Imagine Dragons Share Their Favorite Songs
Siddhant Pillai · March 24, 2014 · 2 Minute Read
We got a chance to chat with the Grammy award-winning band who shared their thoughts on Smoke + Mirrors and alternate career choices, and also spilled the beans on whether an India tour is on the cards!
Q: With Night Visions you brought alternative music to the mainstream audience and now you’ve done it again with Smoke + Mirrors! According to you, why does your music have such an incredible cross-genre appeal?
We don’t really try to write to a specific genre, and really, alternative music has become such a broad category over the last five years. We just feel fortunate that a lot of people resonated with the songs, whatever genre they belong to.
In a previous interview, you mentioned that you’ve narrowed down about 20-30 songs out of all the demos that you have recorded over time. Has Smoke + Mirrors emerged from this set of songs? Does it include newer material as well?
We had over 100 demos going into recording Smoke + Mirrors, most of which were written on the road touring since Night Visions. It was incredibly hard to narrow those down to the 20-30 songs that eventually became our new album, but in the end, Smoke + Mirrors was comprised totally of the new material.
In Smoke + Mirrors, you’ve experimented with instruments from around the world. Can you tell us more about this?
When you write an album while touring around the world, it’s inevitable that you find inspiration in those places. We’re always looking for ways to create sounds that feel fresh and different than what we’ve done before. For this album we experimented with some new instruments, and, because we were able to record in our own studio, were able to track them in new ways. At one point, we placed a drum mic in a drained hot tub in our living room. Some of those unique sounds are part of what give the drums on the album their character.
You’ve worked with the very talented Tim Cantor for the artwork on this album, which includes 13 high-quality lithograph prints for every song! How did this collaboration happen, and which is your favorite artwork?
We heard about Tim Cantor from Dan’s dad, who randomly walked into Tim’s gallery in San Diego a while back. Dan shared a book of Tim’s work with the band, and we all fell in love instantly and knew he was a match. Fortunately, Tim was already a fan of the music, and it was a really special partnership from the very beginning. Our favorite painting probably changes daily.
Did you all grow up wanting to be musicians? If you weren’t members of a record breaking, genre-redefining band then what professions would you have pursued?
We all knew we loved music early on, but none of us could have realistically dreamed that we could play it for a living. Although three of us were at Berklee studying music, Dan was thinking about joining the FBI before our band started. More than likely, most of us would be homeless musicians if not professional ones.
Thanks for sharing your playlist on Saavn today. It’s quite eclectic! Why these songs?
We all have different influences as artists, though they overlap in some interesting ways. Although we don’t all listen to the same music, I think we all appreciate great songs of any genre. This playlist is a reflection of that.
Do you have any message for your fans on Saavn?
We get asked often by our fans in India if we will tour there someday. We want them to know that the answer is YES. We can’t wait to get there.