Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill has hit out at climate change deniers, describing them as “idiots”.
The singer and guitarist, 39, said he felt comfortable speaking out about the issue, and writing music about it, because it is a “universal thing”.
The Nashville four-piece – which consists of brothers Nathan, Caleb and Jared Followill and cousin Matthew – have rarely made political statements in their nearly two-decade career.
But their band’s new album, When You See Yourself, features the track Claire And Eddie which addresses climate change and wildfires in the US.
Followill told the PA news agency: “I think that is a pretty universal thing. I know there is a bunch of idiots out there that don’t believe that we have been damaging our homes for a long time.
“I guess that is their opinion but when it comes to stuff like that, I think everyone should agree that there are things that can be done and they are not easy.
“Once again, it is not an overnight thing even though the quicker we do it the better it is. That was something I felt like, anyone who fights me on that, they can f*** off.
“That is something I feel I can be slightly political about and stand my ground.”
Explaining why he had been so reluctant to speak about political issues, he added: “The older we get, things affect us differently and people can get a little more riled up than others about certain situations, but we all know that that is not our job, that is not what we consider to be our job.
“I know a lot of people think that when you have a microphone you should take advantage of that opportunity to speak truths. But like I say, my truths may not be your truths.”
Speaking about the halt of live performance due to the coronavirus pandemic, he said: “I have welcomed the fact that I didn’t have a microphone in my hand and a bunch of people looking at me saying, ‘Come on, tell me what you think about what happened today’.
“Whenever I get back on stage again I want it to be something that is freeing and I want it to be an escape and for people to be able to close their eyes and just enjoy the music, and enjoy the fact we are out there with somewhat like-minded people enjoying something together.
“I don’t want to be the guy up there spouting off what I believe.”
When You See Yourself is out now.