There’s something about Brandon Flowers. It’s not his name -“ unlikely as that is -“ and it’s not his quiet, off-stage Mormon life. The lead singer of pop princes The Killers has that -¦ something that makes a pretty young man with a decent voice a star.
Perhaps it’s his Simon LeBon voice. Perhaps it’s something you only get growing up in one of the queerest places on Earth (Flowers worked as a bellboy at Las Vegas’s Gold Coast Hotel -“ a hotel with a 70-lane bowling alley -“ before the band found its feet). Whatever it is, Flowers is a star.
It doesn’t hurt that his band has such a knack for writing hits. The first single of The Killers’ debut Hot Fuss is a chronic earworm called Somebody Told Me in which Flowers notes: Somebody told me, that you had a boyfriend, who looks like a girlfriend, that I had in February of last year.
That song propelled the band onto radios and into Australian heads enough to sell out their Sydney show weeks before they touched down (The Killers performed at the Enmore Theatre on Saturday 18 December). They’re at least a two-hit wonder, though. Their next single Mr Brightside is getting significant radio play and is similarly fast and poppy.
The Killers -“ they’re named after the imaginary younger and better-looking band in a New Order video -“ come from Las Vegas. All four of them grew up in the desert oasis, a point that is made regularly in all of their promotional material. As Flowers says, it’s hard for them to get Las Vegas out of their music, even if they don’t really know what Las Vegas music sounds like.
A lot of people say we sound like a Las Vegas band, but I’m not sure, Flowers says.
I’m not sure what we sound like. But Las Vegas might have an impact on our live shows -“ growing up seeing Wayne Newton and Siegfried and Roy and all of these larger than life things, we’ve definitely put that into our live performance. You grow up seeing these people perform, I mean, not every day, it’s like a treat. But you see them on billboards and everywhere all the time.
With our live shows I always want to do something extraordinary. And I think that might come from us being from Las Vegas.
The Killers have been compared to (make that, accused of stealing from) a lot of bands. Flowers says such comparisons are inevitable -“ it’s almost impossible to make a pop song that sounds entirely original any more.
I would like to be innovative in whatever way I can, he says.
But whatever you do, there’s already been so many wonderful songs written. It would be a shame if people said -˜this song is obviously ripping off Ashes To Ashes’. Or -˜this song is definitely Duran Duran’s Planet Earth’. It’s not that. David Bowie is one of my influences, and that comes out every now and again. It’s just something that’s in your psyche.
Of the hype surrounding The Killers, Flowers is fairly blas?I hope we can outlive it all, he says.
We don’t go home and bask in fame. We’re just playing bigger shows now and we’ll see how far it goes.