Kings Of Leon singer Caleb Followill 'hated' his biggest song

Virgin Radio

9 May 2024, 08:55

(L-R) Caleb Followill, Kings Of Leon onstage

Pic: Getty

It might be Kings Of Leon's biggest song, but singer Caleb Followill has confessed he really didn't like Sex On Fire.

The smash-hit single was released in 2008, and catapulted Kings Of Leon to stardom after it was taken from their fourth album, Only By The Night.

It went straight to number one on the UK singles chart and stayed there for three weeks.

Once it was toppled from the top spot it then spent a whopping 42 weeks on the chart in total.

Caleb told NME he wasn't a fan of the song originally: "Usually whatever the label likes I’m like, 'Oh, I hate that.'  A lot of times they’re right and it ends up being successful."

Talking about the successful song, he said: "I didn’t want it on the album. But I knew it was… I knew it had potential, but I felt like there were other songs… I knew instantly, “Everyone’s gonna hear this and they’re not gonna listen to the rest of [the album]”

He previously confessed that the lyrics started life as "a joke": "I just had this melody and I didn’t know what to say. Then one day I just sang “this sex is on fire” and I laughed. 

"I thought it was terrible, but the rest of the band were like, ‘it’s good, it’s got a hook’. I was like “f*** off!” but I ended up writing it."

He continued: "There’s an element of sex that’s expected in our songs so I tried to wrap it all up in one song. If you read the lyrics you’ll find it’s got some quite visual lyrics in it. 

"It’s a pretty sexy song actually, but I knew after writing Sex On Fire, I couldn’t write verses about making out, or going to the movie theatre with a girl."

Despite it not being his favourite song, Caleb acknowledges that the band wouldn't be anywhere near as successful without it, saying back in 2021: "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."

"He concluded: ‘"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."

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