Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds says all his bandmates are homely guys off stage

Imagine Dragons comprise (from left) Daniel Wayne Sermon, Ben McKee, Daniel Platzman and Dan Reynolds.
Imagine Dragons comprise (from left) Daniel Wayne Sermon, Ben McKee, Daniel Platzman and Dan Reynolds.PHOTO: UNIVERSAL MUSIC SINGAPORE

Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds says all his bandmates are homely guys off stage

American band Imagine Dragons made their name with boisterous stadium-rock anthems such as Radioactive and Demons, both of which went to the Top 10 of the Billboard charts.

However, frontman Dan Reynolds insists that their sound and fury are reserved only for the shows - they are all homely guys off stage.

The 27-year-old, who with his band will play their first gig here at Singapore Indoor Stadium on Aug 25, says in a telephone interview from Los Angeles: "When we are on stage, that's where we are in our element as human beings. None of us is the most social person or party-er.

"None of us is living a crazy life now that we have money. Nothing's changed. We still have the same beat-up cars and the same home."

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As if to underscore his point, the father of a two-year-old toddler recently took on a decidedly non-rock-star gig - narrating an upcoming television show for kids, A History Of Radness.

"I have a two-year-old daughter and now that any time she wants to watch television or anything like that, I don't want her to watch shows that are kind of stupid, don't have a lot of meaning or value to them. I'm inspired to be part of this show that was shot really well and is intelligent."

Reynolds, who started Imagine Dragons in 2008, is not about to give up his day job any time soon, though.

The band, who also comprise his university schoolmate and guitarist Daniel Wayne Sermon, drummer Daniel Platzman and bassist Ben McKee, came to prominence with their debut album, Night Visions, in 2012. Peaking at No. 2 on Billboard, it gained the distinction of being the highest-charting debut album since 2006.

The album also won the band a whole slew of awards, including a Best Rock Performance Grammy for the single Radioactive last year, Favourite Alternative Rock Artist for two years running at the American Music Awards, as well as five Billboard Music Awards, including for Top Rock Artist and Top Rock Album, all in 2013 and last year.

The singer says the sudden success caught them by surprise. "Everything blew up so fast, we couldn't even fully wrap our heads around it. We've been a band for seven years but in the past two years, everything had exploded."

Following an extensive four-year tour, they released their second album, Smoke + Mirrors, in February this year.

While the release made its debut at the top of the Billboard charts, Reynolds maintains that there was never any pressure on them to repeat the success of their debut.

"Whether the record sells a lot or not is not a concern to us," he says. "We just try to create music that we're proud of and that's hard enough as it is.

"We never thought of wanting this thing to make money or be world-famous popular."

The quartet are leveraging on their burgeoning fan base creatively. They recently put out a call on their social media accounts for followers to e-mail their life stories so that Reynolds can interview and film them when the band are on their global tour.

"I've done so much talking about myself in the past few years that it gets a little overwhelming. You get so caught up with yourself that it's just so refreshing to talk about other people. I've always been interested in other people's stories."

Reynolds promises that their upcoming show here will be rhythm-driven and that the band will be beating on more than 20 drums on stage.

"We draw inspiration from percussion from all over the world. So it's a high-energy show, very dynamic. The music is very emotional, so the live shows are very emotional as well."

dinohadi@sph.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 25, 2015, with the headline 'Domestic Dragons'. Print Edition | Subscribe