Kings of Leon say no to 'Glee,' also turn down unnamed 'incredibly famous actor'

KOL-GleeImage Credit: Patrick Ecclesine/FoxHey, Glee, you want to use somebody‘s back catalogue? Go ahead with your Madonnas and Britneys and Coldplays, but Kings of Leon refuse to be your soundtrack plaything.

The Tennessee rockers recently told England’s NME that they said no gracias to FOX’s singing juggernaut, having never watched the show (though “apparently everybody loves it,” says bassist Jared Folowill).

“We could have sold out so much more. We turn stuff down constantly,” frontman Caleb Followill added. “We had some people call us up wanting to know if we’d allow ‘Use Somebody’ to appear in the trailer for their next movie, and we turned them down. Next day, they called back and tried to put us through to the star of the movie—I won’t name names, but he’s an incredibly famous actor—to let him try and convince us to agree to do it.

“I was like, ‘Man, don’t even waste your energy’.”

You tell ‘em, dudes! Eff the establishment! Except, of course, Gossip Girl—which KoL permitted to use three tracks from their most recent album, Only by the Night, in a 2008 episode:“Sex on Fire,” “Closer,” and … “Use Somebody.”

Integrity-induced amnesia—it happens, boys. But you know we love you. XOXO, Music Mix

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Comments (186 total) Add your comment
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  • Brett

    They seem like total pricks.

    • Karate Pants

      No kidding. I think Glee is better off without them. And KOL will be forgotten first.

      • Brett

        Hahahahahaha! So WRONG! Kings of Leon will still be recording and touring after “Glee” flames out in a season or two.

      • AK

        Wow, Brett. Awfully defensive there.

      • Rosey

        @Brett I think both will do just fine, honestly. I like to see that Kings of Leon have a good basis, if even if it’s hypocritical, but it’s only been one thing. Meanwhile, Glee will be fine without them, no big deal, just get another song. No big controversy.

      • Anonymous

        I believe the quote was ‘we could’ve sold out so much more’.

        They didn’t say that they’ve never sold out. Just that they try to keep it to a minimum.

      • Ron J

        I like Kings of Leon…I also like Glee. So I’m really not going to take a side on this. I understand them not wanting their songs used on Glee as they wouldn’t be performing them, they would be performed by the Glee Cast as covers. However, they shouldn’t refer to it as selling out considering the Gossip Girl bit.

      • ash.

        “Kings of Leon will still be recording and touring after “Glee” flames out in a season or two” (Brett). I’m in such agreement with this quote. KOL is an amazing band and I think there is a high probability that they might be around longer then “Glee”.

    • Jay

      if by “pricks” you mean sticking to your morals, I guess you are right.

      Kudos to KOL for not letting Glee turn their songs into lame-ness

      • Ray

        Their songs are already lame…

      • jack

        sticking to their morals by letting gossip girl use their music? mhm…
        Also isn’t music meant to be heard…not restricted?

      • Jen

        And oddly enough if the songs were used in a 2008 episode it was before they really broke in to the mainstream masses so now they say they don’t want to sell out. I wonder if it would be an issue if they didn’t have the year they had last year? It will be interesting to see what they do on the new record.

      • Bonnie

        I would have said the same. That it’s their music and they should be able to decide where it’s used without all the judging, but then they let Gossip Girl use it. Really? Let the judging continue :)

      • Michael

        Sticking to your morals? They sold out when the gave permission to Gossip Girl. They said no for the press. They need it.

      • Erin

        ITA. I like Glee but to for bands to jump on the bandwagon due to hype is selling out IMO.

        As fo the GG thing, I don’t see the problem with Bands letting movies and shows use their music. That isn’t selling out, it’s making a moment and a profit. Glee is something else entirely, it’s a full-on pimp out session where sometimes the original song is well and truly trashed (and sometimes it’s improved, but rarely and in that case I don’t know how I’d feel about Glee rocking my own music better than me).

      • Aly

        The problem isn’t them “sticking to their morals.” They come across like they are bragging. What was the point of carrying on about some unnamed big star personally calling them? I don’t care of they tell people they can’t use their music. It’s theirs to do with as they will, but they came across like asses.

    • Dustin

      I dislike the Creed wannabe’s music, but bravo for co*kblocking Glee.

      • Fatima

        Creed wannabes? Oh, you’re going to have to do better than that. You’re post is like the “Vampires Suck” of message board comments…trying to get a laugh with nothing more than an overused cultural reference, regardless of how much it makes sense.

      • Matt

        Really? Creed wannabes? That’s the best you can come up with? Why even bother to post a comment? Absurd.

      • tim

        Ok, how about 5th generation grunge wannabes? Post-Creed mainstream rockers? The type of band that inspired Cobain to put the gun in his own mouth? Regardless of how horrible the music is, they actually get a cred point by rejecting the unwatchable ‘Glee’.

    • Jeff09

      Hey, my friends! Are you looking for in-terracial and great looking soulmate?
      “(( M i x e d M a t c h i n g — C_o_m))” has more than 1200,000 members… are welcomed to have a try, maybe you will be very lucky to find someone in a short time?


    • Lucy

      artistic snobs!!

    • Reason

      Because they won’t let Glee use their already overplayed and over done songs? I don’t blame KOL at all, they don’t want to be overexposed…and if you want to see a great rendition of “Use Somebody” check out Lynzie Kent on youtube, she is amazing!

      • etm

        I like “The Bucket”

    • Jerry

      This is just a lame attempt to make them appear as legitimate artists.

      Kings of Leon are not real rockers … just look at their $500 haircuts. LOL.

    • Gleek

      I couldn’t agree with you more. Glee doesn’t need them, there are sooooo many other sounds out there that would be better than anything Kings of Leon could produce or write.

  • Happy Go Lucky

    Who cares? Its a crappy tv show and a crappier band.

    • Jessica

      THANK YOU!! I glad i’m not the only one who thinks that.

      • Lizbit

        I don’t know about the band (no idea who they are or what the sing) but I agree about the show. Everyone is sucked in by the flashy musical numbers, it’ll wear thin after a while and the craze will pass.

      • ks

        me too! I do not understand the fasination

  • Kevin

    Yeah totally….if they allowed their songs on Gossip Girl I’m pretty sure thay means theyre already sell outs.

    • DrChocolate999

      They sold Molly’s Chamber to a Volkswagen commercial a few years back too … so much for principles.

      • A-K87

        I remember Taper Jean Girl from their album Aha Shake Heartbreak featuring on the “Rear Window Update”, Disturbia with Shia LeBeouf.

      • hc

        Yeah! I was like I heard their song on a car commercial, which seems like the epitome of selling out. Plus, the photo they chose with their, salon-styled, carefully-constructed messy hair makes them look super obnoxious. That said, KoL fan and not a Glee fan so whatever you guys want.

    • Brett

      Maybe “Glee” and the big-time movie producer weren’t offering as much money as KoL wanted. Or maybe they felt like they got burned earlier on the “Gossip Girl” deal and wherever else you’ve heard their music. All the guy said was we turn down a lot of requests – but that could have been because they want more money than the requesters are willing to pay.

    • erin

      There’s a difference between allowing your original recording to be played in the soundtrack of a TV show or movie, and prostituting it out to the kind of ungodly, slimey things they do to music on “Glee.”

      • Jay

        Agreed!!! There is a BIG difference between the two.

        So glad they didn’t let Glee butcher their songs :)

  • Erin

    Seriously, Gossip Girl and not Glee? Whatevs. What is the definition of selling out these days? It used to be just licensing your music to commericials, but some acts have found success only because they did that. Is there any such thing as selling out anymore?

  • McProphet

    Is it lonely up there on your pedestels, douchebags?

  • Rusty Shackleford

    Glee’s concept is already getting old.

  • dmd

    “i love you, man… what’s your name again?” KOL’s frontman isn’t Jared. but i love you anyway, EW.

  • megan

    Whats with all the musicians Glee?! I love the show but it’s seems like the writers are full of themselves.

  • Doug

    I love this quote “We could have sold out so much more.” At least you realize you guys sold out.

  • Elizabeth

    Wish bands like Temper Trap and Muse would’ve taken this route too…

    • natalie

      Muse are a bunch of sellouts

      • Lizbit

        Yes they had music in the Twilight movie.

      • u

        Radiohead must be sellouts too, because they also had music featured on the Twilight soundtrack.

  • mscisluv

    They’re going to be really sad about turning down all of these offers when they have to stop riding the waves of “Use Somebody” and make something else that people will actually want to listen to. I know that lots of artists “sell out” when they can, so that they have money later to work on the projects that they want to without too much pressure.

    • Jeremy DC

      Use Somebody isn’t even one of their twenty best songs. If you don’t know that then you don’t know their music so you shouldn’t even be commenting. The pop world came to them, they were never looking to be playing at crap like mtv movie awards.

      • BlackIrish4094

        So no one who wasn’t aware of them when they were playing dive bars can comment? It’s a comment board Mr. Sensitive, get over it and stroke your Kings of Leon poster some more.

      • Karate Pants

        “they were never looking to be playing at crap like mtv movie awards”
        And yet, they did. Why do you not understand that they CHOSE to do that. They’re certainly NOT ‘above’ it.
        But I’m sure they’re distraught about having disappointed fans like you, who think they themselves ‘discovered’ them and wish they weren’t commercially successful.

    • jasper

      Glee probably only want to use Sex on Fire and Use S… these are great songs, overplayed and in everyones consciouness… but the Kings of Leon catalogue is much much deeper and BETTER than these two songs… the rest of the world knows that… America is only just discovering how great Kings of Leon are… home grown and very much under appreciated…

  • VH

    Use Somebody was used on a special for Doctor Who that looks at the companions. And their music has been on Top Gear. What difference would have Glee made?

    • s

      British law allows BBC to use music without paying royalties. It can be the problem with bringing some UK shows to the US. Kings of Leon probably didn’t have to provide permission.

    • Jennifer

      Obviously it makes a difference to the band, and since it’s their music, why would anyone else complain?

  • ®ustymustdie

    considering that their 15 minutes of fame was over 6 months ago they should say yes to everyone that outs an offer out there. Maybe then they can afford to buy some soap for a good shower.

    • Amy

      Fu*k U, why don’t u go back to watching ugly people sing on glee, while shoving food down ur throat.

      • Amy is Crazy

        Whatever crazy!

  • hmmm

    i don’t really think glee and KOL would mesh well anyway…

  • MFD

    Ugh. This frustrates me so much. Does anybody like this band anymore?

    • who cares


    • meme

      yes. and EVERYBODY sells out to a certain degree.

      • Jennifer

        Very true, but there’s no law saying that they have to let whoever wants to use their music do so. So if they don’t want to let Glee use their songs, that’s their decision. I really don’t have any problem with that.

    • jmcg

      Yes. I just discovered them and really like them. I read a profile on them about a year ago and got the feeling they like to be ornery just to be ornery.

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