The Killers dropped a brand new track on Monday, ironically entitled Land of the Free. Frontman Brandon Flowers wrote the scathing song as a response to President Donald Trump‘s discriminatory vision of America.
In a blatantly sarcastic manner, the 37-year-old tackles the United States’ lack of control on gun violence, racism and social inequity, as well as Trump’s proposed plans to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Las Vegas-based rockers enlisted Academy Award-winning director, Spike Lee, to direct a short film for the song. The video documents hundreds of migrating families on their journey to the border with hopes to start a new life in the states.
The short features a variety of appalling clips which highlight the common mistreatment of immigrants, from brute encounters with the authorities to senseless tear gas attacks.
WATCH: Spike Lee joins The Killers for protest video over Trump’s planned wall
On the official Killers’ Facebook page, Flowers shared exactly what inspired him to write Land of the Free. He reflected on gun violence and how such crimes against humanity “dishonour our values and heritage,” by going against what our “ancestors” fought for.
The singer recollected the day he heard about the tragic Sandy Hook shooting, which took place on Dec. 14, 2012.
“The news was devastating,” he wrote. “It was a gut punch. But, sadly, not as shocking as it should have been. As a father I’ll never fully comprehend what that community and those parents went through.
“But my church upbringing taught me to mourn with those that mourn, and I did it the best way that I knew how,” he added. “I cried for those kids and teachers. I got on my knees and I prayed for those families.”
“This stuff didn’t seem to be in harmony with the values that I believe my country was founded on,” he added in an interview with Beats 1‘s Zane Lowe.
Gun violence was a focal point in Land of the Free. “So how many daughters,” he sings. “Tell me, how many sons / Do we have to have to put in the ground / Before we just break down and face it? / We’ve got a problem with guns.”
Flowers also compared the history of immigration to what it has become today by referencing Trump’s promise to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico; suggesting that the “land of the free” really is no more.
“Down at the border, they’re gonna put up a wall,” he sings. “Concrete and rebar steel beams / High enough to keep all those filthy hands off of our hopes and our dreams / People who just want the same things we do.”
Unlike many other Killers’ hits, Flowers’ lyrics incorporate a pummeling shock factor which effectively highlights the song as a modern-day protest anthem.
“When I go out in my car, I don’t think twice,” he adds. “But if you’re the wrong colour skin / You grow up looking over both your shoulders.”
Flowers admitted to Lowe that he felt “inadequate” when trying to write Land of the Free. “Things like Eric Garner and Trayvon Martin just started stacking up. Things also like what’s happening at the .”
“I would start the song and then I would put it away and say, ‘I’m not the guy to do this,’ or I’d feel inadequate, waiting, thinking ‘somebody’s going to write this song.’ But then it just piled up. Las Vegas. Orlando. Parkland. It just kept coming and I was just like, ‘I have to get this out.’”
As of this writing, The Killers have no scheduled tour dates in Canada.
A follow-up to 2017’s Wonderful, Wonderful album is expected to be in the works for 2019. Updates are available via the official website.
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