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Kings of Leon struggle with fame as they release new album, "Come Around Sundown"

by Brandy McDonnell Published: October 23, 2010
Kings of Leon (Associated Press photo)
Kings of Leon (Associated Press photo)

Rockers Kings of Leon, which includes Oklahoma City-born members Matthew and Nathan Followill, released this week “Come Around Sundown,” their first album since 2008′s “Only By the Night” made them Grammy-winning stars.

With their hits “Sex on Fire” and “Use Somebody,” Kings of Leon have gone from underground darlings to multi-platinum selling rock stars. Frontman Caleb Followill recently told the Associated Press that the four-man band (made up of brothers Caleb, Nathan and Jared Followill and their cousin Matthew Followill) has struggled with the rising fame over the past two years.

“You have to step up to the plate and say, ‘All right, do I have it in me to be one of the biggest bands?’” he said. “Even though that’s a lofty goal, you have to come to terms and say, ‘Can I take the pressure?’ We all agreed that we could. There are definitely times where we are second-guessing and wondering why we thought that because there is so much negative that comes along with the positive. People are going to hate you and people are going to want to see you fail because you reach a certain level.”

Caleb said fame initially scared him and that he now regrets telling Spin magazine back in December: “You feel like you’ve done something wrong. That woman in mom jeans who never let me date her daughter? She likes my music. … Not cool.”

The singer said Kings of Leon was inspired not only musically but ambition-wise by touring with U2 a few years ago.

“If the world is looking for a big band from our generation, we at least want to give it a shot,” Caleb told the AP. “We’ll put ourselves up there against anyone because we’re very competitive and we’re family. Yeah, we’ll give it a shot. I’m not afraid to at least try.”

The Followill brothers – 28-year-old Caleb, 31-year-old Nathan and 24-year-old Jared – grew up as the sons of a fundamentalist Christian minister who traveled around the South. The band is named for their father, who resisted rock ‘n’ roll when his sons were growing up; Caleb says he’s now one of their biggest fans. The band also includes their cousin Matthew Followill, 26.

Kings of Leon will perform tonight on “Saturday Night Live.”


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by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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