By Jon Wiederhorn
Perhaps, the real star of the 1980 romantic western "Urban Cowboy" is neither John Travolta (Bud Davis) nor Debra Winger (Sissy Davis), but the mechanical bull that causes much of the conflict and propels the plot of the film. That’s the main reason Kings of Leon decided to title their sixth album "Mechanical Bull."
"We had narrowed it down to three names, and 'Mechanical Bull' won out,” drummer Nathan Followill told MTV. “I know we watched a lot of 'Urban Cowboy' during the making of this record, so that definitely probably had something to do with it."
The album, which Followill described as reminiscent of the upbeat energy of the band’s first two albums, 2003’s "Youth and Young Manhood" and 2004’s "Aha Shake Heartbreak," is scheduled for release on September 23. And judging by the reaction they have received from fans from their first two songs, “It Doesn’t Matter” and “Supersoaker,” the group seems to be going in the right direction.
“Going in to this record we knew we wanted to have fun and make songs that are fun to play on stage,” Followill said. “We challenged ourselves quite a bit. I think it was very hard for Jared [Followill] to have to dumb down his bass playing on some of these songs, but it fits. there are some songs where I don't even hit a cymbal."
The drummer said that the band chose to play “It Doesn’t Matter” and “Supersoaker” live because they best represent the overall vibe of the record the band wanted to make. "'It Don't Matter' is dirty and gritty, a little two-and-a-half minute pounder, everybody plays as hard as they can, as fast as they can,” he said. “'Supersoaker' is a lot more melodic and a little more sing-along-y. Obviously, there are some slower ones on the record, because we wanted to make it as full of a record as we could. But we're ready for the release date to get here so we can start playing some more of them."
"Mechanical Bull" is the follow up to the band’s 2010 album "Come Around Sundown," which hit #2 on the Billboard album chart and was nominated for a Grammy for best rock album.