The Killers‘ frontman Brandon Flowers has spoken of how Vampire Weekend inspired the band’s latest album ‘Imploding The Mirage‘, and how it reminded him of a healthy rivalry he once felt with The Strokes.
Speaking in this week’s NME Big Read cover story, Flowers revealed how The Killers found themselves in somewhat of a rut in early writing sessions for their latest record – until he heard Vampire Weekend’s 2019 album ‘Father Of The Bride‘.
“That really helped to propel us into the right direction and realise that we couldn’t just phone in The Killers’ record,” Flowers told NME. “We had to do better. I told Ezra [Koenig, the band’s frontman] that. I’m grateful for people like him.”
Asked if it inspired a sense of healthy competition within them, Flowers replied: “Yeah! It reminded me of how I felt when The Strokes’ ‘Is This It’ came out.”
Back in 2016, Flowers admitted that he considered The Strokes’ debut album to be better than his band’s own ‘Hot Fuss’ –and previously told NME that he felt “depressed” after hearing ‘Is This It’ for the first time. “That record just sounded so perfect,” he said. “We threw away everything [we were working on] and the only song that made the cut and remained was ‘Mr. Brightside.’”
The Strokes’ guitarist Nick Valensi also spoke of a creative rivalry in the book Meet Me In The Bathroom, when he revealed: “We had conversations that went along the lines of ‘Gosh, I think our songs are better than ‘Mr. Brightside’ by the Killers, but how come that’s the one everyone is listening to?’”
Speaking to NME about Valensi’s comments in 2017, The Killers’ drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr responded: “I don’t think anybody in the band really would even put ourselves in the same boat. We always thought those guys were so much more above us. It’s kind of flattering just to hear them talking about our band – even now. Especially The Strokes. They’re one of the baddest rock bands out there.”
As well as revealing that The Killers have been working on another new album that they plan to release “in about 10 months“, the band also spoke to NME about their recent investigation which found “no corroboration” of an alleged sexual assault said to have been committed by their road crew against a woman on their 2009 tour – as well as his thoughts on a culture of misogyny in rock music.
Read the full Big Read cover feature here, where the band also open about finding themselves again and adding a female voice to their new album ‘Imploding The Mirage‘, the current line-up and racism in the US.
Meanwhile, The Killers are currently on course for their sixth consecutive UK Number One album – and are currently outselling the rest of the top 20 combined.