Imagine Dragons Talk Upcoming Tour With Metric, ‘Smoke + Mirrors’ Deluxe Edition + More
Imagine Dragons recently joined Metric for a performance in Los Angeles to announce their upcoming tour. Diffuser had a chance to sit down and chat with the band about the trek, their respect for tourmates Metric and they also shared a little bit about the upcoming deluxe edition of their 'Smoke and Mirrors' album. Check out the chat in full below:
You mentioned during the show today about playing some of the more intimate L.A. venues -- the Cabana Club, the Viper Room, the Roxy. Can you share some of what those early shows were like for you?
Dan Reynolds: The first time we played L.A., the Cabana Club, we brought nobody except our manager. And I think we opened for our manager and the headlining band.
Ben McKee: The Cabana Club did us wrong actually. I want to put them on blast. We got there, showed up totally green and hadn't played a show before and we're setting up and it's like, "So where's the money from the 30 tickets you guys had to sell?" We're like, "What? Nobody gave us any tickets to sell or told us anything" and they're like, "Oh, don't worry. You owe us $200 and you're going on now, 15 minutes before the doors open."
Dan Reynolds: That was our first experience and our second experience was the Cat Club I think and that was a lot better. We had people come out and started the buzz a little bit in L.A. and then we played Spaceland next, and then it was the Viper Room and the Roxy and Troubadour. So yes, we have a real love for the Sunset Strip. And there are people who I saw tonight who were at those shows at the Viper Room and the Roxy and maybe even the Cat Club. They were there from the very beginning, so it's pretty amazing.
The new material you played today, was it nice to have this audience to play it for and get it out there and to announce your shows in this sort of way?
Dan Reynolds: Yeah, it's always a little nerve-wracking when you're playing songs for the first time cause you have no idea what to expect. Nobody's heard those songs at all. The record's not out. And for us it's a little tricky because you might forget what the progression is and you forget those things after playing a bunch of times. But it went really well and the crowd seemed to respond to them and we're really anxious to have new stuff. We really played this first record into the ground.
Wayne Sermon: Yeah, touring 'Night Visions,' we really had a chance to play that album many many times, review footage of other performances, see what worked some times, what didn't work other times and really hone those songs and then find out the best way that we, Imagine Dragons, can perform them. The new material we're just getting into it. And we're really OCD and hands on so it's really exciting for us. It's unchartered terrain and this is about as exciting as it gets.
And are those two new songs ['Summer' and 'I'm So Sorry'] are going to be staples in your set …
Dan Reynolds: I mean we're going to play all the new songs off the record. I think that we have been so anxious for new material that we will play all the songs plus some older songs just to freshen up the set.
With the tour coming up, have you already given thought to production? The band creates such a visual experience …
Dan Reynolds: We really are keeping it under wraps just because we want it to be a surprise, but we're working with a really great production company that's very forward thinking and pushing the boundaries of what you can experience at a live show. So without giving too much away, it will certainly be kind of on the edge of what's available with technology to be able to do in a live setting.
You're touring with Metric this time out and we talked with them earlier and they shared that even though you haven't toured together before, there's already a great bond forming.
Dan Reynolds: Oh, we think the vibe is just totally important to us and we're always really careful to take musicians on the road who we really vibe with. They're an incredible band that's been around a really long time and continually puts out great music. She's a great powerful frontwoman [Emily Haines] which there needs to be more of that in the industry, so it's refreshing, but yeah, the vibe's been great and we've gone back and forth before this all even started, and today was just awesome. We're really excited about this tour with them and we're genuine fans of their band.
Wayne Sermon: Yeah, you basically are gonna live with them for three months so the fact that they're really chill and cool, it's like you can exhale. You know you're going to have a good time. So we had that today.
Ben McKee: It's like meeting your new roommate for the first time.
You played the House of Blues in Anaheim which was sold out and you could barely fit on that stage with so much stuff. Eleven months later, you're playing the Forum and now you're moving up to the Honda Center. Are you excited to play that venue?
Daniel Platzman: I think it's pretty overwhelming the venues that we're playing. To think that we're playing all these arenas all over the world is kind of intimidating, but really exciting and you know, honestly, I can't even wrap my head around it. You walk in those doors every day and you see all these people pour in and look out and see the whole place filled, it's just the craziest feeling -- especially for a young band. We don't expect that. I think older bands get it. They walk out there and it's like, "Oh yeah, cool." But we're still in that phase where it's like, "Wow! All these people listened to our record that we don't even know about." It's really surprising and awesome every time. And hopefully that sustains for a while because it's a great feeling.
Ben McKee: And Wayne lives down there in Orange County, so it's a hometown show for him.
Wayne Sermon: Yeah, and our green room is gonna be where the Ducks, well probably where the Ducks get ready, so we're expecting Ducks jerseys.
There's a deluxe version of your album coming out with Target. Why is it important to give a special version to Target and what's in it for the band?
Dan Reynolds: We had such a hard time narrowing down this record. We have over 100 demos and it was so hard to get that down to the 13 that made the album. We had to release more songs. It just wasn't an option. We had more songs that just had to be heard and honestly when I listen to the bonus tracks, I'm sometimes very remorseful. Ughhh, those songs should have gone on the record. There are some really strong songs on there.
Ben McKee: And it's not just the songs. We also created ... for each song we had an artist named Tim Cantor. He created an individual piece of art for each song so we wanted to figure out a way to get that out to our fans too. Something that accompanies the music, something that people look at as they're going along with the music like when you bought a record, you put on a record, you listen in headphones and it's like watching a movie. So hopefully with the deluxe edition, people can have that kind of completely immersive experience with the music.
Our thanks to Imagine Dragons for the interview. Check out all of their upcoming dates at this location. And look for the band's 'Smoke + Mirrors' album arriving on Feb. 17. The disc is currently available for pre-order at Amazon and iTunes.
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