So it’s sort of odd that these days, it’s what he’s not saying that’s making people talk.
Namely, the “s” in “dancers.” Ever since “Human,” the first single from the Killers’ Day & Age album , debuted last month, fans have been debating just why Flowers has decided to drop the letter and make the song’s chorus (“Are we human/ Or are we dancer?”) a singular affair. It seems like the whole thing didn’t make much sense, and some fans even wondered if he was singing something else, like, say “denser.”
So when MTV News caught up with Flowers last week at the Killers’ NYC show, we decided to ask him about the chorus controversy.
“It’s taken from a quote by [author Hunter S.] Thompson. … ‘We’re raising a generation of dancers,’ and I took it and ran. I guess it bothers people that it’s not grammatically correct, but I think I’m allowed to do whatever I want,” he laughed. ” ‘Denser’? I hadn’t heard that one. I don’t like ‘denser.’ ”
So, there you go. It’s “dancer,” and don’t you forget it. And though Flowers cops to nicking the line from Thompson, does he share any of the author’s sentiments about the growing softness of America’s youth?
“I think that I do, and I don’t want to be too much of a preacher,” he said. “I say that it’s a mild social statement, and that’s all I’m gonna say. We’re still trying to write the best pop songs we can write.”
And “Human” is just one of a handful of supple, sheeny pop songs on Age (due November 25), an album bursting with hooks and buffed to perfection by British retro-ist Stuart Price. And though it was born in the same Las Vegas studio as the other songs on the record, it’s actually been in the Killers’ arsenal for quite some time now.
“Human is one of the older ones from these songs. It was around for [the band's 2007 B-sides collection] Sawdust,” Flowers explained. “Me and [guitarist] Dave [Keuning] are more on the Pet Shop Boys side of the band, and they were an influence, definitely. When we met with Stuart to record it, the idea I had was, ‘I think it’s a cross between Johnny Cash and the Pet Shop Boys, if that’s possible.’ So it was born that night, I guess.”
Oh, and that reminds us of another bit of controversy involving Flowers and “Human.” If you happened to catch the Killers performing the song on “Saturday Night Live” earlier this month, you probably noticed Flowers’ rather fetching jacket — festooned with magnificent plumage on the shoulders. Seems that some in the animal-rights community have gotten a bit perturbed by the overall feather-ocity of the ensemble, so much so that Flowers was forced to address the get-up during our interview. Seems that even when he’s not speaking at all, he’s still able to create, well, a hot fuss.
“It’s made by a woman named Fee Doran. She goes by Mrs. Jones. She’s an English woman, and she’s a very kind of eccentric woman,” Flowers said. “She’s done clothes for everyone from Kylie Minogue to the Scissor Sisters and this one too. There’s no fur in it. I don’t think anything was butchered for my jacket.”