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

‘Extremely disturbing’: SF police chief condemns death of George Floyd

Bill Scott joins SFPOA, top cops nationwide in deeming incident a failure of policing

Haight Street group drops ties with prominent pro-Trump attorney

Amoeba, other merchants filed lawsuit seeking to block ‘Safe Sleeping’ site on Stanyan

CCSF board votes to close Fort Mason campus

College dropping lease on waterfront site to help close projected deficit

Planning Commission greenlights 1,100 unit Balboa Reservoir project

Development near CCSF expected to include 50 percent below-market rate units

Breed announces timeline for when SF’s businesses can reopen after COVID-19 shutdown

Restaurant advocacy group wants The City to allow indoor dining sooner

Most Read