The Killers' headline gigs at Birmingham’s LG Arena on Wednesday and Thursday, are the latest instalment in their Battle Born world tour.
The record, previewed during their headline performance at V Festival this summer, has been described by the band as having been ‘difficult’. It features stand out tracks like Heart of a Girl, Flesh and Bone and Carry Me Home.
The Killers had been touring and recording constantly between 2004 and 2010 and needed a break. When they reconvened to record Battle Born, they brought in the world’s best producers – including Brendan O’Brien, Steve Lillywhite, Daniel Lanois, Björk collaborator Damian Taylor and dance-music maven Stuart Price.
“It’s a little bit our fault,” Flowers says. “We thought we would wait to see what the album was before we pulled the trigger on who we wanted."
The fact that different producers were on board made little difference to the resulting record, however. It still sounds like The Killers.
Flowers adds: “We write a very particular type of song when we get together. So many people try to find something wrong with it, but I’m not embarrassed by it.”
Flowers says the title of the album is key; having been picked because it’s the unofficial nickname for their home state of Nevada.
“In a sense, all Americans are battle-born. Our ancestors came here for something better. It gets harder as you get older. You want to put in the same effort, and find the same focus you had when you knew you didn’t want to work at the casino anymore. We're working it out.”
The band enjoyed working with great producers like Steve Lillywhite, who assisted on Flesh and Bone.
Flowers adds: “Well, the Motown section wasn’t a Motown section until Steve came. There’s a certain way that I sing a couple of the lines in the song that we were talking about are reminiscent of Motown and Detroit, and the way that I sing, ‘I’m runnin’ out of time,’ and things like that.
“And so I think that that sparked something in Steve and we had the bridge written and he suggested maybe we try it with a different flavour.
“And it turned out that way and that’s one of the benefits of having a great producer, more ideas.”
Daniel Lanois also played a significant role in shaping the album’s sound. Flowers says: “Daniel, because he’s both a great mind and a great musician, he’s able to link up with us in ways that maybe other producers don’t.
“One of the advantages was that we were all in a room together making songs, you know, and incidentally it was the first time we’ve ever collaborated with another person to write songs.”
By Andy Richardson