Musicians + Sports: Imagine Dragons on LeBron James, First Pitches and A Chicago Cubs World Series
By Scott T. Sterling
Imagine Dragons know sports. The Las Vegas quartet recently held court with Radio.com to discuss how their music has become entwined with the wide world of sports.
“I’m a big NBA fan,” said drummer Daniel Platzman when asked which athlete they’d most want to bestow with an anthem from the band’s catalog. “I’m a really big fan of Steph Curry, he plays for the Golden State Warriors. He’s like a video game, watching him play. He basically weaves through traffic, throws [the ball] up and somehow hits [the shot]. I think ‘Underdog’ would be a cool theme for Steph Curry and the Warriors,” he said of the synth-heavy album track found deep on Imagine Dragons’ breakout 2012 full-length, Night Visions.
“All right, I can go with that. I like Curry,” added frontman Dan Reynolds. “Approved.”
Reynolds went on to talk about last year’s revelation that NBA champion LeBron James of the Miami Heat would listen to Imagine Dragons’ smash hit, “Radioactive,” to set the game before hitting the court to play last season.
“That was really cool,” Reynolds said, “I was a big fan of LeBron, I still am a fan of LeBron. I watched his documentary when I was in high school with my buddies. He’s not that much older than me. He’s like maybe a couple of years older than me. To follow somebody and watch their career blossom and then see that they’re listening to your music is cool.”
The group recalled when they were tapped to throw out the first pitch at Chicago’s storied Wrigley Field, where the hometown Cubs play.
“I would love them to win [the World Series]” said guitarist Wayne Sermon about the Cubs, who haven’t tasted Major League Baseball’s ultimate prize since 1908. “I mean, poor Cubs.”
The group narrowly averted disaster with that first pitch (hurled by Reynolds), which is the endless ribbing any celebrity receives when their toss doesn’t make it all the way to home plate.
“It was a good pitch, but let me just tell you. My warm-up pitch right before that pitch was so bad,” he laughed. “I felt overly confident. So beforehand, the catcher came up and was like, ‘Do you want to warm up?’ I was like, ‘Sure I guess I’ll do one warm up. I don’t really need a warm up.’ And then I totally tried to throw like a fastball and it was like…” Reynolds mimes a baseball bouncing sadly towards its target. “So I was pretty scared. But luckily, it went OK.”
“It didn’t bounce,” marveled Platzman.
The band also have another a new sports connection, with National Hockey League team the Colorado Avalanche releasing a new video featuring members of the team lip-synching to “Radioactive.”
Imagine Dragons are currently on tour in South America, followed by a run of European shows that rolls through most of August.