Imagine Dragons flies August to PH
Imagine Dragons has been working nonstop for the past four to five years, playing over 130 gigs all over the world in support of its first studio album, “Night Visions.” It was demanding, no doubt, but gratifying at the same time. And the band’s guitarist, Wayne Sermon, wouldn’t have it any other way.
“It’s challenging… We had only few small gaps… and sometimes it was easy to lose your sense of self. But we’re not complaining, because we got to do something we really love and visit places that we’ve never been in. It was a chance of a lifetime for any band,” Sermon told the Inquirer in a phone interview.
If anything, the Las Vegas-based alternative rock band—Sermon, Dan Reynolds (lead vocals), Daniel Platzman (drums) and Ben McKee (bass)—is even more excited about its second, ongoing world tour “Smoke + Mirrors,” which is also the title of its latest album. Because this time, Sermon said, the band has a lot more to offer.
“Our first tour was weird in a sense that we only had an album’s worth of material that we played over and over again. Now we can mix old and new songs on our set list,” he pointed out, adding that the fans can expect better production values in their upcoming concerts.
“After our debut album, things happened a little too quickly that we didn’t really have time to think about all the details that we wanted to incorporate in the shows. So for this tour, we put in a lot more thought and money into mounting the concerts, so as to make them more of an experience, rather than a mere show,” the 30-year-old musician said.
Imagine Dragons, the Grammy Award-winning group behind the hits “Demons,” “Radioactive” and “On Top of the World,” is set to make a stop in Manila for the first time and hold a concert at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on Aug. 27. The show is organized by MMI Live. For tickets call, SM Tickets at 470222.
Excerpts from the Inquirer’s interview with Sermon:
So can we expect a more visual concert from you guys?
Yes, but obviously, it’s still all about the music. It’s not like we’re going to dance or anything like that… It’s going to be an audio-visual experience.
It’s your first time doing a proper tour in Asia.
We’ve been to Korea and Japan… But Asia is so diverse and composed of many different countries and cultures. We haven’t been to your country yet. But whenever we go to a new place, there’s always a new level of excitement. I love the feeling of playing for a new crowd and not knowing how they’re going to react. Seeing fans who speak a different language, singing and appreciating your music, will never stop being amazing.
From playing in small venues, you’re now filling up arenas.
Yeah, it’s really crazy, when you think about it.
How do you keep your drive in such an extensive tour?
We try to exercise a lot on the road. We have a trainer and eat well to make sure we stay in shape. Back in the old days, we partied a lot more. Now I think we’re a lot more mindful of that because you have to be physically and mentally fit all the time.
The band recently performed “Stand by Me” at the Billboard Music Awards as a tribute to the late Ben E. King.
That was pretty crazy. We’re fans; that’s why we covered that song in the first place… His family was there and it was an honor. There was also pressure to do the song justice… We didn’t want to change it up too much, so we just stayed faithful to the original as best as we could.
How would you describe winning a couple of awards?
It’s a nice pat on the back for us, but then again, that’s not what we live for. We’re here because of all the fans who support our music and buy our albums, tickets to our shows. It might be a cliché, but it’s the fans who drive us.
“Night Visions” was so well-received. Did you feel that you have to replicate that success with “Smoke + Mirrors”?
We always strive to do better, make better music in each album. But you can’t make something with worry and fear at the back of your head, because then you would be doing things for the wrong reasons …We don’t operate that way. Also, it’s important for us to come up with something new. While we don’t want to alienate fans, we also don’t want to just come up with “Radioactive 2.0.” Otherwise, we’ll just be regurgitating the same thing.
Some people say that you guys sort of brought alternative rock back to the spotlight. Any thoughts on that?
I don’t know how true that is… There are a lot of good groups out there that are making it to the Top 40 chart, and we’re proud to be part of that. I guess it’s just a good time to be an alternative music lover.