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Brandon Flowers Says He Tossed The Killers’ New Album to Start Over

Aug 30, 2023

The Killers have been filling arenas for nearly two decades with their signature soaring rock anthems about strivers, dead-enders and dreamers searching for the heart of the American spirit. But if singer Brandon Flowers is to be believed, those days are over.

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In an interview with England’s The Times, the 42-year-old frontman said despite just dropping the Depeche Mode-like yearning synth rock single “Your Side of Town,” from now on the band is looking forward and leaving their patented sound in the past.

“Halfway through recording I realized, ‘I can’t do this,’” Flowers told the paper about the song that was meant to appear on the band’s upcoming as-yet-untitled eighth studio album. “This isn’t the kind of record… I think this will be the… I don’t think you’ll see us making this type of music any more.”

Described as being nervous while discussing the creative break with the past — “Your Side of Town” has whiffs of the band’s new wave-inspired smash 2004 debut, Hot Fuss — Flowers admitted that he’s had a change of heart since the Killers released 2021’s concept record Pressure Machine. The latter was a collection of very personal Nebraska-era Springsteen-style Americana story songs inspired by the singer’s childhood in Nephi, Utah.

“This is the crisis I’m in,” Flowers said of the crossroads he finds himself at. “The Killers are my identity and our songs fill the seats, but I’m more fulfilled making music like Pressure Machine. I found a side of myself writing it that was strong. This was the guy I’d been looking for! I’m as proud of Hot Fuss as you can be for something you did when you were 20, but I’m not 20. So I’m thinking about the next phase of my life.”

Flowers said he’s simply a “different person” now and that “it’ll be difficult to go back,” suggesting that he’d like to make more emotional music that could play well in smaller rooms. “It is a conflict. It is just, well, at what point do I make that change?” he said. “Who in the band wants to do that too? No matter what, there will always be people who look at me and just think of Somebody Told Me. And I get that. But I’m interested in evolving.”

The interview also touched on a recent incident in Georgia, in which Flowers brought up a Russian fan and caused a bit of an international incident when he asked fans if it was okay and got roundly booed by the citizens of the nation that was partially invaded by Russia in 2008.

“I had to calm an impossible situation. We want our concerts to be communal and I had no idea words I was taught my entire life to represent a unity of the human family could be taken as being pro-Russian occupation,” he said of the attempt at reaching across the divide with a speech about brotherhood that fell flat. “We’re sad how this played out.”

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