Imagine Dragons, whose new album is “Evolve,” come to Shoreline Amphitheatre this week. (Courtesy Eliot Lee Hazel)

Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds revels in new positive outlook

When Dan Reynolds — who brings his Grammy-winning Las Vegas combo Imagine Dragons to Mountain View this week — set out on his 2015 tour backing the sophomore album “Smoke + Mirrors,” he had a sense of closure, feeling like he conquered the depression he experienced since he was 14.

At the time, he was better, thanks to the birth of Arrow, his daughter with Nico Vega member Aja Volkman; regular meetings with a cognitive therapist; and candid press interviews in which he finally detailed the debilitating condition that inspired his cryptic lyrics.

But the feeling didn’t last. His depression worsened with each stressful concert and with every somber article he read about himself. By the tour’s end, he decided to disappear for most of 2016.

“It was just a necessity. I needed to get off the road and remember what it was like to be … to be Dan, and have a home, a community, a constant,” says Reynolds, who turned 30 in July after the March birth of fraternal-twin daughters, Gia and Coco. “So I really worked on myself to get to the root of this lifelong depression.”

The result is Imagine Dragons’ uplifting 2017 album “Evolve,” led by the percussive hit “Believer,” in which the Mormon-raised Reynolds says, “I was broken from a young age” …writing my poems for the few,” before thanking his French therapist (whom he worked with over Skype) for helping him endure his pain and making him a believer.

“He just dove into my life and made me talk about things that I’d been uncomfortable with and had kept to myself. And it was a really healing, incredible process. This last year has been the most healthy, colorful year of my life, and it’s reflected in this new album,” he says.

Much of “Evolve” — like “Rise Up,” “Start Over” and the defiant “Whatever it Takes” — have the rousing righteousness of a good motivational speech.

To achieve the uplifting purity, Reynolds studied his daughters and tapped into their naive sense of wonder about the world.

“Like just watching Arrow, who’s 5, and her utter excitement if she gets to go outside and ride her bike on the block,” he says.

It quickly changed his dour perspective: “It made me do a double-take and think, ‘I have the greatest job in the world! I get up onstage every night and sing these songs that have a lot of meaning to me and somehow also have meaning to other people.’ So having a childlike view toward life? That’s my goal,” he says.

IF YOU GO
Imagine Dragons
Where: Shoreline Amphitheatre, 1 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View
When: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 3
Tickets: $22 to $169
Contact: (650) 967-4040, www.ticketmaster.comBelieverDan ReynoldsEvolveImagine DragonsPop MusicSmoke + Mirrors

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

The admissions process at the academically competitive Lowell High School is set to change this year due to coronavirus restritions. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Lowell’s selective admissions process put on hold this year — and more changes may be in the works

School board votes unanimously to use normal student assignment lottery for competitive school

Diners sit outside Caffe Greco in North Beach on Monday, June 15, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SF becomes first Bay Area County to move to least restrictive COVID-19 category

Change to ‘yellow’ will allow more indoor dining and fitness, reopening non-essential offices

City officials want to install more red light cameras but the process is costly and time consuming. (Shutterstock)
Transit officials push for more red light cameras

SFMTA says ‘capital crunch’ and dragging timelines make expanding the program cumbersome

Police release an image a cracked windshield on a Prius that Cesar Vargas allegedly tried to carjack. Vargas, who was shot by police a short time later, can be seen in videos jumping on the windshield and pushing a Muni passenger who disembarked from a bus. (Courtesy SFPD
SFPD releases videos of deadly police shooting

Cesar Vargas killed after reports of carjacking with knife

Organizers of the San Francisco International Arts Festival had planned to use parts of Fort Mason including the Parade Ground, Eucalyptus Grove and Black Point Battery to host performances by about a dozen Bay Area arts groups. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Arts festival sues city over permit denial

Organizer says outdoor performances should be treated like demonstrations, religious gatherings

Most Read