But their phenomenal popularity proved short-lived. Their follow-up record, Come Around Sundown, was equally strong, but it failed to move audiences in the same way that Only by the Night had. Even more alarmingly, the band seemed to be going through much internal turmoil, which forced the cancellation of tour dates in 2011 and provoked rumors that Kings of Leon were breaking up because of frontman Caleb Followill's alleged drinking problem.
We haven't heard from the guys in a while, but recently bassist Jared Followill spoke to the BBC, and he indicated that the group will be coming back in 2013 with a new record. So we can probably stop worrying about them breaking up.
In the interview, which was dug up by NME, Followill said, "We are in the writing process right now and it's coming along pretty quickly. We'll definitely get into the studio but ... we have no plans of finishing it this year but definitely early next year, so I think people should expect something from us sooner rather than later."
While that's certainly good news for KoL fans, it is interesting to note that in the band's absence, another group has usurped their position as America's favorite "real" rock band: the Black Keys. The challenge for Kings of Leon will be to prove that they're not just a flavor-of-the-week but, instead, a compelling band that can continue to make great music after a lost year. It'll definitely be a worthy rock story to keep an eye on in 2013.
Photo courtesy RCA.