Preparing a preview feature on the Kings of Leon’s concert this week (Sun. May 10 at the North Charleston Coliseum), I had a chance to speak by phone with bassist Jared Followill. It was a quick, 10-minute interview (the band’s publicist broke on the line as told us wrap it up — right on time at the 10:30 mark), during which we mostly spoke about the production of the bands new album, Only By The Night, and their recent world tours.
With only a few moments left in our tightly-timed chat, I managed one more question about bass playing. Followill managed to mention the tall guy who smashed his Fender Precision in the iconic photo on the cover of London Calling, and the bearded guy from Joy Division and New Order. Here’s how it went:
City Paper: As a young bassist, do you have kind of a bass hero that you privately emulate — someone you consider when things get difficult or rough — like, in your mind, do you ever wonder what would John Paul Jones, Mike Mills, or Adam Clayton might do in this situation?
Jared Followill: “On stage, definitely. Paul Simonon [at left] from the Clash — He’s somebody I think of when I’m on stage … he’s the kind of person I want to look like on stage. As far as writing and stuff like that, there are a lot. It’s guys like Peter Hook [below], who was in Joy Division and New Order…”
City Paper: Both of those guys wore their bass guitars way down low.
Jared Followill: “Yep. There for a while, it was really hard for me to play like that I would get my guitar tech to move the strap just a half-inch lower, a little bit at a time, so that by the end of the tour it was down where Simonon played.”