Driving around Las Vegas in his shiny new black Volkswagen Touareg -- with twenty-two-inch rims and Elton John's "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" blaring on the stereo -- the Killers' frontman Brandon Flowers told the Smoking Section all about the follow-up to the triple-platinum Hot Fuss. "It's more American," he says. "People called us the best English band to come from America and all that shit. That's cool, and English rock is great, but it's forced me to listen to American music to see what I was missing." So Flowers studied Bruce Springsteen's layering techniques on "Thunder Road" and dug the economy of Tom Petty. Beginning on February 15th, the band has booked the spanking-new studio at the Palms hotel to start running down new songs such as "The River Is Wild," "Peace of Mind" and "For Reasons Unknown" with producers Flood and Alan Moulder. In the meantime, the Killers are contemplating the addition of a new member, a guy named Ted who plays guitar and piano. ("I don't even know his last name," says Flowers.) But don't expect to see Ted onstage at the next Killers gig. "What do we do, hide him?" says Flowers. "At this point people are used to, or sick of, the four of us -- one of the two."