Kings of Leon’s Caleb Followill on making peace with ‘Sex On Fire’: “When lightning strikes, it strikes”

"My sour side was never because of the music itself"

Kings of Leon‘s Caleb Followill has re-evaluated his comments on ‘Sex on Fire’, after he previously described the band’s 2008 hit as “terrible”.

The singer previously decried the ‘Only By The Night’ upon release, telling NME that he initially doubted the song’s quality but was persuaded by his bandmates to finish writing it.

But he has now seemingly softened his stance, admitting that the track allowed the band to transform from rock outsiders to stadium mainstays.


Speaking to NME for this week’s Big Read, Caleb said: “There comes a point when you can either be proud of what you’ve accomplished or you can still sit back and be sour over it.

“My sour side was never because of the music itself, it was because I thought we should have gotten that kind of recognition earlier on in our career.”

Kings Of Leon
Kings Of Leon CREDIT: Matthew Followill

Reflecting on the huge success of ‘Only By The Night’, he added: “When lighting strikes, it strikes. There’s no way you can recreate it or bottle it up. Without that album, who knows if we’d still be making records today.”

Elsewhere in the interview, the band also discussed the #MeToo movement, and the ongoing dialogue about sexual harassment in the music industry.


Caleb’s bandmate and brother, Nathan Followill, admitted the that cliches of rock and roll hedonism “hits home a lot harder, being the father of a daughter.”

Kings Of Leon released their eighth album ‘When You See Yourself’ last Friday (March 5). In a four-star reviewNME described it as “an album that finds them joyful, energised and curious, the sound of growing happier in your own skin.”

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