Last year, a well-placed cover during an episode of Glee helped launch fun.’s “We Are Young” from alt-rock obscurity straight into the pop stratosphere.
Tonight’s fourth season premiere of Glee, which featured Blaine (Darren Criss) singing Imagine Dragons’ “It’s Time” to his boyfriend Kurt (Chris Colfer) accompanied by the stompy sounds of cheerleaders drumming on drinking cups, may do something similar for Las Vegas foursome.
Not that they’re exactly toiling in obscurity – Imagine Dragons, who were brought together by lead singer Dan Reynolds (second from the left) and guitarist Wayne Sermon (far left) in Vegas three years ago, already made waves this week when their full-length debut Night Visions bowed at number two on the Billboard 200, selling 83,000 copies its first week out. The album’s lead single “It’s Time,” which is featured in The Perks of Being a Wallflower trailer, is also gaining steam – it rose from No. 63 to No. 49 on the Hot 100 this week, and after tonight’s cover on Glee (embedded below), we’re fully expecting it to continue to surge.
The band was gratified to meet Perks star Emma Watson last week at the VMAs (“It’s Time” was nominated for Best Rock Video), where she was seated directly in front of them. “We talked for a little bit,” says Sermon. “It seemed like she was a fan of the music… she tweeted once or twice about it, so we thought that was cool.”
Besides Perks and Glee, ID has recently enjoyed a slew of other high-profile features. Their ambient pulser “Amsterdam” was iTunes’ last free single of the week. “Radioactive,” a techno-steeped rocker, is being used in ads for NBC’s Chicago Fire. And the trailer for Bradley Cooper drama The Words uses their One Republic-y confessional “Demons.”
Sermon says he recently saw the trailers for both Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Words during a trip to the movies. “To hear two trailers with our music back-to-back in a theater, and to hear it on that loud sound system, that to me was like, ‘This is real,’” he says. “It was a very validating moment.” (The song kicks in at 1:29 in the trailer below)
Their percussive, heavily melodic album, which fuses introspective, Killers-esque rock with occasional tribal flourishes, seems made for a wider audience, but Sermon admits that the band wasn’t at all expecting Night Visions to break out the way it did “There’s no way I can even describe how shocked we were by that,” Sermon says. “We didn’t think that there was any chance an alternative rock album could have that kind of attention.”
Still, he hopes they’re not just a singles band: “Our goal was to make each song good enough that people would want to buy a whole album,” he says. And they don’t want to be a fleeting sugar rush either: “It’s like eating a bowl of Lucky Charms versus a hearty bowl of oatmeal – we want to be the oatmeal!”
Of all their recent success, though, the Glee-endorsement may give ID its biggest boost yet. “We found out a couple weeks ago,” says Sermon of Glee producers’ decision to showcase the song. “It’s a demographic that might not have normally heard our music, so to us, it’s pretty cool.” Check out a live version of the track below:
Oh, and what about that medieval name? Sermon explains that Imagine Dragons is actually an anagram for a secret phrase that the band agreed represented them – but decided it wouldn’t make for a good band name. Feel free to guess it all you want; the guys aren’t saying.