Should musicians bring religion into the equation...
Holly Frith
16:31 24th October 2011

Most of us have by now laughed at the new video of Killers’ frontman, Brandon Flowers, circling the web. At first glance, it seems like a pretty normal and dare I say it, atmospherically endearing film in which the singer talks about his music and upbringing.  He says he wants to be a positive force in the too cruel world and that his loving family is highly important to him. Or something of that sort. Bless. His solo song crossfire is subtly playing in the background, the lyrics “caught in the crossfire of heaven and hell” inauspiciously ringing around the depth of every viewer’s subconscious.

Then, in the final seconds of the video, the real motive is uncovered. “My name is Brandon Flowers,” he says. “I am a father. I am a husband. And I am a Mormon.” I choke on my tea, feeling duped. Are we talking about that caffeine and alcohol banning, gay and civil rights opposing, abortion hating, pre-marital sex despising, Mitt Romney obsessed, sew my name onto my own underpants cult?

Yes. But considering that description applies to almost every religion there is, I feel more research needs to be done. After I get sidetracked for a few minutes (hours) Google-imaging Brandon Flowers (did you know he won a GQ award?), I realise that Mormonism is filled with just as much doubt, speculation, accusation and rumour as every other religion. Flowers isn’t particularly calling for lynching and segregation, thank the heavens. What’s more, the fact that he’s coming out and standing up for his faith is rather commendable (did I just say that?). 

It’s instead, the whole concept of there being promotional videos by religions featuring well-known celebs ignoring the fact that they’re celebs that I find rather weird. “I’m never buying a Killers album again,” some fans remark. “Where do I sign up so I can be one of his many wives?” others wistfully ask. The more precarious go for a simple “I would.” Which is fair enough.

It kind of makes me wish there was a comment box on the Church’s site where drooling fans, especially those within the gay community could post these prophetic reflections up for all to see.  And in turn, there being a reaction video from the church to these comments, similar to that granny’s reaction after having just watched the 2 girls 1 cup video. But that’s wishful thinking on my part.

It actually turns out that this video only adds to a long list of similar Mormon promotional campaigns in which people one wouldn’t suspect of being Mormons speak out about their faith. You know, your usual every day sort of milkman, grocer, teacher, pimp or acrobat discussing their take on life and what gives it meaning. We can now add guyliner, gold blazers and 80’s synth-pop to that list, which is in itself something to marvel at. But it’s nothing groundbreaking. So why the outrage?

Is the reason people are complaining really because Flowers, despite being a heartthrob, is simply just boring?  Does it even have anything to do with his choice of religion?

Although people hate to admit it, they don’t want their rockstars to be safe, homely and faithful.  They want escapism, someone to point at and make judgemental comments about. And Brandon, known for his conservative American patriotism, sitting back and claiming that sex, drugs and rock and roll just isn’t for him is nice, but it’s not very exciting, is it? It’s not what we signed up for.

Has the video made me finally decide to convert? Has it made you want to convert? I have to say that personally, the only church I’m partial to being mixed with popular culture is that of Johnny Cash. For the most part, I find the Bono-inspired, good-intentioned musician a tad mundane. And I think most of us can safely agree with andysherwin when he tweeted that “Brandon Flowers glorifies being Mormon about as much as John Mayer glorifies being an asshole.”

But hey, if the 10% of the money you spend on Flowers’ records going to the Mormon Church bothers you, think of it this way…

At least it’s not scientology.