As with many bands, it seems that as Tennessee rockers Kings Of Leon grew in mainstream popularity, their critical regard sharply declined. Now the band’s bassist Jared Followill has opened up about claims that the Southern rock four-piece “sold out” to succeed.
“We didn’t know what we were doing [on 2003 debut Youth & Young Manhood]. We were young. We hadn’t found ourselves,” Jared told the Sydney Morning Herald. The band unveiled their sixth studio album, Mechanical Bull, in September, playing two Sydney shows to promote the new record.
“We were just like weird potheads in 2002,” the 22-year-old Jared continued. “I mean I was 15. We had no identity. We were just trying to be different and you can’t do that forever.” Jared said the band didn’t feel like they’d cemented a comfortable identity until 2007’s Because of the Times.
The bassist also said that he doesn’t expect a return to the band’s original Southern garage sound any time soon, saying, “If people really liked [Youth & Young Manhood], then I’m glad we could give that to them, but there’s no way to go back to that. [But] I almost feel bad that we tricked people.”
“The audience is so weird,” he continued. “They ask you [to play certain] songs. They will even beg on Twitter, ‘Play this from Youth & Young Manhood‘ or ‘Play Arizona‘…and you play them and they go over terribly.”
“But you know 5 percent of the crowd wants this, so you kind of have to almost embarrass yourself and watch the crowd start texting,” added Jared, before insisting that the song that many feel should be the band’s biggest embarrassment, is the one that they most look forward to playing.
“[Sex On Fire is] amazing live. People flip out when we play it. It’s definitely our biggest live song,” said Jared. “True music fans and music lovers probably think that song is absolutely terrible, but it’s just this huge song for us,” added guitarist Matthew Followill.
The guitarist also addressed claims frontman Caleb Followill recently made to Triple J‘s Veronica And Lewis, telling them that Kings Of Leon would return next year for a full tour. “It’s rock solid that we’re coming to tour Australia in 2014 for sure,” said Matthew.
“We’re just not sure exactly when yet…but hopefully it’s in the summer,” he added. Caleb previously said that the band would be back “on this record cycle.” “I think we’ll be back next year at some point,” he said, “Brisbane, Perth, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Adelaide. The whole deal.”
(Via Sydney Morning Herald)