Courtesy of Harper Smith
Despite playing for crowds of 25,000-plus and working with a hip-hop producer, Imagine Dragons is staying true to its indie rock roots.
Imagine Dragons is scheduled to perform at A&R Music Bar Wednesday. Doors open at 7 p.m.
The band took flight when guitarist Wayne Sermon and singer Dan Reynolds met through a mutual friend.
“I had just finished school at Berklee College of Music in Boston and wanted a career in music,” Sermon said.
Its current tour is to promote its fourth EP, “Continued Silence,” its first EP with Interscope Records.
“Its our last EP before we release a full length LP,” Sermon said. “Now we are on tour to promote the album and we should be releasing the full length album by fall, like early September.”
“It’s Time” is one of the biggest hits from “Continued Silence.”
“They are all our babies, but I think ‘It’s Time’ is my favorite, and probably the whole band’s favorite right now,” Sermon said. “We have had that song for a while. We wrote that a little over a year ago, and it kind of stayed with us.”
The band is very collaborative, but “It’s Time” was created by making noises in a kitchen.
“This song in particular started with Dan Reynolds, the singer, in the kitchen kind of banging on the table, stomping his feet making the beat you hear in the beginning of the song,” Sermon said.
“It’s Time” has a message.
“I think it’s safe to say that it’s about staying true to who you are at the core,” Sermon said.
Imagine Dragons has worked closely with hip-hop producer Alex Da Kid since being signed to Interscope Records.
“Alex is great in that he doesn’t want to change the band,” Sermon said.
Sermon also said signing with Alex Da Kid and Interscope was great because they wanted to help the band do what they wanted to do, but on a larger scale.
“Most of all we feel fortunate,” Sermon said. “It is kind of what holds us together, that we are all doing what we love.”
The band has played the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, for the last two years, but Sermon said its performance this year was different from others.
“This last time at South by Southwest was a different story,” Sermon said. “We played 15 shows in three days, and it was a whirlwind” compared to the three shows in three days it played two years before.
When it comes to the show that was pivotal for the band, Bite of Las Vegas in 2011 was a huge turning point.
“We were playing for 25,000-plus, and it was a really thrilling experience,” Sermon said.
Imagine Dragons is held together by their love of all genres of music, from The Beatles to Muse, Sermon said.
“That’s the thing we all have in common is the love for early rock ‘n’ roll, and I think it shows in what we do.”
Sermon said the band loves feeding off the crowd’s energy at shows.
“I think we at least try to bring everything on stage when we are playing,” Sermon sad.
Local musicians and indie fans are expecting big things from Imagine Dragons, and are eating up “Continued Silence.”
“The six-song EP ‘Continued Silence’ is great,” said Brittany Hill, 24, a musician from Lebanon, Ohio. “Compelling lyrics like, ‘No matter what we breed / We still are made of greed’ makes ‘Demons’ one of my favorite songs.”
Others like the drum lines of Imagine Dragons’ songs.
“I dig ‘Radioactive’ – it has a deliberate implacability to the drums,” said Chris Plunkett, 33, from Waverly, Ohio.
Some music critics are not surprised by the growth of Imagine Dragons.
“Imagine Dragons were built for success,” said Nadia Noir of Los Angeles radio station KROQ. “The band has a produced edge with a penchant for tribal rhythms similar to Foster the People and is a dance-ready synthesis of stadium-sized indie-pop in the vein of the Killers, whom they share their hometown with.”
Tickets are $10 presale and $12 the day of the show.