The Killers’ Brandon Flowers explains how ‘gay teen contemplating suicide’ inspired new song
Brandon Flowers has revealed that a new track from The Killers’ upcoming album will be about a gay teen who is contemplating suicide.
Flowers, the The Killers’ flamboyant frontman, let spill to The Rolling Stone what some of the 11 new songs on Pressure Machine will include in an interview published Tuesday (3 August).
Many of the songs are inspired by real-life people Brandon knew in his youth. Among them, the 40-year-old said, will be a song dedicated to the queer men in Flowers’ life that felt unable to come out in 1990s Nephi, Utah, where Flowers grew up.
The album’s third song will be “Terrible Things” and is described by the outlet as a “dark” number that “centres on a gay teenager who is contemplating suicide”.
“There were kids I grew up with who I didn’t know until years later that they were gay,” Flowers said.
“It must have just been so hard. I think the world is moving in a more positive direction and a more inclusive direction, but this was still in the 90s and people kept this stuff close.”
The singer, who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, moved to Nephi, a sleepy city of just a few thousand residents, in sixth grade.
Decades on, and Brandon Flowers is about to release his seventh album with The Killers
Pressure Machine, which will drop 13 August, was the upshot of the months of downtime and tells the story of the ruffians and misfits he met in the tiny, remote town of Nephi.
“When I was writing these songs, I was thinking of things like Sherwood Anderson’s book Winesburg, Ohio or that book Pastures of Heaven [by John Steinbeck],” Flowers said, “where’s it’s all these short stories that take place in this one setting. For some reason, I had the audacity to try it myself.
“Once I realised they were going to take place here and they were going to be true stories, everything just really fell in our laps.”
Flowers, who has cited new wave mainstays such as the Cars and Depeche Mode among his musical inspirations, has previously said that much of the music he grew up with were by queer artists.
“Whether I knew it or not, or found out later, a lot of the music that I grew up on tended to be made by gay men,” the told The Advocate. “A lot of my heroes were and are gay men.”