Interview: Imagine Dragons Slowly Climb to Omnipresent Fame
By Courtney E. Smith
Since their dynamic GRAMMYs performance on January 26, it feels like Imagine Dragons have been everywhere: Saturday Night Live, a high-profile Amnesty International concert, The Beatles tribute. Their hit single “Radioactive” is set to break the record for most weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in two weeks with a solid 77 weeks on and still flying high. They’ve maintained their position largely through radio airplay, crossing over to multiple formats in the year plus the song has been out, and kept it alive with commercial synchs in the trailer for the Stephenie Meyers Twilight follow-up film The Host, a Beats commercial, and various TV shows ranging from Chicago Fire to History and NatGeo channel promos.
Oh yeah, and Matt Holliday of the St. Louis Cardinals made it his walk-up song for the 2013 season.
In short: the song you couldn’t escape in 2013 has caused an explosion of attention for a band the media has largely ignored — or, if not ignored, at least not given the sort of personality-based scrutiny that pop stars and hip hop artists who are one-man shops face up to. They haven’t covered magazines, been followed by paparazzi, had the public scrutinize who they’re wearing on a red carpet or been the focus of illuminating editorial spreads. But now the attention that comes with a condensed and rapid succession of national television appearances is pushing them into the limelight.
In Radio.com’s interview with the band, which was sandwiched in the week between their GRAMMYs and SNL appearances, singer Dan Reynolds made an offhand comment. Between a thought about writing their next album and the band’s desire to release a B-sides album, he got at the band’s level of self-awareness in the eyes of the media and the public.
“I’m sure in the future [a B-sides album] will come, but as of right now we’re pretty focused on putting out an album. We’re still a young band, one album in. I think you have to prove yourself more as an artist before you put out a B-sides album because people have to care enough about your A-sides first,” Reynolds said, laughing.