Kings Of Leon: Back With The 'Comeback Story Of A Lifetime' | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Kings Of Leon: Back With The 'Comeback Story Of A Lifetime'

Play associated audio

Kings of Leon appeared to be on the downswing after an unexpected breakdown in July 2011; it was uncertain whether the band would swing back up again. Two years later, the group is revitalized and returning with its sixth album, Mechanical Bull.

The band of close male family members — brothers Nathan, Caleb and Jared Followill, accompanied by their cousin Matthew — had been traveling on the road together for a decade straight. With his voice growing ragged and no sign of a break in sight, lead singer Caleb Followill took matters into his own hands at a Dallas performance: He announced to the audience that he was leaving the stage to vomit and drink a beer, but would return to finish the show. He never did.

"I think, at first, we were all pretty tough on Caleb backstage that night. We were definitely angry," drummer Nathan Followill says of his younger brother's onstage antics. "At the time, we didn't realize how severe it actually was, health-wise, for him."

After seeing a throat specialist, Caleb Followill was told that he was one show away from permanently damaging his vocal cords.

"I think that was just kind of something that was bound to happen," the singer says. "We had been running pretty hard for almost 10 years, and our bodies were just spent."

The release of Mechanical Bull marks the end of a tough period for Kings of Leon. Moments of optimism — however sarcastic — are perceptible in tracks like "Comeback Story."

"It's kind of tongue-in-cheek, saying it's the comeback story of a lifetime," says Caleb Followill.

Nathan and Caleb Followill recently spoke with NPR's David Greene about their familial roots and how their intimate lives changed after a not-so-intimate announcement that summer night in 2011. Hear more of their conversation by clicking the audio link.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

A Conversation With American Ballet Theatre's Misty Copeland (Rebroadcast)

Acclaimed ballerina Misty Copeland joined Diane to talk about her remarkable career and how she is challenging physical stereotypes that she says keep ballet stuck in the past.

NPR

Why The World Might Be Running Out Of Cocoa Farmers

West African cocoa farmers earn less than $1 a day. Those low wages could jeopardize the future of chocolate labor, as young farmers find better opportunities to earn a living, a new report warns.
WAMU 88.5

Danielle Allen: "Our Declaration" (Rebroadcast)

For the Fourth of July: A fresh reading of the Declaration of Independence, and how ideas of freedom and equality have been interpreted over the years.

NPR

Pilot In Solar-Powered Plane Sets Aviation Record

André Borschberg, flying Solar Impulse 2, set a new record of 120 hours in the cockpit on a journey from Japan to Hawaii.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.