Multi-platinum artists Imagine Dragons have just released their third album and are about to embark on a year long global tour. But it did not come easily. Two in the band suffer from bouts of severe depression; and there were many years spent toiling obscurity. But in the end, they believe, it was checking their egos, paying their dues and a dose of luck that got them where they are today.
During a wide ranging NPR interview, Imagine Dragons vocalist Dan Reynolds and guitarist Wayne Sermon, characterize the band’s development over the first two albums as “playing catch-up with ourselves.” Now, with the release of “Evolve,” Sermon says that “finally feel like we’re starting to feel comfortable in our own skin.”
But all this success was preceded by years of hard work and periods of serious depression for them both. When asked by NPR host Michel Martin if they had any advice for people who are starting out where you were seven years ago, they answered:
Reynolds: I would say, have no ego. We opened at a mall for a mime in Las Vegas. We said yes to every single show. And looking back, maybe we should have said no to that one.
Sermon: No, no, no. We wouldn’t have this story!
Reynolds: Yeah, we wouldn’t have this story. But I think that you have to pay those dues, you have to take every chance you have to be seen. And that was important because finally one day someone was in the crowd who mattered in the music industry and they got our EP and they took it to somebody and then we got signed.
And look, there are a million bands that are way more talented that have been doing this for 20 years, and they never get signed. And so they would say, “Oh, that’s BS.” And to them, I would say – I totally get it, there’s also luck involved. We had Vegas luck on our side and a lot of hard work and we dedicated our lives to music. And that’s all you can do.