Las Ve­gas band hits jack­pot with de­but al­bum

Imag­ine Dragons on fire with two Grammy nods and 1.7 mil­lion in sales

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Ko­rina Lopez

LAST hol­i­day sea­son was cold and lonely for Imag­ine Dragons. “On Jan. 1, we were per­form­ing in Alaska for just a hand­ful of peo­ple,” says gui­tarist Wayne (Wing) Ser­mon. “It was mi­nus 20 de­grees and I re­mem­ber think­ing, ‘How did we get here?’” A year later, the Las Ve­gas rock­ers’ ca­reer out­look is de­cid­edly sun­nier Hit sin­gle Ra­dioac­tive earned Imag­ine Dragons two Grammy Award nom­i­na­tions: one for record of the year and one for rock per­for­mance. “I was asleep on a tour bus some­where in Spain (when Grammy nom­i­na­tions were an­nounced). I awoke to find a bunch of text mes­sages from fam­ily and friends con­grat­u­lat­ing me. I just sat in my bunk and stared at my phone in dis­be­lief,” front­man Dan Reynolds told USA To­day in an email. The group was over­looked for new artist, but “we weren’t sur­prised,” says Ser­mon, be­cause de­but al­bum Night Vi­sions was re­leased in 2012. “We’ve been a band for al­most five years now, so I don’t think any of us would have ex­pected or even fully un­der­stood what it meant to be called a new artist,” Reynolds adds. Be­ing nom­i­nated in any cat­e­gory is cer­tainly one off the bucket list and the guys are ex­cited to per­form at the Jan. 26 Gram­mys with Ken­drick La­mar. “(He) ap­proached us at the Amer­i­can Mu­sic Awards about play­ing to­gether. It was an easy thing to say yes to. It’s a chance to do some­thing dif­fer­ent and out of the box for us, too. We won’t be too dis­ap­pointed if we don’t win a Grammy, just as long as our per­for­mance goes well. It’s the only thing we’ve got con­trol over, so we’re fo­cus­ing mostly on that,” says Ser­mon. The group kicked off 2014 at the Al­ls­tate Fan Fest be­fore the Su­gar Bowl in New Or­leans on Jan. 1. The events of the past year are a lot to ab­sorb for a band that has gone from com­pet­ing with the clam­our of casino slot ma­chines to play­ing sold-out shows on its own head­lin­ing tour. Dur­ing Imag­ine Dragons’ early gigs, the group spread the word by leav­ing free CDs for tourists. Night Vi­sions has sold 1.7 mil­lion copies in the U.S., ac­cord­ing to Nielsen SoundS­can, and peaked at No. 2 on Bill­board’s al­bum chart. “Hon­estly, it just doesn’t feel real. It’s as shock­ing now as it was then. That peo­ple keep com­ing out to our shows, wait for hours to see us, get sit­ters for the night, know all our lyrics — it’s a mir­a­cle,” says Ser­mon. The band is work­ing on new mu­sic for its sec­ond al­bum. “We’re al­ways writ­ing, that never stops, but we’re not record­ing it yet. We’re still cre­at­ing, do­ing it at our own pace,” says Ser­mon. Reynolds, who has a tod­dler daugh­ter, Ar­row Eve, is ready for 2014. “This last year has been the most in­tense of my life, but also the most re­ward­ing,” he says. “I’ll sleep when I die.”

AL POW­ERS / THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Imag­ine Dragons — Ben McKee, from left, Wayne Ser­mon, Dan Platz­man and Dan Reynolds — has come a long way from play­ing casi­nos.

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