Nathan Followill: Growing up, we didn't have an actual home. We stayed with relatives, one place or the other. We lived out of the back of our car; oh man, I'd say there were at least five of those cars. Four of those fourteen years we had a travel trailer; the other ten, the church would either put us up in a hotel, or we would stay at the pastor's house, or a parsonage. We grew up doing that pretty much our whole lives. Our dad pastored a church in Mumford, TN, from 1986 until 1992. That's about 30 minutes outside of Memphis - real country, Tipton County, the most redneck place you'll ever see in your life. That's the first place that we ever got to go to a school more than one year with the same classmates. We went to a little private school there for, like, four years. But when I say private school, I mean that between 12th grade and kindergarten there were maybe 40 kids in the whole school. Pentecostal school. The rest of the time, we were home-schooled.
Nathan Followill: I first started playing music in church when I was seven; I played the drums. My mom would play the piano before my dad would preach. Caleb, over the years, I guess from just watching me play and being the drummer at the church, picked it up and started playing in church too.
Nathan Followill: There are lots of elements of that in Kings of Leon. Because basically in church you're not up there for show; you're just up there to provide for the service. You become so close when you're playing; it's not like you're pressured that if you mess up you're going to be in big trouble. As a band now, I think it kind of makes it easier for us, because in our minds we're just like sittin' up there with a calm, I'd guess you'd say, about us, not worried about messing up. You're just up there feeling the music, as opposed to worrying the whole time. You'd be amazed at the way we played in church. I mean, it was rockin': Fifteen-minute songs, people out there dancing. Getting with it.
That was the first chance we had to think for ourselves. We discovered the freedom to look at religion in a light that we wanted to look at it in. That's when we really kind of cocooned, really started to experience so many aspects of life that, before, we'd never even known were out there. I mean, Zeppelin and the Stones and Tom Petty and all that, we got to listen to a little bit growing up, but we never really got to go buy a record and sit there and listen to the whole thing ten times in a row.
Now we can write and play and record, giving people who hear us, we hope, a glimpse into the mind or imagination of real guys who have been through real stuff and are trying to put our experiences into words that go well with the kind of music that we like to play. Once we heard bands like White Stripes, it just gave me chillbumps, because we thought: Maybe we can do this, and maybe we can do it kind of cool.
Too many artists now, either they have their fists in the air throughout the whole record, or they're crying the whole record. That's not what we're about. We're about the journey.
We grew on love. That's why we're all so close. Most people, if they got a chance to be in a band, they wouldn't want to be with their brothers. That's not how it is with us. We didn't have anything, so all we had was each other. It's not like we're Led Zeppelin, the greatest musicians. That's not what this it about. It's totally a family chemistry, and whenever we get together, somehow we all click. We try to be as real as we possibly can, because you can only put on a charade for so long before you start acting a double-charade. Then you start getting busted.