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Kings of all they survey
Kings Of Leon's Nathan Followill shoots the breeze about going on the road with Pearl Jam, mid-tour brawls and his burgeoning Radiohead addiction.
Paul Nolan, 16 Jul 2008
Just over a year after releasing their Ireland and UK No.1 album Because Of The Times, Southern rockers Kings Of Leon are preparing to put out their fourth LP, Only By The Night. When Hot Press catches up with the group’s drummer, Nathan Followill, the band are taking a break in rehearsals for their upcoming round of festival shows, including a headlining slot at Oxegen. The Kings also recently played a series of US dates with Pearl Jam, which Nathan feels went particularly well.
“Those gigs were amazing,” he enthuses. “Having just finished the album, we wanted to play every new song, but you can’t really do that. It kind of worked out well, because we got to familiarise ourselves again with some tracks that we haven’t played in a while, which we wanted to do ahead of the festivals. Also, we played two new songs during those shows, and the very next day they were up on YouTube and what have you. It’s good to give the fans a teaser, but you don’t want to give the whole thing away.”
When I spoke to Nathan last year, he mentioned that on a previous tour with Pearl Jam, Eddie Vedder had encouraged the group to take up surfing. Did they get a chance to hit the waves this time around?
“We didn’t get up to much surfing on this tour,” Nathan rues. “The waves weren’t quite big enough, not that we could surf big waves anyway. But we still got to enjoy being in the water, it was nice. I’ve still got a little tan.”
The band have certainly been quick to record the follow-up to Because Of The Times. Was the plan always to get another album out so swiftly?
“Well, Because Of The Times was finished a good year before it got released,” explains Nathan. “The delay was due to label stuff, in terms of them not wanting your record to come out against Beyoncé or whoever. That didn’t bother us at all, because it doesn’t matter what record comes out when yours does, your true fans are going to buy it no matter what. I guess they were trying to appeal to the audiences who might buy our record if, say, Beyoncé’s wasn’t coming out. I don’t know if us and Beyoncé have the same fans, but we’ll see on this record!