Imagine Dragons is an alternative rock band based in Las Vegas, Nevada, and comprised of vocalist Dan Reynolds, guitarist Wayne Sermon, bassist Ben McKee, and drummer Daniel Platzman. Reynolds and Sermon are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints. While Reynolds served a two-year mission to Nebraska, he explains, “I don’t necessarily agree with a lot of the culture that comes with it, but I still identify as Mormon.”
Immensely popular, Imagine Dragons has toured extensively around the world. Their album, Night Visions, prompted Imagine Dragons to rack up more than 3.9 million album sales and 24 million track sales worldwide. Their album, Smoke + Mirrors, was the first release recorded in their selfbuilt home studio. Reynolds explained, “Working in a rented studio usually ends up with the creative process being somewhat rushed, so this was the best way to make something at our own pace.”
Reynolds met Andrew Tolman at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, in 2008. Tolman recruited longtime friend Wayne Sermon. During that year, the band won the Brigham Young University and Velour Live Music Gallery “Battle of the Bands” competition. In June 2009, they won the “Utah Valley University’s Got Talent” competition. The band became one of five local music acts to open for Kelly Clarkson at a concert at Utah Valley University’s Brent Brown Ballpark held on 11 June 2009.
Tolman recruited his wife, Brittany, to sing back-up and play keyboard, and Sermon recruited Ben McKee. Dave Lemke played bass and sang backing vocals until 2009. When Tolman and his wife left the band in 2011, Reynolds, Sermon, and McKee, recruited Daniel Platzman. Sermon, McKee, and Platzman knew each other at Berklee College of Music in Boston.
In 2012, after the release of their debut album, Night Visions (featuring the Grammy Award-winning single “Radioactive”), Imagine Dragons shot to fame. In the midst of touring and promoting their album, they focused on creating more music. “So many things were changing for us so quickly, the only way to feel some kind of stability was to keep writing,” Reynolds explained. He continues, “Going up to my hotel room to work on new songs became something I looked forward to every night on tour. There were definitely a few times when the person next door’s banging on the wall because it’s 4 a.m. and they’re trying to sleep and I’m in there belting out some song I just wrote.”
“One of the goals in making this album [Smoke + Mirrors] was to capture the extremes of the past couple years,” Reynolds continued. “There were times on the road where I was on the highest high, like after playing in Brazil in front of 80,000 people, and there were other times when I was really feeling how difficult and lonely it was to be away from my family for so long.” Reynolds has one daughter, Arrow, with wife Aja Volkman, who also sings in her own band, Nico Vega.
After signing to KIDinaKORNER/Interscope Records, the band made their major-label debut with the release of Continued Silence (a 2012 EP featuring the breakthrough single “It’s Time”). With the release of Night Visions later that same year, the band’s popularity gained momentum, and the album climbed to #2 on the Billboard 200 chart. The group also won the award for Best Rock Performance for “Radioactive” at the 2014 Grammy Awards. Reynolds further commented that “the most important thing you can ever do as an artist, and also the most magical: forget about everyone and everything else for the moment, and just create whatever’s most meaningful to you.”
Their latest hit single “Believer” climbed to the top of Billboard & Clio’s Top TV Commercials chart, powered by Shazam, for March 2017, thanks to their appearance in Nintendo’s “Switch” commercial which premiered on 1 February 2017, during Fox’s broadcast of Super Bowl LI. According to Nielsen Music, “Believer” leads all songs with 81,000 Shazam tags, 162,000 downloads sold and 35 million U.S. streams tallied during the month of March. Billboard reports, “The song has also been a smash hit on Billboard’s rock charts dated April 22, tallying its fifth week atop the Hot Rock Songs chart, a fourth week atop the Alternative Songs chart, and a second week atop the Rock Airplay chart. It also reached No. 41 on the Hot 100 (chart dated March 25).” The track is the lead single off of Imagine Dragons’ forthcoming third studio album, which does not yet have a release date.
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