Imagine Dragons Talk New Music at SXSW

Imagine Dragons

Nick Walker

"It’s still Imagine Dragons, but we’ve got a lot of growth and maturing do do as a band"

Imagine Dragons has about 50 demos ready to be worked on for its sophomore album. But the Las Vegas quartet isn’t sure when the time to work on them will come.

“We’re still on tour right now,” frontman Dan Reynolds told Billboard before the group’s show opening for Coldplay at the first iTunes Festival show during this year’s South By Southwest Music Conference & Festival. “At the end of this (North American) tour we have a couple shows in Mexico and then we’re doing the Lollapalooza run in South America. So we still have a couple of important things before we step foot into any studio. We keep toying with the idea of taking a little bit of time off, which keeps sounding more and more appealing, but we’re really bad at that.”

And when Imagine Dragons do hit the studio, they don’t plan to rush out a successor to 2012’s double-platinum “Night Visions,” either. “We all think making an album you can listen to from beginning to end is really important,” explains drummer Daniel Platzman. “We took a long time to make sure ‘Night Visions' was up to standard to us, and a lot of our favorite records growing up were that way. It’s not like, ‘Here’s a song. Here’s another song.’ It’s the album journey.”

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The demos so far, according to Reynolds, are “definitely different. It’s still Imagine Dragons, but we’ve got a lot of growth and maturing do do as a band. This is our first album. We’re a young band. So I think (the new material) is going to hopefully be a step in the right direction. We’re just trying to create and do what comes out and what feels right,” to which Platzman adds, “We’re pretty hard critics on ourselves. There’s no room for external pressure.”

Coldplay, Imagine Dragons Launch iTunes Festival at SXSW

And, Reynolds  contends, Imagine Dragons are not bothered by the high expectations the next album will face. “There’s no pressure because we really have been so in our own bubble, on the road,” he says. “Honestly, I don’t think any of the numbers mean anything to us. When people are like, ‘The record went triple-platinum in Canada, I don’t think any of us comprehend that. It’s like being in the eye of the hurricane. These things sound like nice numbers to us, but, honest truth, none of us got into music to be recognized or get a girl or anything like that. We’re doing music because we’re unhappy if  we weren’t doing music.”

Imagine Dragons finishes its latest run of touring during early April but has festival dates booked for early July in Europe.