Sound Check

Why Imagine Dragons doesn’t expect to win Best Rock Video at the 2013 VMAs

Janette Pellegrini/WireImage

When the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards take place on Aug. 25, Imagine Dragons will face off against acts like Fall Out Boy, Mumford & Sons, Thirty Seconds To Mars and Vampire Weekend in the category of Best Rock Video.

It isn’t the first time the Las Vegas-based rock band has been named in the category (they received a nomination in 2012 for “It’s Time”). If they do take home the Moonman this year, they’ll join alumni like Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters and Metallica.

Frontman Dan Reynolds and guitarist Wayne Sermon spoke to Yahoo! Canada Music about their second time being nominated for Best Rock Video, and it doesn't sound like they think that they’ll come out on top this time.

“Last year, we lost to Coldplay,” Sermon said. “So, we’ll see who we lose to this time. It’s always an adventure.”

“We like to go into it with low expectations that way we’re never disappointed,” Reynolds commented.

“It’s a pretty magical way to live,” the guitarist added with a laugh.

The music video for the “Night Visions” album track “Radioactive” will represent Imagine Dragons at this year’s MTV VMAs, and it seems like this tune is one that truly showcases the group’s unique sound, which marries together organic and synthetic elements.

“When Dan first showed me the demo that he was working on, I was pretty blown away by it,” Sermon revealed. “It was a different sound [and] something that we hadn’t really explored. It was a departure in some ways but the more I thought about it the more I realized that it really sounded like an Imagine Dragons song.”

He continued, “It just sounded so big and [the track’s producer], Alex da Kid, was a big help in the song as well to make it sound the way it did, to make the snare so deep and the bass drum hit so hard.”

Finding a signature sound seems like something Sermon has had an ear out for since he was a boy and heard Boston’s 1978 tune “Don’t Look Back” for the first time.

“My introduction into rock music was through sneaking into my dad’s study and putting on his vinyl records,” the guitarist explained. “He had a really nice system [with a] really nice record player and speakers and I heard ‘Don’t Look Back’ in that kind of quality and it doesn’t get any better than that.”

He also said, “I’ve always been chasing that guitar sound. It just sounded so big so I think, from a production standpoint, that’s why I like things to sound so big, because I heard that record.”

While we wait to see if “Radioactive” will emerge victorious in the Best Rock Video category at this year’s MTV VMAs, take a look at what went into making the clip, which features fighting puppets, Lou Diamond Phillips and one very resilient pink teddy bear.

Tune in to MuchMusic on Aug. 25 to watch the 2013 MTV VMAs at 9 p.m. ET, featuring performances by Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Robin Thicke, Kanye West, Miley Cyrus and more.

Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @GraceS35

Editor's Picks