When Nathan wasn't looking, I'd get stoned with Jared and we'd have a good time.So I remember writing the opening lyrics about Jared.
But after a disastrous gig in Texas, Caleb Followill, their volatile songwriter and frontman, was rumoured to be in rehab, the bassist Jared Followill was admitting on Twitter that the group had “internal sicknesses and problems that need to be addressed”, while drummer Nathan Followill confessed to being “ashamed and embarrassed” at the cancellation of a tour that had two months left to run. The three Followill brothers lounge on sofas alongside their guitarist cousin Matthew in a studio that has the air of a masculine den: animal skulls, paintings of naked women, oversized bottles of whiskey.
It was here that Caleb first unveiled his latest batch of songs to his band mates.
It looks like a big black barn in the Nashville hills, industrial and anonymous.
Inside, a Stars and Stripes flag hangs from one wall; a basketball hoop takes pride of place on another.
"Trey Boyer would play guitar while me and Nate sang," says Caleb, remembering their first gigs in Nashville.
"One day he taught me a C chord, and that night I was playing it, and Jared came downstairs and sat in our white wicker chair.
“His wheels are turning at all times.” “It’s the pressure,” says Caleb, 31, uncomfortably.
“It’s three-two-one, now you got to say something, and a lot of the time it’s the most honest stuff you can say.” Last year, recording Rock City, he let rip with that soulful voice that makes everything sound like a matter of life and death: “I’ve been several miles and plenty more / And I found myself face first on the floor / Searching for something, and never finding something / And I don’t know where I belong / I’m just trying to get myself back home.” “The song damn near wrote itself,” recalls Caleb.
The fumes burned peoples' eyes until they vacated the premises.