Imagine Dragons are fast becoming one of the biggest rock bands on the planet. They move from success to success, and Imagine Dragons are one of only two rock bands with at least three top 40 hits since 2010 (Fun is the other) and inescapable single “Radioactive” hung in the Hot 100 for a record-shattering 87 weeks.
When Imagine Dragons stood on the main stage at Reading festival last August in front of 100,000 delirious fans, they looked every inch the rock superstars. Yet through it all, Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds was hiding a terrible secret. You see, Dan Reynolds and Imagine Dragons may have topped the charts with their hit “Demons,” but according to Us Magazine, Reynolds is opening up for the first time about his own demons.
In an interview with Billboard, the 27-year-old Imagine Dragons frontman admits that he suffers from depression. Reynolds acknowledges that the success of Imagine Dragons has brought many benefits but as is often the case, that success comes at a terrible cost. Reynolds states that he has been “depressed as hell” for a while, and sees a therapist.
“It’s lonely when your life changes like this, I’ve lost all my friends. It’s not like we had some blowout arguments or that I feel I’m too cool, the relationships feel false. Anytime I’m talking to someone, I feel they’re just thinking about Imagine Dragons. Probably a lot of them aren’t treating me differently. I just can’t get over it.”
“The last few years have been the highest highs for me and certainly the lowest lows, that’s not to say it’s some sob story because everything has been wonderful and we have had everything happen that we could ever have wanted to happen. But I have certainly dealt with quite a bit of depression, I have for many years, but it’s been at its worst and heaviest these last two years.”
Of course, the Imagine Dragons star is far from the first rock star to suffer from depression and mental health issues. Demi Lovato, Kurt Cobain, Michael Hutchence, Sheryl Crow, and many others have been similarly afflicted. Depression often strikes high achievers, perfectionists, and those who are highly driven, even great leaders like Winston Churchill have suffered from depression.
The Imagine Dragons star says that his relationship with his wife, Aja Volkman, and their daughter grounds him. He met Volkman five years ago when Imagine Dragons were opening up for her band, Nico Vega. The pair hit it off straight away, partly because they were both having doubts about their faith. Volkman had recently left Scientology and Reynolds was full of doubts about Mormonism.
As Reynolds belts out one of Imagine Dragons’ biggest hits “On Top of the World,” he must reflect that the view from up there can be very frightening indeed. Let’s hope that Reynolds can slay his personal dragons and that Imagine Dragons can go from strength to strength.
[Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images]