Kings Of Leon Discuss Chilling With Bono, New LP

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By: Staff

There's nothing like expecting a lecture from Bono and not receiving it. According to the Kings Of Leon, who opened for U2 on the beginning leg of their world tour, the supposed Bono Talk is a fable.

"Yeah, there's no talk, really," says KOL guitarist Matthew Followill.

"Well, there's supposed to be a talk," interjects his first cousin, bassist Jared Followill. "Everybody says it, but we didn't get it. I mean, they called us KFC instead of KOL 'cause we have chicken legs." Both men laugh. "But in a funny, cool way. They're the nicest guys."

That may be, but U2 are Irish, have been playing music for decades and are all in their mid-40s. By contrast, the Kings are one cousin (Matthew) and three brothers (Jared, vocalist/rhythm guitarist Caleb and drummer Nathan) from the Southern U.S. who decided to form a band only five years ago. That's not much common ground to go by. As one would expect the band to say, though, the presence of girls made things easier.

"Their daughters were around a lot and they were always hanging out, so they kept it cool 'cause they're around our age," Jared explains. "And anytime Bono would start talking about something, they'd be like, 'Tell them about Adam' and he'd be like, 'Yeah, Adam has this problem with farting' and it'd be like, 'Yes! We don't have to talk politics.' It was awesome."

Though they've released two albums and have a dedicated fan base around the world, the Followills say opening for U2 showed them how to improve. "It definitely makes you a better band, having to play for a big crowd when you're nervous," Matthew says.

"And it takes your songs to a different place," Jared adds. "You play your songs in a small club and it's a certain kind of style and you play it that way and you fucking go into a stadium and it's not like you can be falling over and interacting with the crowd — it's all focused on your fucking songs, so we'd have to play them perfect.

"I think that was a big effect on our next record, touring with U2. I think that the songs are going to be a lot more tight, a lot more crisp, it's going to be a lot more anthemic and arena-ready."

Touring with U2 also changed how the Kings perform their own songs live. To avoid heckling as the opening band, the Followills played 45 minutes of songs without stopping. Jared says they still don't give their audiences any breathing room. "But now we have to do it for like an hour and 20 minutes, so you get a little bit fucking tired so we'll take a little break and tune every once in awhile. Now we've set up so we have two slow songs in a row ["Milk" and "Rememo"] so you just get to fucking chill and smoke a cigarette, have a beer, write some text messages."

After finishing a series of shows in the U.S. and U.K. later this month, the band hope to head into the studio to record their new material. "We don't have any song actually done, it's just tons of ideas," Matthew says. Song titles are still floating around. Jared explains that one in particular "was called 'Matthew' for a little bit" — "So stupid," his cousin interjects — "...because he came up with the guitar part," Jared finishes. "So stupid," Matthew mutters again.

Regardless, the Followills agree on one thing – their sound will consistently evolve from their previous albums.

"The songs may be longer, bigger arrangements and stuff like that," Jared says. "I hate bands that take it to a weird place just to be different. We're not gonna make it weird. I think the next one, the theme of it is just gonna be like fucking fist in the air."

Kings Of Leon will play Pop Montreal in late September.

—Angela Kozak

Copyright © 1995-2005, Chart Communications Inc. All rights reserved.

1 Comment

Promotional manager, Would like to be a special guest for u2 at there September 23rd tour In minnesota at the target center 2005. I am Natioinal Ideal Ms America, Model of the year 2005-2006.I can upon request send photos If needed. would love to come as visiting royalty. Please let me know. With love from Minnesota, pam Campbell

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on August 24, 2005 11:02 PM.

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