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Riffs: Kings of Leon vs. The World: Their biggest beefs, brawls and blow-ups

kings of leonThey could insult somebody. (Kyle Gustafson/FTWP)

By Allison Stewart

Congenitally grouchy alt-rockers Kings of Leon seem to be beefing with everyone these days: their peers (Groove Armada) their betters (the Arcade Fire) and just about every avian and non-avian life form in between.

What makes KoL the complainy-est Top Ten outfit since MGMT? We have no idea. Our guide to the band's various scrapes, contretemps and kerfluffles might help sort things out, though:

Kings of Leon vs. Arcade Fire

The Beef: Drummer Nathan Followill recently complained to Spin magazine about an unnamed indie band, saying, "Now it's cool to have 14 people in your band doing everything but contributing musically, running around with a helmet on your head, hitting it with a drumstick." He went on to imply that said band was pretentious and in it for the fame, because apparently some bands are like that. Bloggers later deduced that the Arcade Fire, the only band who seem to accumulate as many beefs as KoL, was the act in question.

The Winner: The Arcade Fire. They do seem to think awfully well of themselves, but they can back it up.

Kings of Leon vs. Their Audience

The Beef: KoL are among the last of a vanishing breed-bands who complain about the burdens of stardom. Making like Eddie Vedder in 1995, frontman Caleb Followill complained, "We definitely got bigger than we wanted to be. You feel like you've done something wrong. That woman in mom jeans who'd never let me date her daughter? She likes my music. That's [expletive] not cool."

The Winner: No one.

(Kings of Leon beat on each other, are attacked by birds, after the jump.)

kol bruiseThe Sun with the pun.

Kings of Leon vs. Each Other

The Beef: Oft-feuding brothers Nathan and Caleb Followill once got into a drunken brawl severe enough to break Caleb's arm. Caleb and Matthew famously brawled backstage at a British awards show (the newspaper headline: "Bruise Somebody"). The band's other members once accused Caleb of trying to write all their songs himself in order to keep the royalties. “I got a call from Caleb going: ‘I’m sitting here writing the next album by myself,’" bassist Jared Followill told an interviewer. "And we’re like: ‘Oh no, you’re not.’" To sum it up: "If I wasn't involved, I can't imagine liking us a lot."

The Winner: No one.

Kings of Leon vs. the bands of the V Festival

The Beef: KoL headlined the British music fest in August, and reports of diva-like behavior surfaced soon after. Andy Cato, whose electro duo Groove Armada also played the festival, blogged about the band's alleged bad behavior, claiming that KoL required the other bands' cars to pull over while they drove by (each member in their own Range Rover) and commandeered half of the backstage shower and toilet facilities for their own use. "It's hard to believe that someone actually phoned their agent and said, 'Listen I know that Paul Weller, Kasabian, Florence, Stereophonics, Groove Armada + co are all sharing the artist village and facilities, but we require that you put a fence down the middle of the toilets and showers and put a large man there to keep them just for us,'" Cato blogged. "But somebody did."

The Winner: Groove Armada

Kings of Leon vs. the incontinent pigeons of St. Louis

The Beef: In a now infamous July incident, the band walked off the stage three songs into their Verizon Ampitheatre set after dive-bombing pigeons drenched them in excrement. Fan reaction was split between band sympathizers and the unsympathetic, in-my-day-it-was-more-than-pigeons-who-were-pooping-on-us crowd. Nathan Followill later tweeted: "You may enjoy being **** on but we don't."

The winner: The pigeons.

By Allison Stewart  | October 27, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Riffs  | Tags:  Kings of Leon  
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Next: The Click Track 2010 Howard Homecoming Draft!


I might care if I thought they were any good. Kings of Losers, in my opinion. They're the new Collective Soul. Won't be around much longer....hopefully.

Posted by: Bebunk | October 27, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

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