Kings of Leon (1999-)
Caleb Followill (vocals, guitar)
Nathan Followill (drums)
Jared Followill (bass)
Matthew Followill (guitar)
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All of their album titles have five syllables. The band claim that the first three (Youth and Young Manhood, Aha Shake Heartbreak and Because of the Times) were coincidence, but they've superstitiously kept it going with Only by the Night.
Caleb has claimed that "Sex on Fire
" took the longest time to write of any that he's released. Said Caleb: "I kind of wrote it when I was drunk. I didn't want it to be too cliché and too corny. I knew the hook so I wrote one song about two people that hated the sight of each other but the sex was so good that they couldn't stay away. And then I wrote one that was just way too explicit. I just kind of tried to find a happy medium there somewhere."
They have many high-profile fans: Bob Dylan, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder and Kelly Jones of Stereophonics are some who have sung the band's praises, with Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse praising the band's production ethic on Aha Shake Heartbreak: "I understand there was very little overdubbing on that record. Even the vocals were live. It hurts me how psyched that makes me."
The band all use their middle names: the members are correctly named Anthony Caleb Followill, Michael Jared Followill, Ivan Nathan Followill and Cameron Matthew Followill.
With nothing but a Led Zeppelin boxed set, Nathan says, "We kidnapped our cousin from Mississippi, told his mom he was coming for the week and just never let him go home. We locked ourselves in the basement with an ounce of marijuana and literally spent a month down there. My mom would bring us food. And at the end of that month the label people came and we had 'Molly's Chambers,' 'California Waiting,' 'Wicker Chair' and 'Holy Roller Novocaine.'" Let's hope they thanked their Mom - both for the food and for ignoring the pot smell.
Radiohead guitarist, Ed O' Brien, especially likes the band. "I don't get jealous when I see other bands," he said, "but when I see them I think, 'Man, I'd love to be in that band'. They're young... they remind me of the Bunnymen or something like that. They're growing, they're evolving. They're amazing players, the drummer, he's amazing. They're all great, but he's really special."
Before every concert, the band huddles together to sing a gospel song called Just A Little Talk With Jesus : "Now when you feel a little prayer wheel turning/And you know a little fire is burning/ You will find a little talk with Jesus makes it right."
The band's childhood tale of being Pentecostal kids on the road is a well-worn one, but less acknowledged is the fact that their preacher father – far from being the stern evangelist – would crank up Rolling Stones and Bad Company cassettes in the car when their mother wasn't with them.
In the early days of Kings of Leon, the band and the road crew referred to Caleb as "Rooster" after the legendary John Wayne character because he overly indulged in alcohol and was prone to get into fights.
Jared Followill originally resisted playing the bass. He told Rolling Stone that he thought, "all bass players were fat and had goatees, like the guy from Goo Goo Dolls."
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