Las Vegas indie rockers The Killers have just released a stirring new single called “Land of the Free,” and it might be the band’s most pointed political statement to date.
While they’ve never steered clear of addressing social issues in their music, The Killers have never crafted a song quite as directly topical as this. “Land of the Free,” which makes a strong case for humane immigration policies, prison and police reform, gun control and more in just under 5 minutes.
In an interview with Zane Lowe, Killers frontman Brandon Flowers pulled no punches about the song’s origins and meaning.
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. 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 band also shared this statement from Brandon Flowers on Twitter earlier today.
Accompanying the song is a bracing video from acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee, who profiled migrants and their families along the United States’ southern border with typically masterful skill.