Q Magazine June 2008 -Thanks to OrangeBlossom for the scans and typing it up!

 

Q&A THE KILLERS

Brandon Flowers is en route to Reading and Leeds. Minus cowboy hat, but still replete with facial hair.

Hello Brandon. Itís festival time = are you taking tumbleweed and cowboy hats again?
Weíre not and Iím going to miss that. With the Samís town tour it felt like we actually brought the music and the place to every country. I feel like weíve shown the world Las Vegas isnít just about the strippers and hookers. Itís tumbleweed and goats, too.

What songs can we expect to hear?
Weíll be doing some Samís Town songs, but the idea is to play some totally new tracks. In fact, we had a very emotional day when we finished the Samís Town world tour. We took the tumbleweed from the tour back out into the desert and let it go. It needed to be liberated.

Howís the album sounding?
No title, just a few demos. Itís sounding like four guys standing in various living rooms getting ideas together. When youíre making music, anything can seep in. I just saw this guy drive past earlier who had blue skin. He drinks a medicinal potion called colloidal silver and itís turned him blue. Now thatís a great story for a song.

Have you got the widescreen Americana thing out of your system?
I think so. Itís good to have phases and Samís Town grew from a feeling to a song to a whole album Ė and then the outfits and tumbleweed. So far we havenít got a concept to hang the new album on.

Can you give me a taster?
I canít wait to do Tidal Wave, which is a pop song with a vein of Drive-In Saturday by David Bowie. Itís also a bit like I drove All Night by Roy Orbison.

Do you still have facial hair?
I do. Iím at a pivotal moment, though. Tana (Flowerís wife) likes it, but the baby (nine-month old Ammon) doesnít so much. When I snuggle up to him, it prickles and he really starts to bawl. I canít really blame him because until I was 10 years old I believed that any man with a beard would kidnap me.

Thereís your album concept; fatherhood.
Well, you say that, and I listened to Kate Bushís This Womanís Work (from soundtrack to 1988ís Sheís having a Baby) recently, which I think was about her baby (actually about confronting parenthood). Itís incredibly powerful. But we wonít do an album about fatherhood. In fact, my criticism of Samís Town is that I neglected my ability to tell a story. On Mr Brightside and JWAFOM you could follow the narrative all the want through. I want to get back to that.

Stuart Price, who has worked with Madonna and Seal, is producing. Are you dragging him to Las Vegas, or is he dragging you to London?

Neither. We use the internet. We demo and send it to him. Then he calls back and we talk about it. Itís really doing wonders for our carbon footprint.

What music are you listening to at the moment?
American radio is much more conservative that in the UK. In Vegas we have Jack FM and Jill FM. Seriously a classic rock station for guys and another for girls. Today I was listening to a bit of Fleetwood Mac, a bit of Peter Gabriel and then Oingo Boingo. But you canít take any hints as to what weíll be doing from that.

This year youíre headlining Reading and Leeds. Last year it was Glastonbury. You didnít enjoy that, did you?
WellÖ.there were sound problems and itís such a big show that I think we felt overawed. But then we did TITP, the pressure was off and we agreed it was the highlight of our career so far. The crowd were amazing. We felt we could do no wrong. That was the first time I ever thought. ďWow, this is what itís like being in U2!Ē

Can Jay-Z bring the glitz and glamour to Glastonbury this year?
I donítí know what I think about that. All I do know is that Iím against gansta rap. I donít even know if Jay-Z does gansta rap. Itís not uplifting to people who listen to it. We have a big problem with violence in America, and when you live with the reality of that itís hard to enjoy music that endorses it. But thatís ďBrandon Flowers of Las VegasĒ talking not ďBrandon Flowers of The KillersĒ

Whatís been your best festival experience?
From as sheer mind-blowing natural phenomenon point of view it would have to be the festival we did in Norway in the summer. In southern Norway the sun sets for two hours. We headlined and we came off just as it was getting dark. We dried off and I went to see Bright Eyes and 1a, just as it was getting light. It was incredibly moving.

Are you still doing your own laundry on the road?
Yes I am. I am very particular about the way I do my T-Shirts especially. The moment I take them out of the dryer is very precise. Everyone else nukesíem. I like them still a little damp.

Come on, a rock star washing his own smalls. Only Morrissey can make that work.
Maybe. The thing is, I trust my wife with my laundry, but thatís it. Touring is a crazy whirlwind and sometimes itís nice to have a little something that makes you feel like youíre still in control.

 

 

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