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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 3| January 17, 2010|


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Sounds and Rhythm

Kings of Leon

Compiled by Nazia Ahmed

KINGS of Leon an American rock band formed in Nashville, Tennessee in 1999, consists of brothers Anthony Caleb Followill (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Ivan Nathan Followill (drums, percussion, backing vocals) and Michael Jared Followill (bass guitar, backing vocals), with their cousin Cameron Matthew Followill (lead guitar, backing vocals). The band's early music was an upbeat blend of southern rock and blues influences but the band has gradually expanded their sound to include a variety of genres and a more alternative sound. Kings of Leon achieved initial success in the United Kingdom with nine Top 40 singles, two BRIT Awards in 2008, and all three of the band's albums at the time peaking in the top five of the UK Albums Chart. Their third album Because of the Times also reached the number one spot. After the release of Only by the Night in September 2008 they finally achieved chart success in their native United States. The singles "Sex on Fire", "Use Somebody" and "Notion" all peaked at number one on the Hot Modern Rock Tracks. The album itself was their first ever platinum-selling album in the United States and achieved 7x platinum certification in the United Kingdom.

Kings of Leon lead guitarist Matthew Followill discusses their band in an exclusive interview with ArtistDirect.com

AD: Only By the Night possesses a cinematic quality. When you begin writing songs, do you have certain stories in mind?

Matthew :The songs just come. We'll start playing, and they'll come. We don't ever really have an idea of what we want to sound like. Sometimes we'll start a song, and we'll say, "We want this track to sound dark." But it'll typically be a situation where Jared starts with a bass line and we all build around it. The next thing you know, we're in the studio and we have a full song. We simply get the sounds together like that. It really is what it is, man.

AD: The band has evolved logically with each album. You've preserved who you are while naturally progressing and changing in a way that makes sense.

Matthew: If you're going to stay recent, you have to change. You can't ever really stay the same. That's just the way we've feltwe have to change with the times. That's why we called our last album Because of the Times. We knew it sounded different than the other stuff, but we thought it was necessary to move in that direction with a little bit more of a modern sound. Before that album, we sounded a little older.

AD: It comes with embracing who you are as you tour, record and play more.

It doesn't matter what anyone thinks anymore. You're already established very respectably.

Matthew: That's definitely true. We just listen to musicwhatever we like. Caleb likes one kind of music, Nathan likes another and so on. It all comes together. We have different elements in our records. Only by the Night has "Revelry," but it also has "Use Somebody" and "Sex On Fire." All three songs are so different.

AD: You sound more like Jimmy Page though, in terms of incorporating different tones and sounds into each song. It's not really like The Edge. It seems like there aren't any boundaries for what you're willing to try with the guitar.

Matthew: Right on! I wish more people thought like you [Laughs]. I get flack sometimes from the band. They'll say, "You can't have guitar parts like that anymore. We don't want to hear anymore U2 comparisons" [Laughs]. I'm like, "Dude, whatever." All of those people that say we sound like U2 aren't really listening, and they don't really know music.

AD: Kings of Leon sounds different, so it's easy for people to just drop the "sounds like U2" line.
Matthew: When we first came out, we "sounded like The Strokes." They were popular, so if you were in a band you were either, "The Southern Strokes" or "The English Strokes" and so on. Now, since we toured with U2, people are like, "They play like U2 now." I don't know.

AD: Does it help that you're all family?
Matthew: I definitely think so. I don't know how other musicians have done it. It's weird and it sounds kind of cheesy, but it's really like, "We're family, and we know what's going to happen because we're psychic" [Laughs]. It does feel natural when we're in the studio I look at Nathan, and we'll know where every part fits. Maybe it does help out that we're family. There's definitely a comfort level to know that nobody's feelings are really getting hurt. They can tell me whatever they want to.

AD: Are you constantly writing riffs?
Matthew: I'm pretty much always writing riffs. It just sucks because there are so many that I just don't remember. We're always playing. We don't even sound check our songs, we just go up. I don't know about the lyrics, but I'd say we could easily put out a double record at some point. Every time we go into the studio, songs come really natural to us. We're lucky. A lot of people get writer's block, and we're showing no signs of that.

AD: How do you feel like your live show has evolved?

Matthew: Oh God, it's really evolved a lot. We used to be so nervous, but now we're really comfortable on stage. We've got a light show. We're playing bigger places, and we have a lot more songs. We spread the set list out over the four records. You play so much you're going to get comfortable doing this stuff. Our live show is better than ever, and it's only going to get better. Our live show might be the thing that we're most proud of. People say we're great live, but it feels so good because they also say we have great records. They're supposed to go hand-in-hand. Some have even said our live show sounds better than the record, which is the best compliment ever [Laughs].

AD: You have that classic rock attitude mentality and attitude. You put out records consistently and stay on the road. Fans need that these days.
Matthew: We look at it in a smart way. We know our time could be short, or we could keep going on. You've got to strike while the iron's hot.

International film festival begins at JU

Mashrequl Islam Rahat

INTERNATIONAL Film Festival began by introducing and creating interests about foreign films among young generation. A three day long programme, International Film Festival 2010 started at the central auditorium of the Jahangirnagar University (JU) on 9 January 2010.
Jahir Raihan Film Society organized the Film Festival. A total of nine films from different countries including India, Germany, England, and Russia were screened in the festival.


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