That’s not all that’s snuck into their very passionate and ambitious third studio album. Day & Age embodies the glitz, glamour and pomp that makes up their hometown of Las Vegas and is much more experimental than their previous work, dabbling in a range of instruments and sounds, including tropical-sounding steel drums, chants, horns and disco beats.
“We don’t try to write big songs, we just write big songs. That’s a big misunderstanding. This is what comes out of us. There’s no master plan as to how big we can make this part or that, that’s just the way that it happens. There’s nothing sinister or calculated about it. This is what we are, and it should be accepted,” he says. “I hate when people say we’re overreaching. I don’t believe there’s such a thing; that’s such a close-minded opinion by people that are supposed to be so open-minded; critics and the artists of the world—it’s frustrating.”
It’s no wonder Flowers gets his back up about public scrutiny; overnight success puts an enormous spotlight on bands. And there’s no denying the Killers’ 2004 debut had critics across the globe spinning in awe.
“It puts a lot of pressure on you. A lot of the bands that we were reading up on and were obsessing over, became bands, you know, four or five albums in—that’s when they became what they are,” he says. “Depeche Mode wasn’t Depeche Mode in 1981. Depeche Mode was Depeche Mode in 1987. That’s, for me, when they came into their own and they had this big record. We came out with this monster record, and it’s difficult because we want to build, and we want to grow. We are still optimistic that we can try to have somewhat of a normal career where we do mature.”
Through the Killers’ three studio albums, and Sawdust, their 2007 release of B-sides, they have offered everything from the bombastic and glamorous to the stripped back and insightful. Day & Age, produced by Stuart Price (aka Jacques Lu Cont), best known for working with Madonna and Missy Elliot, is full of big themes and supersized arena anthems and marks a big and bold, hook-filled step forward.
Flowers says there’s no grand plan when it comes to the direction their music will take, but it’s always a kick seeing fans react when new material is released.
“The best thing about it is watching the turnaround. I shouldn’t do it, but I watch the comments, even on YouTube, and the first comment when a new Killers album comes out is almost bewilderment. It’s shocking for people at first, but it’s nice to watch them turn around. We kind of win them over every time—it’s fun. We have so much faith in (our music), otherwise we wouldn’t put it out.”