Armed with catchy tunes and industry know-how, these Utah transplants are going places
Thu, Jul 16, 2009 (midnight)
Photo: Corlene Byrd
Imagine Dragons feels too polished to be two months old.
Nobody at tonight’s acoustic performance in the House of Blues Courtyard minds, of course. A dozen or so teens and college-age hipsters rush toward the stage and dance to the catchy riffs and synthesizers of the indie-pop band’s closing song. While the atmosphere is electric, the band still seems restrained by the small setting—you can tell its members are hungry for more.
So hungry, in fact, they rehearse six hours a day, six days a week. “We aim for 12 to 6,” frontman Dan Reynolds explains. “First we eat. Then, we play till we’re cranky.”
Imagine Dragons originally began as a college hobby in Utah. After winning several battle of the bands competitions, Reynolds explains, the members decided it was time to take the band more seriously. So ID went through lineup changes and, in June, relocated to “somewhere less Utah-ish”: Las Vegas. Here, the quintet of recent college graduates is as serious as it gets—living poor, practicing hard and creating a buzz.
Imagine Dragons booked studio time only two months after its lineup finalized. This week, the band finished recording its first EP, which is currently being mixed. Tentative release: end of this month.
ID’s tenacity is enough to get it noticed by regional audiences and venues. The fact that Dan Reynolds’ brother just happens to be The Killers’ manager/lawyer Robert Reynolds doesn’t hurt, either.
Dan says his brother has been a great mentor, even spending time in the studio and critiquing shows. (The band’s official rep, however, is a third brother—Mac.) Still, while Dan concedes Imagine Dragons will rely on Robert’s recording-industry insight when it comes time to circulate the EP, he says the band has no plans to market itself as the next Killers. “Nobody wants to feel they’re riding on coattails,” Dan says. “I don’t think The Killers would like that. We don’t.”