The Killers are going political with their latest single.
The band debuted “Land of the Free” on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 show on Monday, taking on a range of issues facing the U.S., from mass incarceration and gun violence, to racism and Donald Trump’s planned southern border wall.
“We got a problem with guns, In the land of the free,” sings frontman Brandon Flowers. “Down at the border, they’re gonna put up a wall/Concrete and rebar steel beams/High enough to keep all those filthy hands off of our hopes and our dreams.”
According to Consequence of Sound, Flowers told Lowe, “I think it is a very important time right now and ‘enough is enough’ was basically where it comes from. It started in my mind around when Sandy Hook happened and as a father, how that affected me, and then it just started stacking up. It was things like Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, things like what’s happening at the wall. You know this stuff just didn’t seem to be in harmony with the values that I believe my country was founded on.”
Flowers added, “I would start the song and then I would put it away and say, ‘I’m not the guy to do this.’ Or I would feel inadequate, waiting for… Somebody’s going to write this song. And then it just piled up and I finally just, you know, Las Vegas, Orlando, Parkland and it just kept coming. It was just like I’ve gotta, have to get this out.”
The singer also revealed that the music video for the song is set to be directed by Spike Lee.
“I never thought that I would be a part of a Spike Lee joint. I had just recently seen ‘BlacKkKlansman’ and watched ‘Do the Right Thing’ on an airplane. It was just like, ‘We got to ask him to do this video.’ He said, ‘Yes.’ And it was just an incredible thing to collaborate with him,” Flowers said. “He’s a master obviously. Some of these issues are obviously very close to his heart, and he just hit it out of the park, and it’s incredible.”
Flowers continued, “Just, you know, we’re talking about hitting people in the heart, and we have to, and he’s so positive. I talked to him about my reluctance as an artist to release it, and he just said, ‘No.’ He was just so positive about it, and he’s getting behind it. It’s just been incredible.
The Killers released their last album, Wonderful, Wonderful in 2017, and Flowers said they expect their next album to drop in the year 2020 – which also happens to be the year of the next U.S. presidential election.
“In a perfect world, I could see the end of the year having something,” he said, “but it’s probably more likely that it would be early 2020.”