Debuted on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 program, the track sees The Killers taking a strong political stance, singing about what should be — despite Donald Trump’s warped views — the country’s commitment to freedom and diversity.
“When I go out in my car, I don’t think twice/ But if you’re the wrong color skin (I’m standing crying)/ You grow up looking over both your shoulders,” Flowers sings on the piano-led song, which also features the stirring vocals of a gospel choir. He then goes on to comment on the broken criminal justice system of the US, specifically our prisons. “In the land of the free/ We got more people locked up than the rest of the world/ Right here in red white and blue/ Incarceration’s become big business, it’s harvest time out on the avenue.”
Flowers later directly addresses Trump’s border wall:
We got a problem with guns
In the land of the free
Down at the border, they’re gonna put up a wall
Concrete and rebar steel beams
High enough to keep all those filthy hands off of our hopes and our dreams
Take a listen to “Land of the Free” below via its music video, directed by Spike Lee, whom we recently crowned Filmmaker of the Year. For the video, Lee traveled to the U.S./Mexico border to capture scenes of migrant families.
In an interview with Lowe, Flowers dove further into the topics of gun reform and racially-charged police brutality:
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.
He also talked about collaborating with Lee:
It’s a Spike Lee joint. I never thought that I would be a part of a Spike Lee joint. I had just recently seen BlacKkKlansman and watched Do the Right Thing on an airplane. It was just like, “We got to ask him to do this video.” He said, “Yes.” And it was just an incredible thing to collaborate with him. He’s a master obviously. Some of these issues are obviously very close to his heart, and he just hit it out of the park, and it’s incredible.
The Killers’ last album came with Wonderful Wonderful from 2017. Speaking with Lowe, Flowers said the band’s new album will likely arrive in 2020. “In a perfect world, I could see the end of the year having something, but it’s probably more likely that it would be early 2020,” he explained.
“Land of the Free” Artwork: