Reporting Courtney E. Smith
All the best rock bands have legends and myths swirling around them: the Led Zeppelin shark story, the Rolling Stones drug bust/Mars bar incident, any number of (untrue, one hopes) lurid things you may have heard about Rod Stewart. But by and large, today’s rock bands don’t have that same one-two bad boy punch. Rock, as a whole, faces the problem of being a bit faceless. Unlike their pop and hip-hop compatriots, it’s harder to develop a cult of personality around a group of people. While the Beyhive can swarm easily around King Bey, it’s harder to pinpoint the superstar in even the highest echelons of hard working rock bands today.
Imagine Dragons, much to the surprise of everyone, might just be bucking that trend. Their hit songs, “Radioactive” and “It’s Time,” hint at a certain type of tepidness, but the guys took us by surprise in a recent interview with Radio.com. On their first trip abroad to, of all places, Norway, at least one member of Imagine Dragons recounted the tale of finding his inner rock star legend. The main problem is, he can’t actually remember it.
“We played Bergenfest in Bergen, Norway and it was actually the first time we had played internationally,” bassist Ben McKee told Radio.com, setting the scene. ”We had never gone to Canada or anything before this — we really hadn’t left the west coast of the U.S. Our manager submitted us to the festival without telling us, not thinking that we would get it and all of the sudden we were heading to Norway.”
“It’s a really friendly, really open culture there,” McKee continued. “They really love their music. They had very, very strong alcohol there. I ended up waking up one morning in my hotel room [with] my pillow completely soaked in blood, my head split open and no memory of the night before or how I got home.”
“There was a note,” interjected drummer Daniel Platzman with a grin.
“Oh yes, and I had the phone number of somebody named Ken in my pocket,” McKee sheepishly admitted. “This was a good one. I heard later on that I had been walking around, talking about how Michael Jackson’s bass lines were so good that it made me hate myself.”
“Rightfully so,” asserted guitarist Wayne Sermon.
“And asking very large Norweigian men to hit me in the face,” continued McKee. “So I literally was asking for it and it sounded like eventually somebody begrudgingly went through with my request. Yeah, we’re going back to Norway this summer so we’ll see. Maybe chapter 2 is coming.”
“Maybe I can be the one to punch you in the face this time,” joked Sermon.
“And we’re going to find Ken,” Platzman deadpanned to the camera. “Ken, if you’re out there we’re going to find you and get your side of the story.”
“Ken, don’t tell anybody your side of the story please,” McKee said.
“To summarize, we love Norway,” Sermon said, finishing the epic tale of international adventure.
If that sounds like your kind of party (we’re in), Imagine Dragons will be back in Norway, playing a show in Oslo, on April 16 as they wind their way through a European tour. The guys will make it back to the U.S. to play more shows, including the Sasquach festival, as spring turns to summer.