Interview: Imagine Dragons
After turning people’s heads at this year’s SXSW with their signature sound - an amalgam of anthemic rock and hip-hop elements, Las Vegas-based Imagine Dragons are aiming high with their Alex Da Kid-produced new material, Continued Silence EP.
We had a brief talk with the band’s frontman, Dan Reynolds, about the group’s inspirations, on-stage fights and ideal collaborations.
How does the new material differ from your previous work?
We always try new things and push our boundaries. On this EP we experimented with dubstep and also took natural sounds and put them through a lot of different pedals as filters. The goal is to experiment, while retaining the sound of Imagine Dragons.
What inspired you to write Continued Silence?
We drew a lot of inspiration from bands that we grew up listening to and bands that we currently like: The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Arcade Fire, Passion Pit. The list is endless. Thematically, we like things to be a bit more obscure and abstract - images and ideaS that represent the sound, but don’t pigeon-hole the song’s interpretation. The new music video for It’s Time is a good example of that.
Must be difficult having to choose first singles off a new release.
We write literally hundreds of songs for each release and then pick our favorites. It's important to constantly create as an artist.
How do you cope with writer’s block?
No better way to fix writer’s block than to continue writing!
If you had to pick out one track you’re most proud of on Continued Silence, which would it be and why?
It changes constantly, but "It's Time" is our current favorite as a band. I wrote that song at a very transitional and hard time in my life and so it has a bit of an emotional connection for me.
Which was one of the best gigs you ever took part in?
Honestly every gig is different and I can't pinpoint one particular performance. As long as the energy is raw and we connect with the audience, it's always a great a show. We love performing live.
Have you ever fought on stage or felt feisty? Any anecdotes from Caesar’s, maybe?
We actually get along really well. We are all best friends. I definitely have felt anger on stage just from getting lost in the meaning and emotion evoked from a song, but never towards my band mates.
What are your plans for this summer?
Touring and finishing the album that will be released this fall!
Are there any artists in particular that you have been inspired by lately?
Who are your all-time heroes/ sources of inspiration?
My father. I wouldn't be doing music if it weren’t for him. He's my constant source of inspiration and light. From an early age he would listen to my demos and help me develop as an artist.
Share on of your guilty pleasures. What you wouldn’t want us to find in your music library?
What are your favorite albums from the past year? Any music recommendations?
What was the first album you bought?
Digital vs. physical format. Are you hopeless romantics or have embraced the digital world?
Whatever gets the music into the hands of the listeners is fine with me. Spread the art by whatever means.
If you could choose any artist to work with, who would it be?