Imagine Dragons Frontman Dan Reynolds Opens Up About His Struggle With Depression
"When I'm happy, I'm very happy. When I'm low, I'm so low ... "
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Imagine Dragons is one of the most successful rock bands of the past decade. But despite fortune and fame, frontman Dan Reynolds has continued to battle personal demons. Reynolds has suffered from depression for many years, and the highs and lows of life in the music industry proved to exacerbate his condition.
“When I’m happy, I’m very happy. When I’m low, I’m so low, and they have had to deal with that for years and years,” Reynolds told CBS News, referring to his bandmates.
The band took a year-long break to give Reynolds time to regain his balance and focus on his mental health. When they returned to the studio, they recorded their third album, “Evolve.”
Reynolds said the first single on the album, “Believer,” speaks to how he was able to use his painful experiences as a way to relate to his audience.
“It’s about finally finding gratitude in my flaws, and my weakness, it has finally given me freedom. It’s made me a believer in myself,” Reynolds told CBS News. “It’s honestly the most cathartic experience you know I’ve written hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of songs, most of them terrible but it was always my way of expressing myself and now to be able to be doing it in a way that’s very honest and raw and vulnerable, and even to share it sometimes with you know, what could be millions of people, I’ve found comfort in that, rather than fear.”
Reynolds said some of his struggles were due to difficult questions about his faith. Raised as a Mormon, he took issue with his religion’s stance against gay marriage. To promote his own message of equality for all, Reynolds organized a musical festival in Utah, called LoveLoud, meant to encourage a dialogue between the church and the LGBTQ community.
The festival was a huge success, selling out and even prompting a statement in its favor from the Mormon Church. Reynolds said it’s important to him that his legacy has meaning.
“I have three daughters, and what I want to leave behind for them, is not, ‘Hey, dad wrote these songs,'” Reynolds said. “I need my little girls to know that I stood for my truth. And if I can do that, then I think I’ll be OK.”