I love those crazy Kings of Leon the way a pawn shop owner loves junkies. Just when it's startin' to look like a slow news day, one of the brothers Followill goes and says something that's, shall I say, "candid." If forced to hazard a guess as to why our beloved Kings are not always perceived as cool by a "nob head"--something their fans from over the pond are sure to call me--such as myself, I'd say it probably has something to do with how they come off as the kind of band who are more concerned with being cool than being good. Case in point: singer Caleb Followill lamenting the growing disparity between their commercial success and perceived "cool" factor, in an interview with Spin magazine this week:
We definitely got bigger than we wanted to be...You feel like you've done something wrong. That woman in mom jeans who'd never let me date her daughter? She likes my music. That's fucking not cool. You almost start doing damage control: When people ask you to do stuff, you're like, "No, because I can already tell this record is going to get to a level where people will fucking hate us."
Despite what people might think, I don't really have much of an opinion on KOL's actual music. For me, that'd be like having some kind of strong opinion on Quaker Oats. I don't eat oatmeal. I could listen to an entire KOL record and form a well thought-out, nuanced and fair opinion on the band, or I could just listen to Odessey and Oracle again, knowing for certain that my time would be well spent.
That said, when the Kings say things as hysterical as what Followill said to Spin, I do indeed find them to be great entertainers. It sounds to me like dude is a little embarrassed by their newfound following. This is kind of what The Spin was getting at when noting that "KOL are a textbook example of a band who've eschewed their cult following in favor of reaching a general and possibly more fickle audience." It's a classic case of trying to have your cake and eat it too. KOL wanted to become the U2 of artifice-rock, and by God, that's what they've become. I doubt Bono loses much sleep over the world at large thinking he's a tool, and the Followills shouldn't either. I just find it kind of ironic that a band who've always tried so hard to be cool (kind of like that band in Almost Famous), has to simply settle for being wildly successful instead.