To the casual observer — or our Video Music Awards oddsmakers — the race for Best Rock Video really comes down to the four front-runners you’ve heard of (Linkin Park, Coldplay, Jack White and the Black Keys) … and the band you probably haven’t.
That would be Imagine Dragons, the Las Vegas quartet who are just beginning to break through with their single “It’s Time” and its spacey music video, which earned them their first-ever VMA nod in Best Rock. It’s just the latest step in what’s been a whirlwind year for the group and in the lead-up to the big show, they’re very much playing the part of the wide-eyed newcomers. Take, for example, their awards-show outfits, which they not only picked out last week, but have been breaking in ever since.
“We’re wearing them right now, actually,” frontman Dan Reynolds laughed. “We’re wearing them all week, going to sleep in them, waking up in them … they’re the best clothes we have.”
“We have a big calendar and we keep crossing off the days before the VMAs,” drummer Daniel Platzman added.
And while we suspect they’re just joking about their red-carpet wardrobes, they’re 100 percent serious about being incredibly humbled to even be nominated for a VMA, especially since they’ve been watching the show since they were kids.
“Honestly, we feel very, very humbled. We’re extremely excited, we just show it in the nerdiest way possible,” Reynolds said. “We’re just baffled, to be honest. When we grew up, and our families would have money and TVs, we would actually watch them … I remember when the Rage Against the Machine guy [bassist Tim Commerford] climbed up on the stage [at the 2000 VMAs] and wouldn’t leave. When we think about the VMAs, that’s what comes to mind first.”
So at this Thursday’s VMAs, kicking off at 8 p.m. ET/PT (the pre-show’s at 7 p.m. ET/PT), the Dragons will be looking to make memories of their own, especially since they’re not exactly counting on knocking off their big-name competitors in Best Rock Video. But they’ll definitely be gracious in defeat.
“We want our competitors to know that we will be clapping for you when you win the award,” Reynolds smiled. “So, uh, congratulations.”