Have you ever been to Las Vegas? Well if you have, I doubt you have ever returned with bigger winnings than these guys. Going by the name of Imagine Dragons, this Sin City quartet is hard not to obsess over. Whether it’s their powerful rock sounds, their beautifully written lyrics or the fact that their moniker is in fact an anagram that nobody (including their moms) knows…I have literally spent days coming up with ideas……true story. Lead singer and lyricist Dan Reynolds took some time to chat with me and although their name may still be a mystery, their near future isn’t. These guys are going places.
Tell is a little about getting your start in Las Vegas. It seems like it would be a little different than scenes like in L.A. and Seattle?
Dan: Yeah, it was pretty different, but it really was nice for us. In the very beginning to make ends meet I’d play half cover gigs at a lot of the casinos with half originals and I think it was good for us. It taught us how to grab the attention of people and take their eyes off the slot machines and onto the stage. It’s not over saturated like it is in other places either, so I think that was really good for us.
The EP is so solid, I have played it 10+ times in a row in my car and I am a critic I am supposed to be listening to LOTS of different music!
When it all comes down to it you guys are rock., but there are even some hip-hop beats mixed in on the Continued Silence EP. What was the thought process going into this debut major label EP?
Dan: Well first of all thank you man. You know we write constantly; we are almost freaks of nature in the sense that none of us have social lives, none of us do anything, but make music. None of us have ever been the coolest people in school you know? Growing up, all we did was write write write. Going into this EP we had written close to 100 songs to pick from and to rework to how we wanted them to sound. Then also having the brilliance of Alex da Kid – who’s a real genius producer – to come on board and provide us his insight, it was just a lot of fun, that’s the only way I can put it. I’m at the Palms right now in Las Vegas working on our full length album that will come out in September and we’re just here all day everyday.
I was actually going to ask you what it was like working with Alex da Kid, so it was quite the experience?
Dan: Yeah, he just has such an ear and so much experience. It was cool too, because he comes from the UK, so he grew up listening to some of the music that was beyond my reach. I just hadn’t heard of a lot of the bands that he had been listening to, whether it’s underground hip-hop or punk bands out of the UK. All the guys in the band went to The Berklee College of Music – besides myself – they are all amazing musicians and I’m just always trying to keep up with them, you know? We’re all trying to stretch ourselves and I think Alex has done a really incredible job of mentoring us.
One of my favorite’s off the album is “Radioactive”. What’s the story behind that track?
Dan: Well, I write all of the lyrics and, you know, I write from the heart. I write about my hopes and my fears, dark times, happy times and “Radioactive” was a song I wrote when I was kind of in transition, I guess? You know, a lot of the songs on that EP were written in transitional times, because there comes a time when you kind of have to decide whether you are going to do music as a hobby or whether it is going to be a career. That can be such a scary thing, especially with how the world is right now. So in my own life I kind of had to decide what I had to do and I had a lot of fears about it.
I do like to leave a lot up to the listener, I can think of times where I – as a fan – really thought I knew what a song was about and then a band would be like, “It’s about a girl I met.” And I’d be like, “What!?” *laughs* It would totally change the song for me, so without getting too far into detail, what “Radioactive” is about is about not being afraid.
Dan: Yeah, actually Seattle – and I am not just saying this – Seattle is my favorite city to play in the U.S. when we go on tour. I love Seattle, I love the ocean there, I just love it. It’s just a beautiful place. I love the culture there, it’s really sick, the people there are really cool, so I know we’ll definitely be playing Seattle before the year ends. You can probably hold me to that statement.
You guys mention that you once played a six-hour set at O’Shea’s which would end up being a real significant event for you, as it helped create a real bond between you guys. Tell us a little more about that show.
Dan: It was so crazy, man. We would start at like 10pm and play until like 4am. I remember that particular show you’re talking about and on the last song I passed out on stage; I fell backwards onto the drums,*laughs* but I got up and finished the song and got a standing ovation from all these drunk dudes at four in the morning! *laughs* It was so good for us…honestly, like any band who hasn’t played for years and years and had hundreds and hundreds of hours performing together; I think it’s a big mistake. In those hours we really learned each other’s weaknesses, but we also learned our strengths and how to groove together. When you can groove together at four in the morning all tired, calloused and your voice is dead, that’s when you know you have a great group of guys.
Check out Imagine Dragons’ new video for “It’s Time” Below.
Editor in Chief of Lemonade Magazine
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.