Fotis Mini – 10 Desember 2010
Brandon Richard Flowers (born June 21, 1981) is an American musician, best known as the frontman, vocalist, and keyboardist of the Las Vegas-based rock band The Killers. He announced his solo career on April 29, 2010 on The Killers official website.
Flowers, the youngest of six children, was born on June 21, 1981 in Henderson, Nevada (near Las Vegas) to parents of partial Scottish and Lithuanian ancestry. Growing up, his mother worked at a fast food restaurant (which would later become Brandon’s first job) and his father worked for a grocery store. His father joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when Flowers was five years old. They lived in Henderson until Flowers was eight, when they moved to Nephi, Utah. Flowers lived in Nephi until his junior year in Juab High School, when he moved back to Las Vegas to live with his aunt. He has referred to Las Vegas as “the jewel of the Mojave”.
Brandon’s brother, Shane, 12 years his senior (born July 4, 1969 and sung about in The Killers song “Sam’s Town”) is said to be most responsible for Flowers’ musical development; he showed him Smiths videos and U2’s Rattle and Hum movie. His older brother also introduced him to The Cars, Morrissey, and The Cure. Musically, Flowers is an anglophile and a fan of English bands New Order, The Smiths, Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode, and Oasis. He credits the Pet Shop Boys song “Being Boring”, especially the lyrics “I never dreamt that I would get to be / The creature that I always meant to be”, as a major life influence. He has stated that “It was really weird because other kids were buying Tool and Nirvana and I was buying The Cars and The Psychedelic Furs. I was pretty alienated as a kid.” He states that seeing an Oasis concert, particularly their performance on Don’t Look Back in Anger, made him decide to pursue a career in music.
The Killers, 2001–2010
Brandon Flowers, after dropping out of college, was a bellhop for a short while at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. In 2001 he was abandoned by the first band that he was in, a synth pop band known as Blush Response, after he declined to move with the rest of them to Los Angeles, California. Shortly thereafter, Flowers attended an Oasis concert, and realizing that he wanted to make the transition from a keyboard band to a true rock band, began searching for a guitarist. He responded to an ad that Dave Keuning had placed in the paper that listed, among other bands, The Cure and Oasis as influences. Keuning later stated that his first impression of Flowers was that he was wearing the same shoes Oasis had. After several short-lived bassists and drummers, Flowers and Keuning were joined by bassist Mark Stoermer and drummer Ronnie Vannucci and became the Killers in August 2002. Vannucci later said that, even with songs like “little dwarf versions of what we have now, Brandon wasn’t afraid to just get up there and just do it. You need that when you’re trying to get something off the ground. As far as the drive goes, Brandon was never half-assed.” According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, his parents have always supported his decision to become a rock singer, and were often the only people in the audience at The Killers’ early performances.
Flowers has been in a number of controversies based on comments he has made to the media. In particular, he made statements that sparked feuds with the bands Fall Out Boy, The Bravery and Panic At the Disco. However, he has since recanted, and told Spin magazine, “I’d like to take it all back. These people are just doing what they want to do, just like I am. I’m actually a nice person and I love people. I just am opinionated. It’s not something I’m proud of.” Flowers criticized Green Day for performing the song “American Idiot” in the United Kingdom. The concert, featured in Green Day’s live DVD Bullet in a Bible, shows thousands of Europeans singing along to “American Idiot”. Flowers said, “I just thought it was really cheap. To go to a place like England or Germany and sing that song—those kids aren’t taking it the same way that he meant it.” On July 4, 2010 The Killers were invited to headline the “Salute to the Military” USO Concert at the White House by the President. They performed ‘God Bless America’ and hits from their catalogue. His assertion that Sam’s Town would be one of the best albums to come out in the preceding 20 years drew ridicule from critics. Flowers has expressed his desire to be less provocative. He told The Advocate magazine, “With people that I’ve put down, I understand now that they have their own ability and a gift for doing whatever they’re doing.” However, he has also mused that perhaps he should get credit for saying out loud what most people think.
Canadian-American singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright wrote a song about Flowers called “Tulsa” for his fifth album Release the Stars. Wainwright has stated in numerous interviews that it was inspired by their first meeting in a bar in Tulsa, Oklahoma. According to Wainwright, Flowers was “very flattered and somewhat bashful” about this tribute.
Flowers appeared as an interviewee on the ‘Pet Shop Boys: A Life in Pop’ DVD, and subsequently also presented the artists with an Outstanding Contribution to Music award at the 2009 BRIT Awards. He and Lady Gaga then performed with Pet Shop Boys as part of a medley of their hits.
While Flowers is usually confined to singing, and playing keyboard on most of the Killers’ songs, Flowers plays bass in the song “For Reasons Unknown”, the fourth single from the Sam’s Town album.
Solo career, 2010–present
Flowers’ debut solo album Flamingo was announced on April 29, 2010, following a three-day countdown on The Killers’ official website. In an interview with NME, Flowers revealed the titles of two tracks: “Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas” and “Hard Enough”, a duet with Jenny Lewis. Flowers also stated the album would include a gospel song. The first single from Flamingo, “Crossfire”, was released on June 21 (Flowers’ birthday). The video for “Crossfire” was released on July 8 and includes Charlize Theron. The album was released September 14 in the US and Canada, and September 6 in the UK and Ireland. The album leaked onto the internet on September 4, 2010.
Along with the album release, Flowers announced tour dates in the United States and Europe, taking place in the summer and autumn of 2010—known as the Flamingo Road Tour. He later announced a more extensive United States tour throughout November and December 2010. The tour will have a full band which includes Canadian singer-songwriter, and musician Lindi Ortega.
Flamingo charted in the UK on September 12, 2010 at Number 1. It is Flowers’ fourth consecutive album to reach #1 on the UK charts, including work by The Killers.
Spin named Brandon Flowers one of “The 15 Best Shows of the Summer” in 2010 for his show at the Shimmer Showroom in Las Vegas. Author Jason Bracelin wrote, “as the song built momentum, Flowers became increasingly animated, climbing atop a stage monitor, fists clenched, punching the air. ‘I’ve got this burning belief in salvation and love,’ he sang, its flames rivaled by the fire in his belly”. Spin also listed him as one of “The 25 Best Fall Tours”/”Must-See Fall Tours”. On September 9, 2010, Brandon said he was missing the band and hopes to rejoin them in 2011. While on tour Flowers has had special guests including Stuart Price, Andy Summers, and Fran Healy.
Flowers won NME Awards in 2005 for “Best Dressed” and “Sexiest Man”. He also won the award for “Most Stylish Man” at the 2008 GQ awards. He was also interviewed by Q Magazine on behalf of The Killers as one of the “Artists of the Century” (November 2009 issue), a second cover photo that year.
Birth name: Brandon Richard Flowers
Born: June 21, 1981 (1981-06-21) (age 29)
Origin: Henderson, Nevada, United States
Genres: Indie rock, Alternative rock, Heartland rock, New Wave, Post-punk Revival
Occupations: Musician, songwriter
Instruments: Vocals, keyboards, Synthesizer, Piano, Bass guitar
Years active: 2001–present
Associated acts: The Killers