Local Current Blog

The Killers talk fake viral videos, Lindsey Buckingham, and working from home

Brandon Flowers performs with the Killers in Hollywood, 2019. (Rich Fury/Getty Images for EJAF)

Killers frontman Brandon Flowers and drummer Ronnie Vannucci gave some exciting background about the band’s newest record, Imploding the Mirage, when they recently did a quick phone interview with Mac Wilson.

Mac Wilson: So, you’ve been busy. You’ve got an Instagram live concert that’s happening later this afternoon. Is this a first for a full-blown live concert?

BF: It’s our first time dipping our toes into Instagram live. But yeah, we’re not doing a full concert. We might do a song, we might play a song from the new album. And speak a little bit. Yeah.

So you’re using this as more of an opportunity to touch base with your fans and sort of taking on a more candid approach?

RV: Yeah, we haven’t been the best about getting in touch with our people through social media. And so it’s time. We’re taking a little bit at a time in healthy doses.

I have to say that one of the songs that I keep coming back to during this COVID-19 crisis is “Mr. Brightside” Brandon, you recorded that wonderful video of you washing your hands to it a couple of weeks back; before you even posted that video, it was my own handwashing song. I would go into the bathrooms here at work and sing the entire chorus of “Mr. Brightside.” So it was really heartening to see that you were in on that as well.

BF: It’s the perfect amount of time. And it’s got a nice, nice jingle. Nice, memorable.

When you recorded that. It was in response to one of the fake viral videos that were going around. It was the folks in Italy who were all leaning out their windows and singing “Mr. Brightside” in an effort to lift their spirits. It would have been nice if that was real, I suppose.

BF: A lot of people got duped into believing that it was real and there was you know, there was Madonna and Mariah Carey. There were all kinds of them. It’s fine. It’s whatever. It was just playful. We said, “this isn’t real” and showed people singing “Mr. Brightside” in the streets in Italy and said “but this is” and showed me in the old bathroom singing.

So you’ve got a new record on the way,Imploding the Mirage. It’s really exciting the number of folks who are helping you out in this album. The one that I keep coming back to is the first single that you released from the album (is with) Lindsey Buckingham. I’ve spun it a couple of times on The Current and spun it next to various Lindsey Buckingham tracks, whether his solo stuff or Fleetwood Mac. How did that collaboration come to be?

RV: Kind of a joke. We were working on “Caution” and felt like it was missing a vital guitar essence. And we were just sitting around at dinner and I think I just said, “Let’s call Lindsey Buckingham.” And we didn’t know this at the time but the lady that helps us do press also helps him do his press. And she said, “We can call him right now.” And he was on board 30 minutes later so pretty, pretty funny it all happened.

His solo is perfect for the tune. Then you’ve got folks like Weyes Blood and the folks from Lucius that appear elsewhere on the record and I can’t wait to see how they get incorporated into the album as well. It’s just exciting. Did you see the Roger Waters stage show with Lucius? 

RV: Yeah, we got to see that. K.d. lang is also on this record, too. It’s part of a greater concept to include the female element.

I’m thinking back to an interview that I did with Rufus Wainwright a couple of years back and you sort of answered the question already; where if you have a great number of guest stars on the album, he says, “Well, if somebody is a famous enough name, that means that their technical prowess is very, very high.” And that’s the type of people that you want to have around. Was that sort of your rationale in getting these various folks on the album?

BF: Oh, we weren’t necessarily thinking about how capable they were. It was just more about we love Fleetwood Mac, we love Lindsey Buckingham. And it was great to have him come down and then again, we’re big fans of Weyes Blood and her last record. And you know, these people have sort of a community happening in L.A. and the people that are working on our record have worked on their records. It was a nice surprise that they were technically proficient. You know, it wasn’t like pulling teeth to get good parts out of everybody and when the red light came on, they delivered.

We’ve only got time for just one more question that usually we asked at the outset, as we’re checking in with these various musicians during this crisis. Usually, we ask upfront and I’m going to ask Brandon and Ronnie, you know, how are you doing? How are you holding up? In general? What have been some of the challenges and what have been, if any, some of the joys that you found over the last several weeks?

RV: We’re holding up great. We were starting to roll out press in video interviews and music videos and stuff for this next record. And we were in New York and then we were set to go out to other parts of Europe and then we found out about this virus and how it was just sort of taking over and we just decided to come home. They were banning all travel for other people. So we just came home so we’ve just been here. And the limitations have been kind of nice because we’ve been working on new music. What else are you gonna do? The two of us are here. We’ve been around each other and nobody’s gotten infected yet so we’re just hanging out and trying to make more songs, maybe make another record.

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