Three years after "Mechanical Bull" (and it's charmingly catchy single "Supersoaker"), Kings of Leon timidly reemerged with their seventh studio album, "Walls." This time, the band — known for their high emotions, both in song and amongst themselves (they're brothers, after all) — worked with Markus Dravs, the UK-based producer known for working his finesse on Florence + the Machine, Arcade Fire, Coldplay and Mumford and Sons. The result is a tight 10-track that dropped in October, trickling out the likes of the unexpected mosey-inducing "Muchacho" and abstractly Springsteen-esque title track, "Walls." "Waste a Moment" and "Find Me" might incite a toe tap to your dad and his friends, but they play just fine by us, too.
We caught up with Jared Followill — the youngest of the Nashville foursome — from Atlantic City, just before the band hits the road for a U.S. tour and the summer festival circuit.
Now that you're in rehearsals and have played the album live — do you notice any of Marcus's handiwork coming through on stage?
Maybe, but not obviously. His influences are greatly shown when we play anything from "Walls," but we don't lock ourselves into album tours. We see our live show as a growing thing; it's always been there, we just add to it.
Seven albums in — how are you going to narrow it down?
It's tough. I don't think there's any way to make everyone happy — including us.
One song I'm dying to see live is "Muchacho," just because it's such a different vibe from what we're used to seeing from you.
That, I can say for a fact, will be there. We're running through the set now, and "Muchacho" is something we're excited to play. It's a song that came together late [in the recording process] for us, and there was a weird vision for us. It's like a super bar band, karaoke-style song. It's somewhat challenging, and it'll be interesting to see how it works out in these arena venues.
Given that you guys are family, do you find you're always being asked about how that plays into your dynamics as a band?
Yeah, and I understand why, but I also know there's no real way for us to answer those questions. None of us have been in other bands. We've only been in a band with our family. So when people ask us if we argue more than other bands, it's like, 'We don't know!' [Laughs] It's all we've ever known. There's no other way.
You guys were announced as performers at Tinderbox in Denmark, which will be up against Glastonbury over the same weekend. Are you excited to be going into festival season this year?
We love European festivals — they have a completely different dynamic. And for us, it's like European band camp, where you see all your friends from the past 15 years.
What can U.S. festivals learn from festivals abroad?
For the most part, festivals in Europe are rowdier. When you're on stage, you want to see people having fun and going crazy. Just like when you're in the audience, you want to see the band give it their all. You feed off each other. And the European festivals are absolutely insane.