NEW YORK — By their own admission, the Killers took their sweet old time making their sophomore album, Sam’s Town. The same cannot be said, however, for their approach to making music videos.
Because less than a month after they traipsed down to Mexico with director Anthony Mandler (Eminem, 50 Cent) to shoot an epic clip for “When You Were Young” (see “Killers Shoot Video For All-American Single — In Mexico” ), the Killers decided to shoot another video, this one for the song “Bones.” And they called in the big guns too, scoring noted goth auteur Tim Burton to direct it.
“We were just kicking around ideas for the ’Bones’ video, and we thought, ’Wouldn’t it be great if Tim Burton could shoot this?’ We reached out to his people and he came back and said he wanted to work with us, which was amazing,” bassist Mark Stoermer told MTV News. “We’ve shot all our parts and now the video is being worked on. It’s going to have computer graphics and models … we’re not really sure how it’s going to turn out. Usually we go over the treatment with a fine-toothed comb and have a lot of influence, but this time we just let Tim do his thing.”
Burton shot the Killers’ performance on August 17-18 in Los Angeles, and according to their label, Island Records, he and a team of animators are now hard at work in London, creating an entire town and cast of characters that inhabit it. While additional details are scarce, the Killers say the clip features plenty of nods to Burton’s big-screen roots — including models, miniature sets and, of course, skeletons — but with a decidedly Vegas twist.
“A lot of the models and sets are based on historic Las Vegas — on things that aren’t there anymore, like the Glass Pool Inn, this really cool place that was torn down a few years ago that was down at the south end of the Strip,” drummer Ronnie Vannucci added. “But, like Mark said, we don’t really know 100 percent what it’s going to be like. We put our faith in Tim.”
The “Bones” clip marks Burton’s debut as a music-video director — though he’s sometimes confused with Mighty Mighty Bosstones sax player Tim “Johnny Vegas” Burton, who directed a pair of clips for his band in the early ’90s. And while there’s still no word on just when it will hit the airwaves, the Killers maintain that there’s no real hurry. After all, they’ve got a North American tour to focus on first (see “Killers Take Flair For The Dramatic On North American Theater Tour” ), and as frontman Brandon Flowers puts it, they feel like the clip is in good hands.
“It’s Tim Burton. It’s going to be great,” he laughed. “There are some skeletons, some darkness and some romance. What more could you want?”