Kings of Leon, the Grammy Award-winning group making history with its new album “When You See Yourself,” is coming to the stands of Los Angeles.
The multiplatinum band, on tour for the first time since 2017 to promote its innovative eighth studio album, will perform at The Forum at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 21.
“We’re in a groove right now, and it feels good to get back up here and connect with your fans,” drummer Nathan Followill said. “I’ve seen so many grown men cry after these first few shows, I think that’s a pretty powerful testament to the connection that fans and the band can have.
“And how much people need this right now? They need that release; they need to get out and be with other people and get some bit of normalcy in their life.”
Earlier this year, Kings of Leon released “When You See Yourself” in the form of a nonfungible token (NFT). It’s the first band to do so.
A form of cryptocurrency, an NFT operates on a blockchain. Because it is a publicly accessible network, all NFT transaction details are transparent. However, NFTs can be used to hold assets like art and music instead of “money.”
Computers used in NFT transactions “become part of the network,” adding that the subjective value of NFTs fluctuate in the same manner of stocks.
“The easiest way I would describe it is a way to sell digital art but to also make it only accessible by the limited amount you release. That’s what puts value in it,” Followill said. “If they only release 20 of one thing, if you get one of those that is going to be more valuable than if you get one of 10,000 that were made.”
As part of the “NFT Yourself” series, Kings of Leon made available six “Golden Ticket experiences,” offering fans four lifetime front-row seats to the show of their choice at any location for each tour. Token holders were also eligible to redeem the acoustic version of the album track “Supermarket,” which is called “Going Nowhere.”
The history-making album drop has amassed roughly $3.7 million, in which $600,000 has gone directly to Live Nation’s Crew Nation.
“The main factor behind us doing it in the first place was to be able to donate a large majority of the proceeds to the setup for the guys on the road where the livelihood was taken from them,” Followill said.
“Any chance to be at the forefront of something — that’s going to give you some street cred. With my 40-plus years’ worth of wrinkles and gray hairs, we need that street cred.”
Since 2003, Kings of Leon has released seven albums and sold over 20 million albums and roughly 40 million singles worldwide. The band has celebrated eight Grammy nominations, three Grammy Award wins, three NME Awards, two Brit Awards and one Juno Award.
“When You See Yourself” was recorded at Nashville’s famed Blackbird Studios and produced by Grammy Award-winning Markus Dravs.
“We started the record and it was finished in 2019,” Followill said.
“We had no earthly idea that at the time we were going to have to sit on it for the foreseeable future. So, we made this record with no pressure of a pandemic breathing down our neck or having a set target date we had to have it finished.
“I think you get a very comfy vibe from it in the sense that it doesn’t feel like anything is rushed. We agreed to take as much time as needed.”
In honor of “When You See Yourself,” the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is also adding a digital NFT display to its “Right Here, Right Now” exhibit. The exhibit seeks to explore “the influence of today’s biggest stars,” featuring personal artifacts and interactive displays, reads a statement obtained by the LA Downtown News.
Kings of Leon plans to celebrate not only its groundbreaking album but the musical community as a whole, funneling $1 from every ticket to its newly formed Inherit the Music foundation.
The foundation, co-founded by band and philanthropist Alisha Ballard, is geared toward inspiring the next generation of musicians, Followill explained.
Inherit the Music provides resources and funds for local organizations tailored around music, he continued.
Followill said he is thrilled to return to the stage and is looking forward to the band’s Los Angeles performance.
“For me, the biggest thing is it’s such a high when you sit down and hear the crowd and you have your little routine you go through and get all fussed up. When that first song starts and that crowd sings and starts dancing, that’s the best part for me.
“I know that’s the start of two hours of nonstop fun with this group of people in this one city. You don’t know when you’ll be back in that part of the country, so you want to make it as fun and as memorable as possible.”