They play… Kings of Leon
Discover the instrument set up that drives the mega-star four-piece’s anthemic music
Currently storming through a sold-out UK tour, Nashville’s finest Kings of Leon are five albums in and going stronger than ever.
During their 12 year career – yes, it really has been that long – the band of brother (plus cousin) have developed from a bunch of hairy youths best known for their ramshackle, countrified indie, indecipherable lyrics and extremely tight jeans to genuine stadium conquerors.
Kings of Leon are fiercely loyal to the same Epiphone and Gibson guitars that they’ve used since the beginning, and you’re unlikely to spot them on stage with anything else.
Lead guitarist Matthew Followhill’s instrument of choice for many years has been the Epiphone Sheraton II. Also a favourite with John Lee Hooker, the Sheraton II provides unrivalled semi-hollow body tone, a Stopbar tailpiece for better sustain and a pair of Epiphone’s Alnico Classic Humbucker pickups (we hope Matthew keep this fine-looking instrument clean, because he appeared to by playing it with his teeth at the band’s recent Lancashire County Cricket Club gig…).
Jared Followill chooses a Gibson Thunderbird IV bass. Gibson’s most lauded bass guitar, this fearsome instrument throws out powerful, rumbling notes. Don’t recognise Jared’s version of the guitar immediately? That’s because, dude that he is, he’s removed the scratchpad from his Ebony guitar to create a streamlined, all black look… Want one of your own? Try out the Epiphone Thunderbird.
If you want to copy Caleb Followill’s guitar, you’re in for more of a challenge, we’re afraid, as he favours a vintage Gibson 325 from the seventies. Apparently, he gave this much-loved guitar a good smashing following an unsatisfactory performance at T In The Park in 2009, but, from what we can tell, he’s still using exactly the same instrument, so it must have survived!
Watch a video of Kings of Leon’s guitar tech Nacho talking you through their guitar set up (and discover the origin of his rather odd nickname…), filmed back in 2009.
Want to recreate the Kings of Leon sound? We recommend the following:
Vox AC15C1-RD Combo Amp Limited Edition Red – Providing amplification for thousands of guitar players since 1958, the AC15 combo allows for maximum tone control; pick up this fantastic looking limited edition red version.
Boss TR-2 Tremolo Guitar Effects Pedal – Create the perfect vintage tremolo effect with this tried and trusted guitar pedal
Digitech Whammy Effects Pedal – The features of the classic WH-1 guitar pedal are replicated exactly in this newer model, allowing you to bend pitches, harmony shift and dive bomb to your heart’s content.