Kings of Leon probably won’t put their as-yet-untitled fifth album — the follow-up to 2008’s platinum and Grammy Award-winning “Only By the Night” — out until some time this fall.
But that’s not keeping the Nashville, Tenn., group from previewing the new material, including songs that have been identified as “Mary,” “Immortals,” “Radioactive” and “Southbound.”
“If we were to go out there and play a concert and not play new music, it would feel like we had our hands tied, and I think we would be bored with the show,” frontman Caleb Followill, 28, says. “We didn’t want to go back out there and give ’em the ‘Only By the Night’ tour, part two.
“It’s inspiring to be able to go out there and play new songs ... Not only are you testing the songs out on the crowd, but we have that, ‘Oh, s***!’ moment when we’re looking at each other — ‘Are they gonna like this? Are they gonna sit down because it’s not ‘Use Somebody?’ ”
Drummer Nathan Followill says the group — which made news last weekend when a pigeon infestation forced the quartet to cancel its show near St. Louis — has been careful to choose “the ones we have together the best and feel the most comfortable playing.” But he adds that the quartet — which also includes third brother and bassist Jared Followill and cousin Matthew Followill on guitar — might slip a few more in before the end of the tour.
“If it was up to us, we’d play every one of them, the whole record, every night,” says Nathan, 31. “I’m sure ... on a night when we’re all feeling cheeky, we’ll throw some other new ones in there.”
And fortunately, Caleb says, reaction to the new songs so far has Kings of Leon feeling confident about the new album, which was produced by the “Only By the Night” team of Jacquire King and Angelo Petraglia and recorded in New York City.
“The crowd response has been unbelievable,” he notes. “We’ve already had people that on certain new songs there’ll be a (lyric), and right when I get to it every time a whole group of people sing it with me. That makes me feel really good.”
Kings of Leon, Built To Spill and the Stills perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 31, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $56.50 pavilion and $36.50 lawn with a $99 lawn four-pack. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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