Fairytale, which features on When You See Yourself, was penned during a creative rush after leaving the stage midway through a show in Dallas, Texas, forcing his bandmates to scrap the rest of a 2011 tour.
Followill took a break and hung out at home with his model wife Lily Aldridge, and admits he felt a lot of pressure about the fact his band had become an arena-filling supergroup.
“I felt like I did need to be able to walk away from it for a second… but I never took a break,” he tells the Irish Independent. “I went home, and immediately the songs started pouring out of me.”
Fairytale came out of those sessions: “I wrote it over 10 years ago,” he adds. “It is probably the most honest and autobiographical song. It was a different time. It was when my wife and I were dealing with a lot of struggles between our schedules. We didn’t really get to see each other as much as we wanted to.
“It felt a lot like the one thing that I hated growing up, which is that I was always saying goodbye. I never allowed myself to get too close to people because of the way I grew up; because I knew that the relationship was going to be over shortly.”
As the son of a Pentecostal minister, Followill and his bandmate brothers travelled around from church to church, and he never really found love because he wasn’t in one place long enough to develop a relationship.
“My wife is one of the only true relationships I’ve ever had, because it always felt like there was going to be disappointment in the end,” he explains. “So I put a big guard up. A big shield.”