Interview with Kings Of Leon

When you were going in to write the new record, did you feel any kind of pressure from the success the band had from the first one?

I think only in the most positive possible way. We put so much pressure on ourselves because, you know, being family, we pretty much tell each other what we think. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves, but as far as everything else, we just knew that we wanted to go in there and do something people didn’t expect. We wanted to go in there and just make music for us. We don’t know what’s cool, we don’t know what genre’s gonna be here today and gone tomorrow. We’re trying to make a catalog of music that we’re proud of so we can keep playing it as long as we need to play it. But, I don’t know, we always seem to try to go forward and move ahead, and the music that we’re already writing now for the next album seems to me like it’s leaps and bounds every time we go to write.

You’ve already started writing?

Yeah, the record was released in Europe and the UK earlier, so we’ve had some stuff brewing inside of us for a while now and it’s just now getting to the point where we’re starting to put it down, and it’s sounding pretty amazing.

How is it writing on the road?

A lot of the time, you just kind of get stuff all pent up inside of you and once you get home, it comes out, but now we’re getting so excited about the ideas that we’re having at our soundchecks and shit like that, that I’m writing on the bus, it’s pretty cool. We just got a bunch of acoustic guitars, so it’s a lot more accessible nowadays.

How’s the new material sounding?

I don’t want to sound stupid, but it’s just very inspirational. It makes you put your fist in the air. We’re trying to do everything. There’s nothing that we’re scared to do, there’s no kind of music that we’re scared to touch on. Now it’s to the point that we’ll pick out a song that we like or a band that we like and say, ‘Well, how would it come out if we did our take on that style of music or on that person’s way of thinking?’ We’re kind of making it easier on ourselves these days by, first of all, our heads are a little more into the music, whereas before we were just kind of steering ourselves with blinded eyes. We didn’t know that much about music, but we’re learning more and more, and the more we learn, because we didn’t know music for so long, as opposed to soaking everything up, we really quickly cancel a lot of it out. We can kind of tell by feeling if they have their heart into it, if they’re really trying to make music as opposed to trying to make a hit.

So it’s kind of a continual learning experience.

Yeah I hope so. As soon as we fuckin’ quit learning, that’s when we’re gonna hang up our boots.

Going along with that same kind of thing, in terms of songwriting, I assume you’re not working with any other songwriters, do you feel more responsible for the material?

Yeah, that was the pressure on the last album. There really was no pressure. We’ve always known that the way we make music and anyone that helps us along the way, it’s really there for just our peace of mind, to let us know that we’re not crazy and that something is good when we think it’s good. But yeah, with the last album, I know that was the one thing that I wanted to do was give ourselves complete confidence and know that what we thought was what we thought, so that’s what we did on the last album, and this album’s even more so. As opposed to me taking all the pressure and feeling like I had to try and do everything, because we travel so much, we’re inspiring each other. We inspire every song in different ways. One day it’ll be a bass line, next day it’ll be a fuckin’ drum beat. We’re all pretty much throwing it into the pot, and I’ll just go and write the lyrics. It’s really working for us because it puts all of our identity into the songs, and we’re all listening to the same music, so it’s great.

Are you worried about—

No. (laughs)

I was gonna say growing up.

No, I don’t think we have to worry about that for a second. We’re all still pretty childish in our ways. We’re all mature, but I don’t think any of us are grown up, none of us believe that we can fall in love, we’ve tried. The only thing that’s grown up about us is our taste in alcohol. Now we drink wine, we make sure we have one fancy meal a day as opposed to three shitty meals. Everything else, I mean, we’re still having sex with women that are gonna make us tell stories.

And isn’t that what rock and roll is all about?

For more info on the band, check out