Interview: Imagine Dragons

We speak to Imagine Dragons about their next ground-breaking album

‘Our music is our journal, and some of our most personal thoughts are in the new album.’

How has your Smoke + Mirrors tour been so far?

It’s been an adventure.  Nothing is more exciting than taking the music you’ve been working on for the last few years, creating a full production show around it and sharing it with fans.

The geographical coordinates in your album art led to a particular spot in the Mojave Desert where signed equipment and a Smoke + Mirrors World Pass were hidden. What inspired such thorough and unique detail?

We always try to keep people on their toes. A little mystery makes everything more exciting.  There are still some band secrets and mysteries that haven’t been solved.

How do you feel about the discovered tickets being given to cancer patients all over America?

We were so proud of Lindsea [Taylor] for her decision to find people in the cities she couldn’t visit and to send them in her place.  She couldn’t have honored us more.

Does the overwhelming success of ‘Radioactive’ surprise you?

As an artist you always have to hope for the best.  But none of us could have expected the reaction the song had.

It’s known that Smoke + Mirrors was inspired largely by the Night Visions tour. What was it about that tour that fed into the music of Mirrors the most?

Most of the music for Smoke + Mirrors was written while we were touring, so a lot of the themes in the music reflect the highs and lows of life on the road.  You face some of your most exhilarating and lonely hours when you play show after show around the world.  Our music is our journal, and some of our most personal thoughts are in the new album.

Would you say that ‘Gold’ is a reflection of the darker side of success and fame?

As with most music, there are multiple layers to this song.  But ‘Gold’ definitely deals with the feelings of mistrust and anxiety that comes with the way your relationships can change with success.

In its entirety, Smoke + Mirrors brims with wildly different styles. What would you say was your biggest challenge in merging rock, dance, hip-hop and Eastern styles together?

We never set out to purposefully merge any styles, so it wasn’t really a challenge per se.  Our real challenge was in taking each song that we felt belonged as part of the story of Smoke + Mirrors, and serving that song with the production that it called for, regardless of where that took us sonically.  In the end, that’s probably why the album spans different genres.

Much of the album, especially ‘I Bet My Life’, deals with deeply spiritual themes. What’s your take on the incorporation of spirituality into pop/rock music and how do you feel about the state of pop music today?

Spirituality, in some form or another, has always had a place in popular music.  These days, more alternative and other genres seem to be appearing on pop stations.  In the end, diversity is great.

The Imagine Dragons sound is colossal in scale. What kind of shape do you think it’ll take in future?

Ultra-colossal?  But seriously, we have no idea.  And if we did, it would probably be a secret.

What are you looking forward to the most about playing in Singapore?

The food and the fans.