Imagine Dragons are a Grammy-winning band from Las Vegas. They’ve sold over 20 millions albums so far, and they were the most streamed band on Spotify in 2018. In March of this year, they released the song “Follow You." Singer Dan Reynolds started the song at home, and then later, the band took it to the studio Shangri-La, to record parts of it with legendary producer Rick Rubin. In this episode, Dan breaks down the song, which tells a deeply personal story of his relationship to his wife.
For more, visit songexploder.net/imagine-dragons
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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Imagine dragons are Grammy Award winning banned from LAS Vegas. They ve sold over twenty million items so far and they were the most streamed banned on Spotify and twenty eighty in March of this year, they release the song, follow you singer DEN Reynolds started the song at home and then later the ban took the song to the studio Shangri LA to record parts of it with legendary producer Rick Reuben. In this episode, Dan breaks down the south, which tells us
deeply personal story of his relationship to his wife.
The my name
is Dan Reynolds and I sing for the band. Imagine dragons
Other things that kind of led to this ve gone through therapy and other things, but we decided you know what. After some
years of being married. This isn't going to work
and get a divorce, and that was
a really difficult decision super heartbreaking. We had actually been together for over a decade. At that point we had three kids
and imagine dragons blew up after we got married,
and so I traveled a lot which was really difficult and also went through.
Faith crisis. I was raised in Mormonism and never really settled incorrectly for me, so I was just doing
different things that made a marriage. Difficult made me a difficult
partner to be with. So we got separated
after seven months of zero communication
we came home to sit an attorney's office and sign the final papers and
when I was driving to sign the papers. Asia sent me
a very lengthy text message expressing
seven months of pain that she had been through and really expressing. Seven years of marriage,
doing it in the most heartfelt way it was
I love you. I accept you
and we're going to be great Co. Parents together for these children separated kind of like this,
it's a freedom and love and forgiveness.
and I read it and I was like reminded about how important this woman was to me.
it made me rethink a lot of things about my
about our relationship,
our family, so we sat down
but at the table to sign these papers
and we kind of looked at each other across the table, and I think we were both crying and I said something like hey. Why are we doing this? Let's get outta here
we got it from the table and we went to eat and just felt the
The sense of love and loyalty- and if that, like the first time we had met which was magical, propose
then we cited, but why don't we just start dating again.
even though we are still married
So we started dating
since the age of twelve I've written almost,
a song a day and I was like
It is incredible, Mean Asia dating again we may get back together. This is
Second chance, I have to write
about this today and I,
went through a bunch of tracks,
that Joe Little had sent me, who is incredible producer that we work with in the past, and
I listened to a couple of them on one of them.
Was a basic beat with a sense of awe. It's like a really beautiful haunting Oregon and it felt nostalgic to me immediately. It made me feel, like some sense of worship, and when I hear that something about the worship made me think of love.
And the melody always comes. First,
the monopoly on Mount
in doing that, and then they can begin, and indeed do
and then I just start to sing about whatever's in my head.
Elsie was really in my mind, like loyal
to this. Woman has been
with me through everything
and I'm not an easy person to be with for a long time very.
Bipolar. I dealt with serious depression since I was young and dieting like high.
is no knows and she's been with me through everything. So I think something
that is, in my mind,
I'll, get the chorus right,
first then I know ok now I know what I'm writing about I'm writing about. Following someone. Through the ups and downs of life,
I'll follow you weigh down wherever you may go. I follow you weigh down to your deepest love. What am I
first thoughts was don't muddy. It up
don't cloudy this up.
things are really trying to do with this record was be less metaphor
One of the reasons I was overly metaphorical. A lot of my early works, not even because I was trying to sound that poetic.
It's really because I was afraid of my family, knowing what I was singing about from a very young age. So if my mom happened to hear the song she's not going to like son, are you having a problem?
faith, and I don't want how that translation, so I would always be over the top metaphorical. I recall
immediately with follow you lyrically thinking, don't overthink.
you got your number number team can
the last, is the victory to read. I want to put the star who will only know what you've been holding back party tags every night. You know not right when I
finish. The song I get on my gmail and I send the demo to the band then.
what guitar at his house and send it back
Guitar, is a very personal thing for him. Wayne is
Very excitable Wayne is very grounded, he's very even keeled.
In the early stages of the band Wayne and I were primary songwriters and then we get in the studio with Ben and Platzman? Then they would
Their opinions, the table on these demos and really be involved, then.
then the next iteration was when we went to the studio, Rick Rubin
is the producer and we did it at his studio in Malibu, which is known as Shangri LA I loved working with him
and all the stem sent over from georgia- and we started with just
the bulk or the sense and built from their our goal
this track was to really Mary, the modern, with the throwback like
fifty percent organic in fifty percent programmes, programs, and so there
Real drums on top of program drums
Then we added an Oregon with Corey Henry O watching him work was a rebel and he really brings that sense of almost worship to the song or the knots Wayne playing that on a really vintage, upright piano. Oh, we wanted to give human residence to the track
it's good as you can get the best
programmed piano you're not going to have the depth that's going to come from.
Open to jolt upright piano in
Rome, a Shangri LA.
We thought it would be interesting to start the song and play it as though you're hearing it on old radio in like the 80s or something like that, and we record
through tape, Cosette Player,
and then the song you hit rewind in that that's when the song opens up
We use them of Opel's on almost every single son that we ve put out,
call you, you didn't cry and cry, and no nine pure only disappointed in yourself.
This is not a room that any studio engineer would ever recommend. There is no sound
happening on any of the walls. So
as you, listen to this track. It's there
I can really hear grabbing compressing grabbing the room. You know gudgeon number number one I am always on your team is not typically.
People are doing their vocals irrevocable than vocal booth, not correct for this
I I, when I tried to do it in a vocal booth,
I just didn't, sounds cool. It sounded like doing a vocal and
in not doing it in a weird room with weird acoustics.
We only know what you been holding back part of every night and then
I think, get to a bridge that actually had one moment where was like, but really honey. I want to tell you something serious, which is that I love you, and I know that you've had to live in a
since has been really difficult with
Marion Mormonism Sicking, biased my side through
down downs like all. It was a moment where I wanted to just
Just me and you here for a second on this bridge,
Tell you that I love you and I appreciate you,
not tat, the king himself enough and in time,
we're excited she's, not the type to give herself enough love
She lives her life hand in a tight glove. I wish that I could fix it. I could fix it for you, but instead I'll be right here. Coming through,
Anybody who is married into a very conservative family,
or a family. That is very,
the world that you raised in
very daunting experience.
So when she met my family. I think
She felt a very high level
scrutiny whether it was there or not
It was always holding back a words frayed to be too provocative afraid to be herself
it's hard for me in time on a bridge with out and make me feel emotional because of how
you have a factor that Spain and our entire marriage and its little thing,
Did you really love someone
staff, my vocal a bunch of times doing like
my own interpretation of the beach boys hits
but by the way
our life, but instead be right, can coming through like
get over the top and make you laugh when you hear this and make you smile know that we have good times ahead of us and why
What can we just made it through? That was
So Rick Rubin's idea was. He said. Okay,
we just got to a high level here with the deal
the lead knit knitting, the ok. What are you going to do? That's going to make me not feel like you're? Actually, taking a step down after that, so
Well. I heard this melody in my head. That was way out of my range but
really want me to go for it.
I remember being like I don't think
this, but I'll. Try
if I do hindrance to sound, pretty
and then I did it and workers was like. I like it when something like that.
sing, the song I want to say three times and we
When did a version of the song by the way completely different, it's very organic.
And it's more live. Instrumentation the you know about you, but
It said to me, you know: are you trying to make an imagine dragons song, that's influenced
the beach boys, are you trying to make a beach voice on, and that made me think a lot about
But I was leaning towards putting out the other version of the song, but
Picasso also said. Well, why don't you go? Listen to him both. So
oh I put on my headphones and I went on a run. I remember this super vividly. I went on run on the beach and the one
We didn't put out gave me a feeling of like a party
I played the other one, and it was like
emotional. For me, it sounded like I worship.
This. This is my religion, because
legend hasn't worked for me
I typically never write, love songs, it feels songs to me and redundant. It's like okay. How are you going to say it better than here?
it's been said before, but
really glad that this song is written. It commemorates something, that's really important to me and a life change, that's the best decision I made. I hope that this song is something that I can always go back to and listen to remind me of, what's most important to me, which is loyalty to those that I love. I really do hope that just on a selfish level, just for me it is something I always can listen to and say you know what there is a lot. I learned in the time period of our relationship. That's captured him in a small son and now,
Here's follow you by imagine. Dragons in its entirety.
You got your number number, did you you? Where you, you know you, you know I can fix it. I can fix it, but instead be right with you.
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This episode was made by me with editing help from Teeny Lieberson and Casey deal artwork by Carlos Lerma and music clearance.
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Transcript generated on 2022-03-27.