In the wide-ranging interview, they discuss stories and inspirations behind some of The Killers’ most iconic songs and lyrics like mega-hit “Mr. Brightside,” important lessons learned from his idols like Lou Reed, Elton John, and Bruce Springsteen, and religion. Flowers also teased a new album and anniversary tour during the conversation. Check out the conversation below.
Brandon and Zane chatted about some of the best Greatest Hits albums ever. Said Flowers, “So what’s funnily enough for me, my introduction to some of the bands that shaped me was through Best-ofs. I know it’s a little bit frowned upon, but my first cassette that I went and spent money on was the Cars’ Greatest Hits. So it’s a nice, easy, approachable way to a band, for starters. And it allowed us, like you referenced, to also shine a light on some songs that have taken on a whole other journey than they were meant to early on. And then also some songs that maybe didn’t see as much light as we’d hoped, maybe because of Covid or whatever it was.”
Flowers also touched on “Mr. Brightside,” explaining, “I remember me and Dave [Keuning] had written ‘Mr. Brightside,’ but we didn’t have a drummer yet. And so there was this moment where we were just at a guy’s house who was trying out to be the drummer for The Killers. And we said, ‘We have this song and it’s about this tempo.’ And we showed him ‘Mr. Brightside.’
“And so it was my first time hearing it with a beat. It had some heat and I was on the bass because I can hold down eighth notes on a bass. That’s about all I can do very well, very well. I had been touched, I had been touched by music for some time at that point, but never my own. And I’m hearing this song and singing this song for the first time and my hairs are standing up and I’m like, ‘This is wild. This is our song.’ Once you feel that it’s tough to turn around and want to do anything else.
The Killers frontperson also discussed advice he learned from Lou Reed, who the band collaborated with on “Tranquilize.” Says Flowers, “The lessons I’ve learned over the years, so we did on our B-side record, we have a song called ‘Tranquilize’ we did with Lou Reed. And there’s this amazing moment where we’re filming the video, everybody’s on the location and I’m in a room, it’s just me and Lou. And he came in his street clothes, but he’s getting ready for the video and he’s leathered out, just like leather pants, leather boots, leather jacket.
“And me and him are in the room alone and there’s a big mirror and he looks at himself, he’s got sunglasses on, the whole thing, and he points at himself and he says, ‘I wish I was that guy.’ My whole world shifted. Here’s Lou Reed. So I feel like I want to keep it for myself, but I think people should hear that story.