The Killers planted firm footprints in the music landscape, with several critically acclaimed albums and millions of records sold. But in the midst of the Las Vegas band's increasing popularity, it's decided to take a break. Lead singer Brandon Flowers has used his time off to work on his debut solo release, titled Flamingo. The album, full of card and dice metaphors, takes its name from a street just off the Vegas Strip and draws heavily from Flowers' hometown.
"I understand that [Las Vegas] is not a perfect place," Flowers tells NPR's Liane Hansen. "But it is where I'm from, and I just find myself being drawn back to it."
Flowers says he always felt an excitement about growing up near the Strip.
"There was always the biggest and the best hotel or over-the-top things," he says. "Family would be coming in from out of town, and it was such a thrill to be showing them this newly erupting volcano or whatever it was. And I still retain that excitement about those lights."
The singer dived into working on Flamingo following the death of his mother earlier this year. He credits her for giving him piano lessons and letting him try anything he wanted to do.
"I feel like I'm repaying her somehow," he says. "I also have two sons, and the joy I get from the two boys and from my wife is helping with the grief of losing my mother."
Flamingo includes rock anthems and catchy dance numbers reminiscent of his most recent musical influences, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty. Although Flowers says he thought putting out the record would be easy, he says it took more time and effort than he expected.
"I learned that I am very much a perfectionist ... and I didn't just want to put something out there," he says. "I wanted to make something fantastic and worthwhile."