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 newest album, Smoke + Mirrors, marks the first release recorded in their new selfbuilt home studio.
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 “Battle of the Bands” competition at Brigham Young University, and the “Utah Valley University’s Got Talent” competition. 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 both Tolmans 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, 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.
“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.
“At times it’s really scary to think about so many people hearing what I’m talking about in the lyrics on this album, but I know that for better for worse it’s completely authentic and genuine and true to who we are as a band,” Reynolds said. “And that’s 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.”
Imagine Dragons can be found on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube.
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