Guitarist Matthew Followill from Kings of Leon Shares His Best and Worst Travel Memories

Feb 18, 2017

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The Grammy award-winning group Kings of Leon is back on the road again, touring behind their seventh album, Walls. Here, lead guitarist Matthew Followill reveals his favorite hotel in Austin and why it’s always a bad idea to overpack.

What’s the best trip you’ve ever taken?

I’ve experienced some really memorable stuff since the beginning of our career. But I would have to say that the best experience was when we did the Big Day Out festival in Australia. It was amazing, a traveling festival and we didn’t play during the week but on the weekends. We stayed in Australia for an entire month touring with Metallica, The Strokes and The Dandy Warhols, among other bands. That trip was the most fun I ever had in my life. I would recommend that everyone visits Australia. The people are amazing and it’s just so beautiful there. Australia is the ultimate destination.

Got any travel horror stories?

Being stuck in delays. When you travel as much as we do, you’re going to experience your share of delays. And there is nothing worse than when things get lost. You travel this much, stuff is going to get lost. It’s inevitable.

What’s your favorite hotel?

We love staying at the Hotel Saint Cecilia in Austin, which is a cool boutique hotel. There are some cool hotels in Australia, too. Our lives are spent in hotels, and the good ones are so comfortable now, they’re like home.

What is the one thing you can’t travel without?

Guitars. Even when I’m on a vacation from this band, I don’t want to ever be too far from a guitar.

Q: What do you do with your myriad of points?

Our management takes them and books flights with them, from what I understand. I need to talk to them about this and say, ‘What do you do with my points? They’re valuable!’

Do you have any good packing tips?

I always overpack and have too much stuff in my suitcase. I always bring too many shirts. Don’t do as I do. It’s a bad idea to overpack. You never want to be weighed down by stuff.

Favorite place for a weekend getaway?

I like to go anywhere that’s not too far from home. Right now, as we speak, we’re going to be away for three weeks [touring].

Red-eye or daytime flight?

I like to fly at night. I can go to sleep and be refreshed when I arrive.

What’s the longest flight you’ve ever taken?

We took an eight-hour flight from, I think it was London, but when we landed, we had to run to the next flight that was so many more hours to Australia. That was the worst. I was having a nervous breakdown. It wasn’t easy to deal with even though we were heading to Australia, which I love.

How significant is it that Kings of Leon is completely comprised of family members?

I think that’s a huge thing. We can never tick each other off too badly. No matter how upset someone is, they’ll stay with the band. We’re all very close and we love playing and recording together. What we’ve done over the last 15 years is amazing. The cool thing is that we’ll be doing this for many more years.

Featured image courtesy of Matthew Eisman via Getty Images.

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