The Killers are technically in between albums, but they’re tiding hungry fans over with a New Moon tune and a live CD/DVD that hits stores today. The Music Mix reached frontman Brandon Flowers at home in Las Vegas to chat about all this and more a few days before the band launched an overseas tour. Read on for our Q&A.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Live From the Royal Albert Hall is your first live album. What made you want to do it now?
BRANDON FLOWERS: It felt like a good time to do it, I guess. Sometimes I worry that we didn’t do it earlier. We’ll never capture what it was like when we first started playing. We might have been a little green, but we’ll never have that again. So I guess now is a better time than never.
Is there footage of those old shows off in a vault somewhere that you could try to release?
Over in the U.K., the BBC, they’re masters of filming live bands for festivals. So there’s quite a bit of that stuff from our early days, I think, but never a full show. Anyhow, we’re really happy with how this turned out. I think for our first live DVD, it’s pretty solid.
Was this a special show for you guys?
Yeah, London’s always been very good to us. They opened their arms to us before anybody else did. And Royal Albert Hall is a very iconic and special place. I grew up watching Morrissey videos that he had filmed there. So it was really exciting to be a part of it.
Why else should people check out your live album?
I think people will be quite surprised if they watch it. More and more people that I meet that come to their first Killers show have almost an overwhelming sense of ignorance, really. I don’t think they realize what’s happening with us and the impact that we’re having. There’s actually a great positive atmosphere. We’ve become a pretty good live band.
The DVD part of Live From the Royal Albert Hall is getting a theatrical release. What was the thinking behind that?
I don’t know, it was just an idea that we threw around. If a band that I liked was going to be at the movies, I think I would go see it. [Laughs]
Do you have any favorite live albums?
My favorite is called The Main Event. It’s Frank Sinatra at Madison Square Garden. That was something that I really wore out when I was about 16. It reminded me of Las Vegas. [Laughs] It was when I was still in Utah, so it was kind of wishful listening.… I only hear those songs in those arrangements. If I hear somebody covering [a Sinatra song], or I hear another version of Sinatra doing it, I’m always singing the wrong part because I’m so used to the way that he did it that night.
Is Sinatra a big influence on you?
Yeah, I mean, I would say I live with the ghosts of Frank Sinatra and Elvis here in Las Vegas. They were classy — at times. [Laughs] There was a lot more class, I think, in general, than there is today. So I romanticize that.
You have a song on the New Moon soundtrack. How did that come together?
They approached us. We had this song that didn’t end up making it onto the new album – the band’s a democracy, so it was a split decision. It’s called “A White Demon Love Song.” We thought [the soundtrack] was a good opportunity to get that song out there. It kind of fit perfectly with the movie.
Have you read any of the Twilight books, or seen the movies?
I saw the first movie. I thought it was all right. I love vampires.
Have you enjoyed any of the other vampire-related pop culture phenomena lately?
I saw The Vampire’s Assistant a couple days ago, with John C. Reilly. I’ve seen True Blood. I loved Interview with the Vampire. That came out when I was 13. I think I was a vampire for about four Halloweens in a row. I’ve always leaned toward the dark side, I guess.
Do you have Halloween plans this year?
It’s the first year that my son Ammon has a grasp on what’s going on – at least that he can go to a door and get candy. We’re excited. My wife carved an Elmo pumpkin, and that graces the front of our house. It’s pretty amazing. You get these stencils, and it looks just like Elmo when you light the sucker up.
Have you had any time to think about making a new Killers album?
We’re always trying to write songs. But right now we’ve got a month and a half of touring, South America and South Africa. That’s what’s on the brain.
Is there any music you’ve been listening to recently that’s really grabbed you?
Chairlift. They’ve been on the road with us. I love their music. The guitar player, Aaron, I’ve told him before, it reminds me of the desert, the way he plays. That’s something that I try to capture myself in Killers songs. I’m a little jealous that he does it so effortlessly.
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