The Killers’ Brandon Flowers Reveals Why Rejecting Bandmates Songs Led To ‘Frustration’

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The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers was asked what the hallmark of a successful song is in a new Creative Independent interview, and it led him to open up about frustrating his bandmates.

“What does it have to do? It’s tough. If I’m ranking how successful a song is, at least in my mind, I feel like I write a lot of solid 6’s and 7’s. I guess when it goes up above there and it sticks around for a while, that is when you know that you’re onto something.

When I’m on stage I feel like I have to be a salesman, so if I don’t believe in a song, it’s not going to make it. I won’t be able to sell it. That is pretty controversial within our band because there are songs that don’t make it that the other guys might like. I have to tell them, ‘Really, I can’t. It’s nothing against you,’ or ‘I tried it and it just didn’t pass the bar, lyrically, that I want to get to. Maybe I didn’t come up with a good enough theme or idea. The riff is great, but I didn’t do it this time. I’ll try again on the next one.’ But that’s it. I get their frustration, but they don’t have to sing it.”

The Killers guitarist Dave Keuning didn’t seem too enthused about the band’s new album Wonderful Wonderful in a new Q magazine article, claiming he wasn’t even there for the end of the making of the album, which is when ‘most stuff gets done’ according to Keuning. Brandon Flowers had detailed earlier in the article how most of the album is inspired by his wife Tana’s horrible childhood, being abandoned by her mother, and dealing with her PTSD.

Flowers also said he did something he rarely does, he explicitly told his bandmates what the lyrics of the song “Rut” were about, and how personal it was to him. Keuning claimed to not remember this, and didn’t even know what most of the album was about, and that his favorite song was written 9 years ago. Keuning recently quit touring with The Killers, and it wasn’t announced until after the band had begun selling tickets for their 2018 concerts.

The Q article states:

Exactly how strange a process [to record Wonderful Wonderful] only becomes clear the next day during Q’s photoshoot in Caesars’ swanky Nobu Villa penthouse; $35,000-a-night of Japanese furnishings, “Zen garden” patio and a purple baize pool table as hired out by the likes of Justin Bieber and J. Lo. Asked about the making of Wonderful Wonderful, the guitarist doesn’t exactly bubble with enthusiasm. “It is what it is,” he says noncommittally, going on to mourn the fact that, for whatever reason, he wasn’t very involved towards the end of the recording “which is when most of the stuff got gone.”

He adds that his favorite track is Run For Cover “because it’s nine years old.” I ask about much of the LP being about Flowers’ wife and how he took the news when, as Flowers says, he explained the lyrics of Rut to the band. Stormer had earlier confirmed to Q that, indeed, Flowers did. But Keuning seems genuinely confused by the question. “Which songs are about Brandon’s wife? I didn’t know that.” The conversation suddenly feels very awkward.