In a potential battle of family bands with Oklahoma ties, Isaac Hanson of Tulsa-based brother trio Hanson has taken Kings of Leon to task for letting down their fans.
As previously reported, Kings of Leon on Aug. 1 canceled their entire U.S. tour after frontman Caleb Followill left the stage halfway through a disastrous July 29 Dallas show during which he complained of the heat and problems with his voice. The band – brothers Caleb (vocals, guitar), Nathan (drums, vocals) and Jared (bass) Followill and first cousin Matthew Followill (lead guitar) – is set to resume touring Sept. 28 in Canada.
Although the official announcement cited Caleb Followill’s “vocal issues and exhaustion,” Jared Followill indicated there might be more to the cancellation, and Isaac Hanson told
“I have a hard time with musicians who act like p–cks because it just makes me mad. I just sit there and I go, ‘You know what, dude, no matter whether you’re in a band just surviving or you’re in a bus playing stadiums, one way or another you’re still among the rare breed of people that are actually getting paid to do it.’
“If you’re actually making a living doing it, man, pinch yourself every day, because it goes if you don’t love it… and people will eventually get pissed off.
“And I’m gonna call somebody out on it – the Kings of Leon guys are running some risks. They’re irritating people; you can’t do that too much. Eventually the bad boy image affects fans’ willingness to show up. Their fans will get bummed out.
“Everybody has their demons, everyone has their challenges… I’m a bit of a hothead in certain circumstances, but you gotta temper it because your fans are there and they’ve paid good money to see a show, and you gotta bring it. I don’t wash my dirty laundry in public, I do my dirty laundry backstage… I have flipped the bird at a few people that deserved it and told them to go ‘f’ themselves.”
On the night after the band’s Dallas disaster, Jared Followill posted on Twitter @youngfollowill, “I love our fans so much. I know you guys aren’t stupid. I can’t lie. There are problems in our band bigger than not drinking enough Gatorade.”
Isaac Hanson told WENN that if the Kings can’t sort out their problems, they could become an ill-fated family band on par with Oasis:
“They got that too and it hurt them ultimately, because it made it hard for people to have a lot of fun at their shows – because they were worried that Noel (Gallagher) was gonna get pissed off (and walk off)… But I don’t think that they (Oasis) necessarily didn’t finish shows.”
But Stephen Mitchell, director of the KOL documentary “Talihina Sky: The Story of Kings of Leon,” told MTV News that while he hasn’t spoken to the band since they scrapped their tour, he’s not worried about the band’s future:
“It’s a fabric of the band, the roots of the band, they’re family, and I think that’s a reason that they’ve been able to find a common ground to stick together and make five albums over, what, eight-plus years?” he said. “That’s really hard to do. There’s not many bands making two albums, let alone five, during that time … and I’m not a band spokesperson, I can’t speak for them, they make the great music, but I believe in them and I think the family side of it will be the same reason we end up seeing more great shows and hearing more great albums from them in the future.”
Even Jared Followill’s Twitter implications don’t have Mitchell fretting about his musical pals, the filmmaker told MTV News:
“I think some of the draw to these guys is that they are brothers and cousins; there’s a magnetism to that. … They say anything and everything to each other, and it is how they sort of work things out internally; they’re very vocal. And I had to learn a long time ago that they’re not yelling at each other, they’re just communicating, and it’s loud. And sometimes the stuff they say to each other … you’ve got to have some thick skin to be walking around with those guys.”
Brothers Caleb, Nathan and Jared Followill spent their childhood traveling the Bible Belt between Oklahoma and Tennessee with their itinerant Pentecostal preacher father, Leon. Despite their strict upbringing, they formed the rock band Kings of Leon in 1999 with their cousin, Matthew Followill.
Caleb and Jared were both born in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., while Nathan and Matthew were born in Oklahoma City. The band is now based in Tennessee, but the group received in spring the Rising Star Award from the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.
Their unusual upbringing and rise to musical stardom is the subject of the new documentary “Talihina Sky: The Story of Kings of Leon,” which premiered at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival and opened Oklahoma City’s deadCenter Film Festival. The rock doc will premiere at 9 p.m. Sunday on Showtime and air repeatedly through the end of August on Showtime, Showtime Showcase and Sho 2.