Imagine Dragons Returned With Double Bonanza, Discussed Themes & Reconciliation

Imagine Dragons Returned With Double Bonanza, Discussed Themes & Reconciliation

Imagine Dragons have swooped back in the music scene with two newest singles ‘ Follow You’ and ‘Cutthroat,’ and trust us, you’re going to get swept off your feet!

With this double treat, the tracks mark the first new music in 2021 from the GRAMMY-winning and multi-platinum pop/rock band Imagine Dragons since 2018. Both the tracks are accompanied by stunning lyric videos released via Polydor/KIDinaKORNER/Interscope. Produced by Joel Little, ‘Follow You‘ is a beautiful anthem that revolves around the themes of love and loyalty. Packed with heartwarming lyrics and intricate guitar, the song is inspired by which are inspired by vocalist Dan Reynolds’s personal experience while he was going through rough times in life. Almost on the verge of a divorce, Dan received a long text message from his wife that turned out to be the ‘turning point’ in both their lives. We couldn’t be happier to know that our lovely duo chose to stay together, and in the end, it all worked out.

They say it’s just a matter of time because true love overcomes every obstacle and always wins in the end, and well, we believe it! Don’t we? <3

“I will follow you, way down wherever you may go
I’ll follow you, way down to your deepest low
I’ll always be around wherever life takes you
You know I’ll follow you!”

And no, we are not crying, it’s just the sweat brimming in our eyes...

via GIPHY

Followed by this, ‘Cutthroat‘ is a punk record by Imagine Dragons recorded with producer Rick Rubin at his Shangri-La studio in Malibu and as compared to the previous track, this song propels to kill the critic inside of you, in short, stop being overly self-critical. Check out the official lyric video below!

Being the best-selling pop/ rock band of the 2010s the success of Imagine Dragons speaks for itself, but even having the greatest accomplishments under their belt, at the time, not everything was favorable for them. The last few years have been difficult for Imagine Dragons, with the band members grieving over personal losses alongside personal struggles that led them to take a short hiatus from music. In December 2019, Dan Reynolds announced that he was taking some time away to focus on family and personal growth.

“It took walking away from everything to find a lot more clarity and happiness.”

Dan Reynolds, Lead Vocalist- Imagine Dragons

Recently, the frontman Dan Reynolds joined Zane Lowe on New Music Daily on Apple Music to discuss their latest release. He shared his experience of working with Rick Rubin on their forthcoming album, reconciliation with his wife, and how it became the inspiration for ‘Follow You’, the album’s theme of life and death, and much more. Check out the key highlights from the interview below and tune on Apple Music for the full interview! (credits reserved with: Apple Music/ Zane Lowe)

His Relationship With His Wife Inspired ‘Follow You
“So we’d communicated only through a third party, and it was divorce attorney, and just everything was just super… yeah, it was just messy. I was dreading it and sick to my stomach, and we’re going to sit at this table. And while I was on my way to sign these papers, she sent me a first text message, anything I’d heard from her in seven months. It was a long text, but the basis of it was, “I love you. I accept you for everything you are. And I don’t need to own you to love you. So I want you to be free. We’re going to raise our kids together, separately in life and it’s all going to be okay.” And it was just this incredibly healing and just far-reaching and very generous text. And then we sit down at this table, apart from each other, the mother of my children with these divorce attorneys, like okay, all business. And I think right in the beginning of it, I said something to the extent of… I just looked at her and I said, “So why are we getting a divorce? Why are we doing this?” And she started laughing because of the heaviness of it all. And I think the attorneys in the room were just like….These crazy artists, yes.

So we both were like, just stop everything. We’re going to go to lunch together and went to lunch. And it felt like a first date all over. And we were just like, let’s wait for a second. Let’s wait for a second and just talk and date. And that’s what we did. And then I re-proposed to her, even though we never got divorced in the first place, but we were separated. And then we had a child together. So now we have four kids, and I have a 16-month-old boy now, Valentine, who’s just the greatest gift. So, it turned out okay. But the reality of it is that not all relationships work. Sometimes it does, and sometimes… No relationship is perfect. That’s where the song came from. So yeah, I wrote ‘Follow You’ soon after that. And that’s what the song is about. It’s about loyalty. It’s about sticking it out with whoever it is that you love. And even if it’s yourself. The thing that hit me when she sent me that text was love without expectations. And that, for me, was very transformative for our relationship.

Working With Rick Rubin on Their Forthcoming Album
Rick is an essential part of this whole record. Rick was also the executive producer. So even in ‘Follow You,’ he played a role in that as well, bringing in Cory Henry, who’s an incredible organist that was on that song, who also plays on ‘Cutthroat.’ But ‘Cutthroat,’ he really, really dug in deep with us. That was Rick Rubin putting his imprint on the band in a big way. We had a demo that we had worked on, previous to Rick coming in, that was Cutthroat, but it was 50% of what “Cutthroat” became. So, when we were talking about do we want to work with a producer? Who would be a dream producer idea? Typically, we self-produced, but we thought it’s the fifth album, let’s change it up, let’s try something new. And Rick Rubin immediately came to mind for me. And all the guys felt like, yes, that’s…

Imagine Dragons’ Artwork via Instagram/ Press (Photo Credits: Neil Krug)

Primarily, I would say sonic value, his history of records that he’s worked on, that have influenced me, that are important to me. But also philosophy from afar. Rick is elusive… To me, you see the picture of Rick, and he’s lying down on the couch, and he’s silent. And that’s what I thought Rick was going to be. And I thought this isn’t going to work. I want some was really hands-on. And that was not who Rick was at all, by the way. Rick was anything, but laying on the couch, silent producer. Very involved, very thoughtful, on his feet, pacing. Rick was everything I could’ve hoped for in a producer. But anyway, so when we were talking with Rick, so we reached out and we said, “Hey, would you be interested in doing this?” He said, “Yeah. Send me some songs. Let’s talk.”So I think when he said send me some songs, he expected three songs, but I sent him 100 songs. I had been off for three years. I had written and that was me narrowing down. And you have to know that I had 300 demos for this record. So for me, it was so hard. And I was thinking Rick was going to respond and be like, I’m not the man for the job. This is way too much. I’m busy… I’m Rick Rubin. I’m doing every record ever. But he responded after a week with every song, and he had comments on every song, a paragraph on every song. He dug into every song. “I like this. This is the reason I like this. I don’t like this part. I don’t believe this part. This sounds like this.” Very, very honest and very articulate and very on point. There wasn’t anything he said that I was like… Even when it was hard to hear, and it hurt, I was like, that resonates in a way. Never vindictive, never malicious, honest, because that’s who Rick is. And he can’t be any other way. We brought all the guys, we narrowed it down to 20 to 30 songs, I think, at that point. And then we just dug in on everything.

Rick Rubin’s Contribution To ‘Cutthroat’
“So ‘Cutthroat’ was one of the first ones we worked on. One of the qualities that Rick had on everything as he would say, a line, he would say to me often was, “I don’t believe you here. I don’t believe you. What are you saying? I don’t believe it.” And I’m like, “Well, I’m talking about this.” And he’s like, “Okay, so you meant that, but why don’t I believe it?” And he would push me to this place that would be… it’s uncomfortable. It would be a song about… I’d be like, “Yeah, this is a song about my friend who committed suicide last year, Rick.” And he’d be like, “I don’t believe that, though. It doesn’t sound like… I don’t hear what you’re saying to me. I hear what you’re saying right now. I hear the hurt, but I don’t hear it there.” So something is lost in translation. So Rick pushed me to uncomfortable places. He pushed me to be less metaphorical as a writer and to be more direct, which can be more poetic, actually, and more powerful. And a lot of my favourite lyricists are, whether it’s Cat Stevens or whether it’s Bob Dylan or Biggie, there’s a directness that’s there always. And it cuts through all the bullsh-t or Tupac, the poetry is there, but it’s there and not over though.

And “Cutthroat,” he said, “This song sounds manic, but it sounds like it’s 75% there. Why don’t you go all the way there? Are you angry when you wrote this?” I was like, “Yes, this is the angriest song I’ve ever written. I was really upset when I wrote this song.” And I’m very honest about the mental issues I’ve dealt with. I’ve dealt with this since I’m young. This is nothing I’m… it’s part of my music. That song was in a very manic moment. And he was like, “Right, I hear it, but let’s really go there.” So that song’s really, it’s an exorcism of self, is the way I think of it. It’s not about anyone else. It’s not anger towards anyone else but myself. It’s this anger of woe is me. Why? He taught me a lot about myself, taught me a lot about music. And that song was one of the first songs we wanted to release. And Rick was all about it too, because I also feel like it’s a statement piece. It’s a statement piece of the record. And it also just speaks to the value of what Rick brought in a really real way.

The Two Sides of The Group’s Forthcoming Record
“…our attempt with this record was exactly that. It was to get to the truth of what Imagine Dragons is. The record is split into two pieces. I think I can say this, I can say this to you. But the record is one record, but it’s split into two sides. Half of it is about looking out, and half of it is looking inward. So, 50% of the songs… “Cutthroat” is on the looking inward side. And when we release songs, we’re going to put one from each side. And they’re very sonically different, and you could hear it in these two songs, it’s the two far sonic sides of the record. One is very put together. It’s supposed to be composed. Follow you is supposed to be this composed piece that’s like… Yeah, presented to me it was I want to give a present to my wife that’s a pop piece of everything I love about pop. It’s Beach Boys, it’s harmonies, it’s melodic like pretty melodies to your ear and a love song, but over a minor progression. I wanted it to be this present. And “Cutthroat” is supposed to be the exact opposite, which is just chaos. It’s supposed to just be chaos. And a lot of my favourite records growing up had something to this extent, whether it was like the A-B side of a cassette tape, back in the day. But yeah, so that’s the gist of it, and I hope it has the truth.”

Rick Rubin’s Influence on Him As A Songwriter
One more thing he would say to me all the time is I would say, “Right, but Rick, should this song be more organic in this? Should we do this thing? Should we have the guitar doing that instead of the piano pieces?” And he would say, “Stop thinking. You’re thinking too much about every song and just listen to it and what sounds right.” And that’s it, period. What is the truth of that song? What does it want to be? Don’t think of anything else. And so, for me, and why I say it has impacted me as a writer in a big way, is now with every song I write, and I think it’s also just getting older, probably too, is the truth is all you care about, right? At the end of the day, I don’t want any bullsh-t friends around. I just want the truth, and if the truth hurts, then let it hurt.

The Theme of Life and Death on the Album
One of the themes of this whole record, and I can tell you this, is life and death. In the last three years, one of my best friends took his life. My sister-in-law, the wife of my brother who has seven kids together, passed away from cancer. I was in the hospital with her as she was there. That was my first time ever being in the room with someone who passed. I sat with my brother as he had to call each one of his kids and tell them that Mom had passed, and this cancer came on out of nowhere. And my business manager since the beginning of the band passed from cancer. So, it hit me on the most real level of the fragility of life, and to embrace every moment we have, to embrace every relationship we have, to cut through the bullsh-t, to say you’re sorry. This is such a short period of time.

We can not wait to see what Imagine Dragons has got next on their musical palette for us. Our expectations are already set pretty high with their highly-anticipated upcoming album (and why wouldn’t we be), and we are so glad to see them thriving again in the music scene.

Want to read more? Check out our latest music coverage with your favorite artists here!

Are you as excited about Imagine Dragon’s comeback as we are? What songs are you jamming to this week, and what’s your favorite song by Imagine Dragons that you think we should add to our official playlist? Let’s keep the conversation going in the comments below or hit us up on TwitterInstagram, or Facebook!

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT IMAGINE DRAGONS
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Featured Image: Imagine Dragons via Press (Photographer Neil Krug)/ Zane Lowe on Apple Music

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Khushboo Malhotra

Pop fanatic and a dreamer, I breathe music and everything that comes along! Have a story? Get in touch: khushboomalhotra24@gmail.com Twitter: @KhushMalhotra

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