Imagine Dragons Talk "Continued Silence," Forthcoming Album, "Fight Club" and More
Thu, 10 May 2012 09:28:35
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During "Radioactive", the first song from Continued Silence, Imagine Dragons singer Dan Reynolds proclaims, "Welcome to the new age."
It's a fitting statement as the band is primed to usher in a new dawn for alternative music. Merging inviting soundscapes with heartbreaking and hypnotic delivery, Imagine Dragons breathes fire. Emotional and evocative, each track bristles with vibrant vulnerability that's both psychedelic and poetic at points. The Las Vegas group has crafted one of the most fascinating debuts in recent memory, and they're bound for big things…
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Imagine Dragons singer Dan Reynolds talks Continued Silence, stories, and so much more…
Did you approach Continued Silence with one vision or vibe?
Yeah, I always have a visual in my mind for all of the music that I hear. It's really important to make the songs work together in a way that's both interesting and also tells a story. We definitely did that with Continued Silence.
Is there a thematic thread that ties everything together?
There's a basic theme behind everything we put out. I think the basic theme behind Continued Silence involves a very transitional period I was going through in my life. There were a lot of changes, fears, and heartbreak. That's the general theme that came out. Every song is a little different. As an artist, I like to leave a lot up to the listener for interpretation. Growing up, I always hated it when there was a song that meant something to me in a certain way, and the artist came out and said, "Well, it was actually about this." I had interpreted it completely differently prior to that. It kind of ruins the song. I don't want to come out and describe each song, but the general theme has to do with fears and transitions.
Was it important for you to incorporate a myriad of sonic elements?
My favorite thing about being an artist is trying new things, finding new sounds, and experimenting. It's important to stay true to yourself as an artist but also to push your boundaries. We definitely have a very eclectic collection of songs and artists we all grew up listening to. We all come from such different places too. I'm a third-generation Las Vegan. Our drummer is from Atlanta. Our guitarist is from Utah. Our bass player is from California. We all listen to such diverse things. When we write, we like to try different things. I'm sure we'll always be that.
Do you tend to read a lot or watch movies for inspiration? Is storytelling an aspect of songwriting for you?
Growing up, whenever I'd hear music, visuals would come to mind. I think the only way I understand music is visually. As I write lyrics to a song, I have a story that plays out in my mind. I'm sure as we continue to make music videos, we'll continue to show it in our own way. I like really conceptual and very thematic art. When we were thinking of making the video for "It's Time," we definitely wanted it to be a conceptual thing. We were really excited to work with the director for it because he was onboard with that. He understood the band and what we wanted. My favorite videos always made you think and interpret it for yourself.
Does Las Vegas impact the music?
It actually does. In the beginning of our band, we'd play 50 percent covers. We'd play everything from The Rolling Stones to Led Zeppelin to The Beatles. We were able to dissect these artists and understand how they were writing. It was good for us as a band. We were playing casinos where you had to capture the attention of all these people pulling slot machines. In order to do that, you have to push your boundaries and find different, interesting ways to portray your art that will pull these people away from their machines at 3 AM to watch your shows. The lights and the noise almost shaped our band in a lot of ways. The most important thing is to be true to yourself and be honest when you're on stage. If you're honest and exposed, people respect that. The worst thing you can do is conform or do something that's not genuine.
If you were to compare Continued Silence to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
Maybe Fight Club…There's a psychological journey that took place in writing the album for me. Sometimes, I felt like I was losing my mind a little bit. There are some darker times to it, but there are also light moments. It runs the spectrum from happy-go-lucky to the darkest moments for me. That makes me think of Fight Club. Plus, I think it's a great movie [Laughs].
Is the EP a bridge to the full-length?
For Continued Silence, we wanted to create a story and a general theme that will continue, no pun intended, in the album. I'm really excited about it.
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