Kings of Leon: Disastrous 2011 tour helped band move forward

Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill performs at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday,...

Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill performs at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday, April 2, 2014. (Codie McLachlan/QMI Agency)

John Williams, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:28 PM ET

Kings of Leon may be a little bent, but they’re definitely not broken.

The Nashville rockers have been forced to scrap more concert dates to allow drummer Nathan Followill to recover from broken ribs following a tour bus accident on Aug. 9 that forced the band to cancel two weeks’ worth of dates earlier this month.

Followill tweets, “I’m so bummed 2 have 2 cancel more shows but I need to be fully recovered before I get back. So sorry to the fans & thanks 4 understanding (sic).”

The trek, in support of their sixth album Mechanical Bull, has been a very ambitious one — they’ve been on the road for close to a year straight, and it won’t end for a few more months. The Kings have come a long way since the now-infamous meltdown in Dallas, which caused the cancellation of their last North American tour.

“I believe we are tighter as a band both musically and personally … but also creatively,” frontman Caleb Followill said during a teleconference interview. “We knew that when we made this album and we started the tour that we wanted to do something different and challenge ourselves to have a little more fun on the road. In order for that to happen, we have to do stuff that is out of our comfort zone.”

Talking with select journalists a few weeks back (before the accident), the band — comprised of brothers Caleb, Nathan and Jared and cousin Matthew Followill — touched on life on the road, new material they’ve been working on, and how they’ve gotten past that fateful night in Texas.

What kind of perspective do you have on Mechanical Bull now that it has been out for a year?

Nathan: Going into the record we really didn’t know what to expect and it all kind of fell into place. Once it was finished, we were all very pleased with it but also I was very surprised at how quickly we were able to do it and still keep the Kings of Leon sound and the integrity of our craft.

Being out on the road for so long, how do you balance work and family?

Caleb: Having your family around as much as possible is good for a lot of different reasons. It’s good for your children to be around their dad, but also, it keeps your head on straight...

You guys have a reputation for taking yourselves pretty seriously. Is this accurate?

Nathan: We don’t take ourselves as serious as most people think. It kind of surprises me when I read stuff saying we’re always super-serious. If you could see us backstage five minutes before we go on you would think we’re 10-year-old boys just being idiots.

Have you been working on a new album?

Caleb: We’re always working on new music. We had a rehearsal for Lollapalooza last month and we ended up going in there and writing new music. If you put us in a room together with our instruments, it’s hard for us to dwell on the past and play something we’ve played a million times. We would much rather create. So what we have going so far is really fun stuff.

What happened in the days, weeks, and months after the Dallas show in 2011 that enabled you to get back on track?

Caleb: A lot happened after that. We all had a bit of a reflection period where we all took a couple steps back and walked away from the music world for a minute. We tried to figure out what it was in life that made us happy and made us want to keep doing what we were doing. It was something that we probably should have done a couple years before, because we worked ourselves and pushed ourselves to a point where, if we didn’t stop, our bodies were going to stop. I had some of my fondest memories those months after Dallas because I got to take a breath and look around at everything we’ve accomplished, as well as look forward to the future and where we could take it next.

Twitter: @johnwillms

john.williams@sunmedia.ca


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