In an era when bands take two or more years between albums — or, in the case of Guns N’ Roses, 15 — the Tennessee quartet (three brothers and a cousin, named after their grandfather) has cranked out four releases since 2003, including this year’s “Only By Night.” The key, according to drummer Nathan Followill, is that the group is efficient with its creative time, even when it’s on tour.
“We do a lot of our writing on the road,” explains Followill, 29, who grew up as an ardent fan of the Detroit Tigers and Lions. “Ninety-five percent of our writing is done during sound checks. We’ll play on an idea for a couple of weeks, and after 10 shows or so we’ve got a song formed out of it.
“Touring the way we do, that’s a lot of sound checks, a lot of time to get our (stuff) together.”
Followill, the oldest of the three brothers in the band, says that Kings of Leon is guided by the philosophy that “by no means are we an amazing band, but we think we have the potential to be an amazing band.” That, he explains, allows them to be open to any number of musical directions and ideas, which is borne out by the different paths the group has explored on its four albums.
“Man, the world is our oyster,” Followill notes. “We can go in any direction we want to. We’ve changed in-between all our records, so (the fans) will expect everything and be surprised by nothing. I think we’re going about it the right way, not getting caught up in the hype or the fanfare and just making music.
“We like a challenge, so we’re gonna try and go in there and make a record that blows people’s minds every time.”
Kings of Leon, We Are Scientists and the Whigs perform at 7 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 8) at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Tickets are sold out. Call (313) 961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.
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