Tom DeLonge Calls Killers' Brandon Flowers A Boast Biter
DeLonge claims he was the first one to say his band's album would be best in '20 years.'
By Gil Kaufman
And you thought rappers had their fair share of feuds.
Rocker Brandon Flowers appears to be involved in yet another conflict — but this time, the Killers singer isn't the one throwing down the gauntlet. Now Angels & Airwaves leader Tom DeLonge has entered the fray, stirring some fresh beef into Flowers' simmering stew.
In summer 2005, DeLonge claimed that his post-Blink-182 band's debut would be the "best f---ing album anybody has heard in 20 years," a comment that was posted on and subsequently removed from the A&A Web site (see "Blink's Tom DeLonge Promises 'The Greatest Rock And Roll Revolution' "). Roughly a year later, Flowers made a similarly bold statement, saying his band's sophomore release would be "one of the best albums in the past 20 years" (see "Killers' Next LP Will Show Strong Influence Of ... Bruce Springsteen!?").
Reached just before his band took off for an Australian tour, DeLonge said there's more to his pre-release bluster about the world-shaking importance of A&A's We Don't Need To Whisper than meets the eye. And he had some choice words regarding Flowers' similarly over-the-top comments made prior to the release of the Killers' Sam's Town.
"I back the fact that he did it," DeLonge said of Flowers' pronouncement. "Labels are struggling, bands can't get on radio and something new is needed now. But didn't he know I said that? I mean, he must have heard that I said that first, right?"
A spokesperson for the Killers did not return calls for comment at press time.
"C'mon, man, he knew I said that," DeLonge said with a laugh. "But the funny thing is, no matter what anybody says about their album being the best, it's art and you can't judge art. I was laughing when I said that it was the best record in 20 years ... laughing when I got off the phone [with the interviewer] because it got everyone talking and it worked to my benefit."
DeLonge said he's not mad at Flowers for biting his sound bite, but he promises that his boasts will indeed come true next year when he unveils the mysterious next part of his Angels & Airwaves invasion. He declined to elaborate on the project but said it's part of a "three-to-five-year process" he's mapped out for his band.
"It's bigger than just the band itself," he said. "It's a mixture of my businesses and the band, and when people laugh and say, 'Oh, yeah, what a big revolution that was!' ... they have no idea. I have access to developing this record far beyond what people can understand."
Despite the somewhat modest sales figures to date — just south of 430,000 copies, compared to Blink's multiplatinum albums — DeLonge said he's set up Angels & Airwaves to be "the most cutting-edge thing in rock and roll ... on the edge of doing something extremely powerful and massive in music." If people thought he meant he was going to revolutionize rock just through one straightforward LP, they got another thing comin', he warned.
"People will find out next year. I had a sense and I knew it had to be more than just music [and next year] people will understand the band at a deeper level," he said cryptically. "It will be way more of a sonic experience and the music will grow when people attach these other levels to it."