The Killers’ Brandon Flowers: ‘Guitar bands aren’t writing songs’

The singer also speaks about his unlikely friendship with Jimmy Carr

The Killers‘ frontman Brandon Flowers has given his views on the declining popularity of guitar bands and has laid the blame squarely at the door of guitar bands themselves, saying that they “aren’t writing songs”.

The Las Vegas band release their fourth studio album ‘Battle Born’ on September 17 and Flowers has said that although he likes dance music, he thinks a great rock song can unify people in a way that a dance track never can.

Asked for his views on the health of guitar music, Flowers told Shortlist: “Well, guitar bands aren’t writing songs. Write a fucking song, get over yourself. There aren’t any. Where are they? Dance music cannot compete with a really great rock n’ roll song. There ain’t no DJ that’s gonna play something that can take ‘Mr Brightside’ or ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’. Those songs are better than that.”

He continued: “I appreciate the dance culture, it’s cool. I love bands that are able to blend that stuff, I grew up on Depeche Mode and New Order, but there aren’t any bands that are giving it a run for its money.”

Flowers then reaffirmed his views that the rise of Nirvana and the explosion of grunge bands that followed meant that “something died” in rock n’roll.

He added when asked if rock n’ roll was lacking bands with a sense of fun: “Yeah, it got serious. People misinterpret my emotions towards Nirvana because I’ve said things about how something happened with grunge that took a little bit of fun out of things. It’s no offense to Nirvana, they were one of the greats, obviously.”

He continued: “But something died there too and we haven’t quite gotten the groove back. It’s seen as dirty to be ambitious. What if U2 weren’t ambitious? We wouldn’t have that gift we have from them. I’ve said things like that before but people, instead of hearing the reason, they just say, ‘He hates Nirvana, what a dick!'”

Flowers also revealed that he has an unlikely celebrity friend in the form of comedian Jimmy Carr, who actually helped inspire a track on the band’s new album.

Asked about the inspiration for new song ‘Deadlines And Commitments’, which has an economic theme, Flowers said: “I was having dinner with Jimmy Carr, like you do, and he thought the next big breakthrough record that people were going to notice was going to be about the problems of the economy.”

He added: “We played Comic Relief and he was there, I struck up conversation and he’s great, when he comes to Vegas we see him, and here in London. We were talking about Bruce Springsteen or something, we thought that somebody was going to make a record like that.”

Earlier this week, The Killers announced a full UK arena tour for this November. The run of 11 dates begins at Glasgow’s SECC on October 26 and runs until November 17 when the band headline the second of two shows at London’s O2 Arena.

The tour also includes stops in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Nottingham, Newcastle, Cardiff, Sheffield, Liverpool and Manchester.

The band will also play two intimate UK shows this month, firstly performing a free show at London’s HMV Forum on September 10 and then a gig at London’s Roundhouse on September 11 as part of the iTunes Festival.

You can watch the video for The Killers’ new single ‘Runaways’ at the bottom of the page.

The Killers will play:

Glasgow SECC (October 26)
Aberdeen Exhibition Centre (27)
Birmingham LG Arena (31)
Nottingham Capital FM Arena (November 3)
Newcastle Metro Radio Arena (4)
Cardiff Motorpoint Arena (5)
Sheffield Motorpoint Arena (8)
Liverpool Echo Arena (9)
Manchester Arena (13)
London O2 Arena (16, 17)

Tickets go onsale on Friday (September 7) at 9am (BST). To check the availability of The Killers tickets and get all the latest listings, go to NME.COM/TICKETS now, or call 0871 230 1094.