'We weren't allowed to listen to U2'
But now Kings of Leon have grown up and will be supporting U2 on 'Vertigo 2005'.
The US band, who will be opening on the North American leg of the 'Vertigo
Tour', have admitted that supporting U2 is hard to believe.
'We did a TV show called 'CD:UK' in London,' recalls drummer Nathan Followill,' And U2 were on the show too. We played, and then they played, and then we were getting ready to leave and their publicist said 'Hey, Bono wants you guys to stay. He wants to meet you guys'.'
'So we had some drinks, and he was pretty cool and complimentary of our record, but just like a normal, down-to earth guy.
'Like a month later, our manager called us and was like, 'We just got the U2 offer'.'
Nathan's brother Jared plays bass in the band, his cousin Matt plays guitar and his other brother Caleb is the singer - none of them can believe they will be playing to such big audiences night after night. They grew up listening to the Stones and Neil Young while travelling the southern U.S. with their father, a Pentecostal preacher. In 1998, the brothers settled in Nashville and formed Kings of Leon, named after their father and grandfather - and were sooned joined by cousin Matt.
Their bluesy Southern garage rock won them a deal with RCA in 2001, releasing the EP 'Holy Roller Novocaine' and the album 'Youth and Young Manhood' in 2003. In the UK a cult image and driving sound made their latest album 'Aha Shake Heartbreak' a No.1 hit. Touring with U2 will introduce their music to a whole new audience in the US.
'I still can't believe we're going to be opening for U2.' added Nathan. 'They're the biggest band in the world.'
In the Followill household, U2's music was not on the stereo. 'Growing up, we weren't allowed to listen to U2, so an album like ¹The Joshua Tree¹, we just discovered that like two years ago.
'If we were a band that had grown up listening to U2, we'd be a hell of a
lot more scared than we are. But what we do take from U2 is the realisation
of how great it would be to be a band for 20 years...'