Caleb Followill: Q&A
The Kings of Leon frontman on the bands' new album ''Come Around Sundown'' and turning down ''Glee''
The first track on Come Around Sundown is called ”The End.” How crazy is that?
I wanted to start the record with ”Back Down South.” But it’s one of those things where you wanted to ease people into the record. ”The End” had the vibe of something we might have done on the last record. Then, slowly but surely, we take little pit stops and turns here and there, kind of show a little bit of diversity.
After your last album, Only by the Night, broke big, you seemed to have trouble adjusting to some of your more mainstream new fans.
Anyone who goes from being under the radar to mass success, there’s things that you loved about your career early on that you can’t get back. I was really scared we were going to lose all of the fans that have been here forever. I think I was being immature about the whole thing. After the record cycle of the last record, I went home and I would go to my little local bar every day, and I would see how proud all the people were over everything we’ve done. I woke up one day and I was like, ”Get off your f—ing high horse.” Now, man, when we play a live show, it doesn’t matter if someone’s just singing ”Sex on Fire” or ”Use Somebody” — the fact that they’re there and they paid money to come and see us, it’s pretty amazing.
They say it’s lucky to be pooped on by a pigeon. Have you felt luckier than usual since having to abandon that show in St. Louis because of a bird infestation earlier this year? Well, I didn’t get s— on, actually. It was just Jared, our brother [and KoL bassist]. We were cracking up. You can’t not look over at your little brother and see s— on his head and not crack up. I don’t know if he’s been lucky since. But I will say it got us a hell of a lot of publicity.
You got more publicity when you reportedly declined to allow your songs to be featured on Glee. So would you rather be s— on by pigeons or have the cast of that show sing your hits?
I don’t really know anything about Glee. I’ve never watched it. All that got blown out of proportion. My little brother said it. He could have been mistaken with which TV show, or whatever. I don’t know that much about Glee and I don’t know that much about getting s— on. So that’s a tough one! I don’t know if our songs are big enough to turn into musical numbers.
You’re being too modest, sir!
I don’t think I am, actually. [Laughs]
Will you be checking out your fellow rocker Steven Tyler on American Idol?
At least a couple of episodes, yeah. I have to see how that’s going to go down. I don’t know what kind of music Steven Tyler listens to, but I can’t really picture him giving two thumbs up to some of these kids. I have a feeling he’ll be the Simon Cowell of the group.