Even though Kings of Leon continue to tour in the wake of 2008’s platinum “Only By Night,” the group is planning a couple of new projects for the fall — and is starting to focus on its next album.
Though both are untitled and unscheduled at the moment, the quartet plans to release a live DVD and a remix album in the coming months. The former was filmed at London’s O2 Arena in July, an appropriate locale since, as drummer Nathan Followill tells Billboard.com, “England is really the first place we broke…We figured what better place to make a live DVD than where the fans have been the craziest for the longest?” The show featured some choice rarities, and Followill says “we just put the cameras in the back of our minds and acted like they weren’t even there.”
Even more exciting, however, is a remix album that came to life after Kings of Leon learned that other artists such as Justin Timberlake and Pharrell had started working on revisions of the band’s songs. Mark Ronson, Kenna, Lykke Li and Linkin Park are also contributing remixes, according to Followill.
“It’s neat to have these people who we would’ve jumped at the chance to work with ourselves…coming to us before we even get a chance to ask them,” the drummer says. “It’s amazing to hear your song played by these people who are so creative. Most of the time it takes me two or three listens to even wrap my head around, ‘Oh man, that’s our song…'”
While all that is going on, Kings of Leon are pondering the release of another single for “Only By Night” — Followill is thumping for “Notion” — but will not, as rumored, be contributing anything to the soundtrack for “New Moon,” the second film in the “Twilight” series. Frontman Caleb Followill, meanwhile, is preparing for a fall appearance as a guest judge on “Iron Chef,” which brother Nathan, who’s getting married in November, says “is awesome…Me and him are really big fans of nice meals and nice wine, but we just let him do it because I’m usually so drunk by the end of the meal that I probably would not make any sense on that show and they would have to bleep out a lot more than they could use.”
Amidst all this, Kings of Leon has been working on new material, mostly at sound checks, and has “a good eight or 10 ideas kicking around” according to drummer Followill. “The new stuff is all over the place,” he reports. “I call it ‘Aha Shake…’ but by guys that are a little grown-up and a little better at their instruments. There’s stuff that sounds like Radiohead. There’s stuff that sounds like Thin Lizzy. There’s stuff that sounds like The Band. We’re pretty much to the point now where…we can be experimental and try stuff we would’ve been scared to death to try on the first couple of records. Now we find ourselves being a little more adventurous.”
The group plans to enjoy the holidays at home, but Followill doesn’t expect the quartet to stay at rest for long. “At the end of every record cycle,” he notes, “we’re like, ‘Dude, we’re taking a year off.’ We get home and after two weeks of sitting on our ass we’re like, ‘Y’all wanna rehearse or something?’ and that gets the creative juices flowing and leads to writing and before you know it, we’re back at it.”