May 18 marked the 40th anniversary of Ian Curtis' death, and Brandon Flowers was one of many artists who paid tribute to the late Joy Division singer in a charity livestream titled Moving Through The Silence: Celebrating the Life & Legacy of Ian Curtis.
“My journey to Joy Division started at New Order," The Killers frontman explained. "I distinctly remember being a young man and seeing ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ on MTV and knowing that this was something I could get behind. As I got older and more invested in music, I traced that New Order lineage back to Ian Curtis and Joy Division. This unparalleled, stark, beautiful, primitive, soulful music: it had a profound impact on me, just like it did many others.” (Fun fact: The Killers got their name from New Order's "Crystal" music video.)
The band also covered Joy Division's "Shadowplay" for the 2007 Curtis biopic Control.
“We were lucky enough to have [director Anton Corbijn] do the artwork for our second record, and he was just starting to get into the film Control,” he said of how they got involved with the project. “He wanted to show how far Joy Division had reached; four kids from the desert in Las Vegas, 5,000 miles from Manchester. And so he asked us to do ‘Shadowplay,’ which was the last thing we did when recording Sam’s Town. So there’s a little bit of that DNA in the track, and it was a privilege and honor to be a part of it and work on the film.”
“It’s also become a staple in our live shows, and it’s something I look forward to performing,” Flowers added.
Moving Through The Silence also featured Curtis' former bandmates and current New Order members Bernard Summer and Stephen Morris, as well as the bands Elbow and Kodaline, Curtis’ friend Mark Reeder, and actress Maxine Peake. The special raised money for UK mental health charity Manchester Mind.
Watch the full livestream below, and see Flowers' part at the 54:43 mark.
Photo: Getty Images