Kings Of Leon Goes Against The Grain On New CD

Kings Of Leon singer/guitarist Caleb Followill says the band had one rule while it recorded its third RCA album, "Because of the Times," which is due out April 3.

Kings Of Leon singer/guitarist Caleb Followill says the band had one rule while it recorded its third RCA album, "Because of the Times," which is due out April 3.

"It was just us against the world and so we pretty much threw everything out the window that people warned us about," Followill says. "We have 13 songs, which is an unlucky number and I hate stuff like that. I was kind of like, 'F*** it man, if we're going to have a seven-minute song, let's put it at the beginning. If we want to try stuff, let's try it.' And at the end of the day, we were more than pleased with it. It felt a lot more natural to us."

That seven-minute song, "Knocked Up," sets a different and less poppy tone than heard on the Tennessee-based band's 2004 effort "Aha Shake Heartbreak," which to date has sold 177,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The new album also bears evidence of time spent on the road wit U2, Pearl Jam and Bob Dylan over the past two years.

"When we went out there in these big empty places, where people would be filing in, the natural sound coming off the guitar sounded larger than life," Followill says. "We were like 'Man, we have to recreate that.' So when we did a sound check with these bands, we wouldn't play our songs. We'd start trying to come up with stuff that had this large sound. A new song like 'Arizona,' every time we play it feels like we're on top of a mountain. We just wrote this big, wide-open song and it's all about the music."

Kings Of Leon will return to live duty April 28 at the Coachella festival in Indio, Calif., and will also play Bonnaroo on June 15 in Manchester, Tenn. After North American dates, the group will head to Europe before mounting another Stateside leg.

While he dismisses any notion that "Because of the Times" is a make-it-or-break-it album, Followill admits the band owes much of its success to one overseas market in particular.

"I think we'd be fools not to say that because of the U.K., we've been able to make three records," Followill says. "So we have a love and admiration for the U.K. But man, we're so blessed. At this point, we can pretty much play for 3,000 kids just about anywhere. And that's so much bigger than we ever imagined it would be."

Here are Kings Of Leon's tour dates:

April 28: Indio, Calif. (Coachella Festival)
May 2: Seattle (Moore Theater)
May 3: Portland, Ore. (Crystal Ballroom)
May 5: Denver (Ogden Theater)
May 6: Kansas City, Mo. (Voodoo Lounge)
May 7: Tulsa, Okla. (Cains)
May 9: Austin, Texas (Stubbs)
May 11: New Orleans (House of Blues)
May 12: Houston (Warehouse Live)
May 13: Dallas (House of Blues)
May 15: Indianapolis (Vogue)
May 17: Milwaukee (Rave)
May 18: Minneapolis (First Ave.)
May 19: Chicago (Riviera)
May 21: Louisville (Headliners)
May 22: Cleveland (House of Blues)
May 24: Cincinnati (Bogart's)
May 25: St. Louis (Pageant)
June 1: Atlanta (Tabernacle)
June 2: Asheville, N.C. (Orange Peel)
June 5: New York (Roseland)
June 6: Boston (Avalon)
June 7: Philadelphia (Electric Factory)
June 12: Toronto (Kool Haus)
June 15: Manchester, Tenn. (Bonnaroo Festival)


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