Kings of Leon Say They Needed to Shake Things Up for New Album
Kings of Leon haven’t yet made an official announcement on their upcoming seventh album, but they are already talking about the process that birthed the new work. In a new interview, the Followills talked about how the turmoil of the past few years has brought them closer, even for a band comprised of three brothers and their cousin.
Speaking to Billboard, singer Caleb Followill said that the last few years, which included a canceled tour as he battled alcohol addiction and a relatively poor commercial response to 2013’s Mechanical Bull — with only 347,000 copies sold — resulted in some soul-searching. "There comes a point when you realize you've lost that passion and that hunger," he said. "You're chastened and want to get it back -- and in order to get it back it's like, 'Forget about record sales, forget about the size of the venue you're playing, forget about any of that stuff.'"
To regain that feeling, they stopped working with Angelo Petraglia, who had produced all of their previous efforts, in favor of Markus Dravs, an A-list producer whose resume includes Grammy-winning records by Arcade Fire, Coldplay and Mumford and Sons. Bassist Jared Followill said that Dravs’ methods — which included challenging the quality of everything from the musicianship to the songwriting — were a welcome change-of-pace. "He just said things that nobody had ever said to us," he said. "Like, 'I don't like that song, that's not good, we can move on from that. … He'd be like, 'OK, now play it like the Sex Pistols. And then you've turned a slow song into a fast one."
Lead guitarist Matthew Followill added, “This guy is a genius.”
It’s expected that the record will be called WALLS, an acronym of We Are Like Love Songs, and will arrive on Oct. 14. Whether it matches the double-platinum sales of 2008’s Only by the Night remains to be seen, but for now, they’re in good spirits and ready for their next endeavor. "We definitely have a better, stronger relationship outside of music than we did in the past,” Caleb said.
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