Dan Reynolds and Imagine Dragons have a lot to be happy about here and now. After years of development their time has come to take their music to a national level. After joining forces in Las Vegas and Utah, by way of the Berkeley School of Music and who else knows what, the band managed to generate a strong base in and around Las Vegas. Now that their signed with Interscope Records and they have a big distribution deal in place, the band is poised for a big year in 2012. Last month they took the first big step towards the mainstream with the release of the Continued Silence EP. The reaction from the masses has the band excited.
“Honestly I had no idea that the reception was going to be as good as it’s been,” said Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds in a recent interview with AA. “We didn’t expect to chart on iTunes. We didn’t expect anything that’s happened. It’s been great with reception and so many people are sharing the music. We just couldn’t be happier.”
The development of this band has been years in the making. Usually, when a group starts out in its infancy the mindset is a little strange. Everybody is getting used to what the other people do best and once they figure that out; they try and figure out which direction to take the music. Imagine Dragons faced a similar quandary, but they approached it in a cool way with the help of some close allies. Those allies told the band the most important trait for any groups’ music to make an impact- make sure it’s unique.
Reynolds talked about the band finding their sound. “We have a team around us in our manager and our lawyer who have been with us from the very beginning. From the start they were telling us their greatest advice is to find a sound that’s ours and that we had to make it ours. They sat us down and asked us what are favorite bands were. We mapped out all of our favorites and listened to their music nonstop. We listened to all of this music and we started writing together. That’s how it started. I really feel like it’s taken at least three years to find it.”
“The sound that we have is different because the band consists of three members that are technically great musicians and then me, who’s not the greatest [laughs.] I think the beauty of music is that when you get people into a room together that come from different backgrounds and different abilities you get different things. With us we’ve really benefitted from all of our different influences, styles, upbringings, and how we’ve learned to play music.”
That’s how the band started to establish their sound but if you listen to the new EP and compare it to the band’s previous releases you can hear some big improvements. A big part of that has to do with Imagine Dragons connecting with hip hop producer Alex Da Kid to write and produce with the band.
“That was actually such a crazy thing. I grew up listening to a lot of urban radio and loving hip hop,” an excited Reynolds recalled. “But I also loved acts like G. Love and Special Sauce and everything from The White Stripes to The Beatles. I came from a background where I had that love of hip hop. Alex contacted us about eight months ago and somebody played us for him in the car and he really liked it and sent us an email. He wanted to meet us and go in and write with him and see how we vibe. We wrote together and it really went well.”
“He understood the band and he didn’t want to change the band, he just wanted to add his own musical, artistic, genius into it all. Everything went so smoothly, it was really ridiculous. We all just understood each other and we understood that he liked the big sound of the band but wanted to make it even bigger. That was something we were already trying to move to on our own but we needed his additional expertise and his production and skills to get there. It’s really unlocked the door to get to the sound that we want to. It’s really worked out great. I can’t say enough positive things about him about how that experience has been.”
Now that the EP is in the rearview mirror the band is currently on the road promoting it at SXSW and soon will be hitting the road for a few shows across the country. The next step for them is to release a full-length album. Oddly enough that’s something that Imagine Dragons hasn’t done before.
“We are ready and we’re writing songs for our first debut album that’ll come out later this year, said Reynolds. “The EP was something we really wanted to do. We wanted to put something out that represented the sound and got people buzzing a little and building some hype. That way when we went into the album we could hit hard. It’s new territory for us because we’ve only put out EPs. It’s exciting for us to be working on our first debut album. We’ve already written the majority of it and we’re excited.”
Judging from that buzz generated from the EP, they’re not the only ones.
Imagine Dragons’ is doing some spot shows throughout this spring while they work on their debut album.
Mar 15 Austin, TX
Mar 21 Provo, UT
Mar 22 St George, UT
Apr 10 New York, NY
Apr 12 Pittsburgh, PA
Apr 13 Philadelphia, PA
Apr 14 Washington, DC
Apr 16 Boston, MA
Apr 20 Chicago, IL
Apr 21 Minneapolis, MN
May 03 Seattle, WA
May 04 Portland, OR
May 08 San Francisco, CA
May 11 Los Angeles, CA