Arcade Fire Vinyl and Cocktails is a site that pairs good music with good…
- Posted on Nov 16th 2010 1:30PM by Jonathan Dekel
"To be honest, when we started out it was for the girls, and to have fun and party," he tells Spinner. "And that's what we did for the first four years or more -- it was a lot more like, 'I have this show to play, but I can't wait to party!'"
"Now it could be because we're older and more mature," he continues candidly, "but when we got big, we realized we had something here, and had to start being mature about things."
With a new outlook on their career -- and their groupie fantasy long gone (or so Followill purports) -- Kings of Leon are arguably more equipped to navigate life in the limelight , even if the band of brothers (and a cousin) still can't quite make sense of their popularity explosion.
"There was a moment there where it was just kind of massive -- and it came from nothing," says Followill. "We went from playing to 3,000 - 4,000 kids in America -- and about 10,000 in the UK -- to 13,000 - 14,000 in America. And when we played Hyde Park [in the UK] it was something like 60,000. So there was definitely a big change there; it definitely feels like two separate times."
Viewing the band's career in two distinct chapters seems to be the way Followill and his bandmates keep a handle on things. 'Come Around Sundown' may be their fifth album, but Kings of Leon approached it more like a sophomore release, as they consider themselves a new band since 2008's 'Only by the Night' made them superstars.
"Some people were expecting a bunch of hit songs [on 'Come Around Sundown'] like the last record, but what people don't realize is the last record was a different one for us," says Followill. "We had had three before that, that hadn't really done anything, then immediately we had two big songs off of ... [the last one]. So, I guess, you could say that 'Only by the Night' was our first record because it's so big -- and we're just trying to make a follow-up record."
While the outfit hasn't lost touch with who they were back when Kings of Leon was just getting going in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., Followill admits there are times when that reality seems a lifetime away.
"Every once in a while someone will hand us something to sign and I'll just be like, 'Oh my God, who is that?' the guitarist reveals. "I was 17 when I joined the band -- and when [bassist] Jared joined he was 15 -- I was a kid. We certainly didn't know what we were doing back then."