New Kings of Leon Album Title Inspired by John Travolta

The band watched a lot of "Urban Cowboy" while coming up with the new album title, says drummer Nathan Followill.

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Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill recently said that the title of the group's upcoming record "Mechanical Bull" was inspired by John Travolta and his 1980 movie "Urban Cowboy."

While speaking with MTV News, the stickman also revealed that the new record is complete for quite some time now, making the band jumpy and excited to perform the new tunes live.

"We were so early in on the process of it, we had narrowed it down to three names, and 'Mechanical Bull' won out," the drummer said. I know we watched a lot of [the 1980 John Travolta film] 'Urban Cowboy' during the making of this record, so that definitely probably had something to do with it."

When it comes to the entire process of making the new album, Followill commented: We're all pretty excited. The record's been done for a few months, so we're chomping at the bit to play the new stuff every chance we get. We felt pretty confident about the first two [songs]; it's great to use festivals as a testing ground to how kids are going to respond to it."

He then switched to talk about the specific details of the "Mechanical Bull," saying that the four-piece went for a bit more simple approach.

"We challenged ourselves quite a bit; I think it was very hard for Jared [Followill, bassist] to have to dumb down his bass playing on some of these songs, but it fits the songs ... there are some songs where I don't even hit a cymbal. You've just got to do what's best for the song, and luckily everyone was down with that."

Two new tracks, "It Don't Matter" and "Supersoaker," were already premiered live, receiving mostly positive reactions from the crowd.

"I think we chose these two to play live because they really represent the record, the direction it goes in," Followill said. "'It Don't Matter' is dirty and gritty, a little two-and-a-half minute pounder, everybody play has hard as they can, as fast as they can. 'Supersoaker' is a lot more melodic and a little more sing-along-y, if that's even a word. Obviously there are some slower ones on the record, because we wanted to make it as full of a record as we could."

Interestingly enough, the new record was described as "much more complicated" by bassist Jared Followill, who compared the record's vibe to the first two Kings of Leon releases. "Mechanical Bull" is set to drop on September 24 via RCA Records.

The band's latest album, "Come Around Sundown," saw its release in October 2010 as the fifth record in the Kings of Leon catalogue. It debuted at No. 1 in a total of eight countries, including the United Kingdom and Germany.

28 comments sorted by best / new / date

    How does the new stuff sound? I haven't heard it yet? I really wish they'd do something heavier, and 60's rock sounding, like maybe a "Molly's Chambers-esque" song. They're a good band, I just preferred their heavier, and unprocessed, unfiltered and almost "grimy" sound.
    'It Don't Matter' sounds promising for that kinda sound you described! Check it out there's some good quality vids on youtube
    Anybody else ever noticed that all their album titles have 5 syllables?
    I stopped paying attention to KoL some time ago for some reason, but I'm pretty much a fan of their first 2 albums. I feel like catching up with them again, so this is an option.
    "You've just got to do what's best for the song..." This is a nice strategy, but if they really were going to do that, they would just quit recording
    You're right, after that awesome debut you put out who needs professional musicians. Didn't your mother teach you if you don't have anything nice to say, keep you mouth shut.
    Didn't your mother ever teach not to rely blindly on old platitudes? Without negative criticism, people will continue to make boring, pointlessly derivitive, and/or uninspired music. There's lots of amazing stuff out there right now, Kings of Leon just don't have anything to do with it.
    If there is so much amazing stuff out there why don't we ever hear any of it....reason? because there really isnt much good out there at all and there hasn't been in years..if there was it would be discovered and it would become huge.....
    It sounds like you're frustrated that your favourite genre of music or artist(s?) are no longer relevant.
    It kind of seems like you are pissed off because Kings of Leon make great music and have experienced great success, which is a rarity these... or maybe you have no ears... either/or
    While I do think it's a shame that they've grown vastly wealthy while many more talented artists barely scrape by, my beef with them stems only from their musical floundering.
    So... it was inspired by a movie STARRING John Travolta. Not actually JT himself?
    Just a cheap way of getting attention, since Travolta is secretky gay or some sht and into scientoligy and all.