show was pretty special."
The Killers will certainly have to drum up something pretty spectacular to top Macca's now-legendary 2004 appearance,but if there are any nerves,Brandon certainly isnt about to betray them in fact,you'd be forgiven for thinking tat it was the furthest thing from his mind.
"if there are to be any surprises,"he says."we certainly havent conjured the up yet maybe they'll come,so far,the only thing i've thought about with regards to the festivals we're playing is what outfit I'm going to be wearing,no,that's not true,we dont wanna do the same thing everytime,but we've only got two albums and you can't really mix it up so much,you know? Hopefully those songs will be enought to get us through.I don't know if we'll be playing any new songs.I don't know if they'll be ready by then.we have a lot in the works at the moment,but none that we're ready to play in front of people yet.hopefully we'll have a good cover sorted"
As massive gigs go,the top slot on the Pyramid stage takes some beating,but it's not just the enormity of Glastonbury that's whetted Brandon's appetite for it.No,he's become embrolled in the whole glastonbury experience,herbal ecstasy,comedy stilts,the all encompassing Somerset zen that permeates worth farm,the whole shebang.
"well it's just like christmas really,isnt it?in America we believe in God and have christmas,in England everything is more secular.it's like you guys believe in Glastonbury and that's beautiful.i've never seen such an exciting scene.it's completely magical,like there's something in the air,i guess,that's not to bring down the other festivals,at all bringing people together for music is always a positive thing.but Glastonbury is just special."
Even a festival juggernaut as well oiled as The Killers encounters the odd bump in teh road.Although abandoning your guitarist at a little chef along the way could be classed as a fairly big bump."we did manage to leave Dave at a service station on the way to a festival once.that's true,but we leave Dave all over the place,that wasnt an isolated incident.He disappears off into his little bubble and doesnt come back,he's very often here in body,but not totally in mind.the last place we left him?A strip club,he didnt seem to mind"
And despite his celebrity mormon status,Brandon and his bandmates arent above embracing the chaotic festival spirit(s) with everyone else."I remember a couple of years back,I was with a band from liverpool called Teh Black Velvets,Anyway they were friends of ours and we were both playing Glastonbury and they showed me a good time afterwards.I don't even remember most of it.we were doing everthing from poppers to firecrackers,man!"