Imagine Dragons

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Imagine Dragons
Imagine Dragons 2013.jpg
Left to right: Daniel Platzman, Ben McKee, Dan Reynolds, and Daniel Wayne Sermon.
Background information
Origin Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Genres Alternative rock
Years active 2008–present
Labels KIDinaKORNER, Interscope
Associated acts Egyptian
Website imaginedragonsmusic.com
Members Dan Reynolds
Daniel Wayne Sermon
Daniel Platzman
Ben McKee
Past members Andrew Tolman
Brittany Tolman
Theresa Flaminio
Dave Lemke
Andrew Beck
Aurora Florence [1]

Imagine Dragons are an American alternative rock band from Las Vegas, Nevada. The band gained exposure following the September 2012 release of their debut studio album, Night Visions and first single "It's Time". The album peaked at number 2 on the weekly Billboard 200 chart and led to a worldwide tour during much of 2013. According to Billboard Imagine Dragons topped the year-end rock rankings for 2013.[2] Billboard named Imagine Dragons "The Breakthrough Band of 2013," and Rolling Stone named their single "Radioactive" "the biggest rock hit of the year."[3][4][5] MTV called them "the year's biggest breakout band."[6]

Imagine Dragons' line up consists of vocalist Dan Reynolds, guitarist Wayne "Wing" Sermon, bassist Ben McKee and drummer Daniel Platzman.[5]

The band's debut album Night Visions is currently certified Platinum in twelve countries, having sold over 2 million copies in the U.S. alone.[7][8] The album is also certified gold in multiple countries.

In response to their debut album Imagine Dragons won an American Music Award for Favorite Alternative Artist, a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance, five Billboard Music Awards, and a World Music Award. In May 2014, the band was nominated for a total of fourteen different Billboard Music Awards, including Top Artist of the Year and a Milestone award, recognizing innovation and creativity of different artists across different genres.

History[edit]

Early years (2008–10)[edit]

In 2008, lead singer Dan Reynolds met drummer Andrew Tolman at Brigham Young University where they were both students.[9] Tolman recruited longtime high school friend Daniel Wayne "Wing" Sermon, who had graduated from Berklee College of Music. Tolman later recruited his wife, Brittany Tolman, to sing backup and play keys. Sermon then recruited another Berklee music student, Ben McKee, to join the band and complete the lineup.[10][11] The band garnered a large following in their hometown of Provo, Utah, before the members moved to Las Vegas, the hometown of Dan Reynolds, where the band recorded and released their first three EPs.[12]

The band released two EPs titled Imagine Dragons[13] and Hell and Silence[14] in 2010, both recorded at Battle Born Studios, in Las Vegas. They returned to the studio in 2011.[15][16][17] Another EP, It's Time, was made before they signed a record deal.[18]

They got their first big break when Train's frontman fell sick just prior to the Bite of Las Vegas Festival 2009. Imagine Dragons were called to fill in and performed to a crowd of more than 26,000 people.[19] Local accolades including "Best CD of 2011" (Las Vegas SEVEN Magazine),[20] "Best Local Indie Band 2010" (Las Vegas Weekly),[21] "Las Vegas' Newest Must See Live Act" (Las Vegas CityLife),[22] Vegas Music Summit Headliner 2010,[23] and more sent the band on a positive trajectory. In November 2011 they signed with Interscope Records and began working with English Grammy winning producer Alex da Kid.[24]

International success and Night Visions (2011–2013)[edit]

Imagine Dragons worked closely with producer Alex da Kid with whom they recorded their first major label release at Westlake Recording Studios in West Hollywood, California. An EP entitled Continued Silence was released on Valentine's Day (February 14, 2012) digitally and peaked at No. 40 on the Billboard 200. The band also released an EP titled Hear Me in 2012.

Shortly after, "It's Time" was released as a single and peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100.[25] The music video debuted on April 17, 2012 on all MTV affiliates and subsequently nominated for an MTV Video Music Award in the "Best Rock Video" category.[26] "It's Time" was certified a double platinum single by the RIAA.[27]

The band finished recording its debut album Night Visions in the summer of 2012 at Studio X inside Palms Casino Resort and released the album in the United States on the day after Labor Day (September 4, 2012). It peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart with first week sales in excess of 83,000 copies, the highest charting for a debut rock album since 2006.[28] The album also reached No. 1 on the Billboard Alternative and Rock Album charts as well as the top ten on the Australian, Austrian, Canadian, Dutch, German, Irish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Scottish, Spanish, and United Kingdom Albums charts. It won a Billboard Music Award for Top Rock Album and was nominated for the Juno Award for International Album of the Year.[29] Night Visions is certified platinum by the RIAA as well as in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK. To date, the album has produced three tracks charting in the Billboard Top 40, four tracks in the ARIA Top 40, and five tracks charting in the UK Top 40.

The album's second single "Radioactive" reached No. 1 on the Billboard Alternative Songs, Billboard Rock Songs, and Swedish Singles charts and has sold more than seven million singles in the United States, smashing a record by spending 87 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. It peaked at No. 3 becoming their first top ten single in the United States and broke the record for the longest run into the top five. It is the best-selling rock song on the Nielsen SoundScan running list of best-selling rock songs in digital history.[30] Rolling Stone called it "the biggest rock hit of the year." It was also the most streamed song of 2013 on Spotify in the United States.[31] It was nominated for the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and the Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, winning the latter of the two.

Third single "Demons" reached No. 1 Billboard Pop Songs and No. 6 Billboard Hot 100 and has sold more than 3 million copies in the United States to date.[27][32]

Billboard listed them as one of "2012's Brightest New Stars" and later "The Breakout Band of 2013".[33] Imagine Dragons won the 2014 Billboard Music Awards for Top Duo/Group, Top Hot 100 Artist, and Top Rock Artist. Amazon.com called the band their "Favorite Rock artist of 2012".[34]

Imagine Dragons has performed "It's Time" live on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (2012) and Jimmy Kimmel Live! (2012) and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (2012), and Conan (2013). They performed "Radioactive" live on Jimmy Kimmel Live! (2012), The Late Show with David Letterman (2013), The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (2013), Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (2013), and the MTV Europe Music Awards (2013).[35] They also performed on Good Morning America (2013).[36] The band performed an exclusive show for the sixth season finale of the TV series Live from the Artists Den (2013).[37] The band also performed at the American Music Awards Show (2013), MTV Europe Music Awards (2013), Grammy Awards (2014), Saturday Night Live (2014), Billboard Music Awards (2014), and MuchMusic Video Awards (2014).[38][39] They also headlined the MLB's Target All-Star Concert (2014) and the inaugural Made In America Music Festival Los Angeles.[40] Imagine Dragons performed a version of "Revolution" at The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles (2014).

In 2013, Imagine Dragons returned to Europe and North America with the Night Visions Tour.[41] The band announced 13 additional U.S. summer tour dates which also sold out.[42] The band then announced a North America Amphitheatre tour.[43] The band also confirmed that they were unable to fulfill the request of acting as support for Muse.[44] Pollstar listed the band in their Top 20 Concert Tours list by average box office gross despite their average ticket price being the third lowest on the list.[45]

The band released a live album, Live at Independent Records, in April 2013.[46]

Upcoming second studio album (2014–present)[edit]

At Lollapalooza in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the last date on the Into the Night Tour, the band announced a rest, and complemented saying, "This is our last show for a while, and had no better place to end this tour".[47] The conclusion of the Into the Night Tour signaled the end of the Night Visions album cycle. Lead singer Dan Reynolds joked about the end of the Night Visions cycle, saying that "We're always writing on the road, [so] that second album will come, unless we die at the age of 27 next year. Hopefully we don't die and there will be a second album. I don't know when it will be, but it may come".[48]

The idea behind the second studio album, dubbed as their "new year's resolution",[49] was to create music and finish it when the band feels that their work is done. Reynolds told MTV in 2014 that the band wanted to "put out an album that we're really happy with". He further said that "we tend to be perfectionists, too hard on ourselves at times, and we don't want to rush anything because we know how we are with things. We don't want to put a record out until we really feel good about it, you know, and who knows how long that will take".[50] Since the beginning of the Night Visions Tour, the band had been writing new material for an upcoming album, and, even as early as the start of the tour, had been recording demos for the album, before entering the studio.[51] By the time that they entered the studio to work on the album, they had amassed 50 demos to work from.[52] The demos had been described by Reynolds as "definitely different", but added that "it’s still Imagine Dragons, but we’ve got a lot of growth and maturing to do as a band. I think the new material is going to hopefully be a step in the right direction. We’re just trying to create and do what comes out and what feels right". Drummer Daniel Platzman added that the band are critical of themselves, with "no room for external pressure".[53]

Inspired greatly by the band's travels on both their previous tours and the Night Visions Tour, the album will explore world culture as a musical item and overall motif in the album. Dan Reynolds told New Orleans-based newspaper The Times-Picayune that the world tour had "a lot of inspiration to be drawn from that. You kind of realize that you’re a lot smaller than you think".[54] In addition, Reynolds stated to music magazine Rolling Stone that the next album will be "different" from Night Visions, and that the band intends the album to be "stripped back quite a bit". He added that "we embraced a lot of hip-hop influences with Night Visions, but I think the next record will be more rock-driven. It’s too early to say, but there is some weird stuff going on in these songs".[52]

On June 2, the band released a song for the film Transformers: Age of Extinction, called "Battle Cry."

On September 17, the band (in collaboration with the music department at Riot Games) released a song titled "Warriors" for the upcoming 2014 League of Legends World Championship.

Charitable contributions[edit]

In 2013, along with the family of Tyler Robinson, Imagine Dragons started a charity named The Tyler Robinson Foundation, helping young people battling cancer. In 2013, the band partnered with mtvU to help choose four Fulbright-mtvU Fellowship recipients.[55] In 2013, Imagine Dragons partnered with Do The Write Thing: National Campaign to Stop Violence for a fundraising event.[56] Imagine Dragons performed as part of Amnesty International's "Bringing Human Rights Home" concert in Brooklyn on February 5, 2014.[57]

Influences[edit]

Dan Reynolds cites Arcade Fire, Nirvana, Muse, The Beatles, Paul Simon, and Harry Nilsson as some of his and the band's artistic influences. In terms of success, Reynolds credits bands like Foster the People and Mumford & Sons for bringing alternative pop music to a new level of commercial success in recent years.[3]

Band members[edit]